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New Hampshire Lawmakers Must Legalize Marijuana This Session, Even With A Less-Than-Ideal Bill (Op-Ed)

“The bill can and should be adjusted in future legislative sessions to improve it. But you can’t fix something that never got passed into law.”

By Tim Egan, Devon Chaffee and Karen O’Keefe

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has repeatedly approved cannabis legalization only to see its bills die in the state Senate. For the first time ever, the Senate passed a legalization bill this month and the governor is on board. The House should not let this opportunity slip away.

We have advocated for legalization for many years and the Senate bill is far from our model. Significant changes were made to HB 1633 to pass a Senate that defeated legalization just last year and to avoid the governor’s veto pen. But the NH Senate’s HB 1633 is still an important step forward. It would legalize something that over 70 percent of Granite Staters agree should be legal and would prevent further human suffering.

New Hampshire law enforcement reported more than 1,000 arrests for cannabis possession in 2021. Each of those arrests involve trauma, stress, expenses and a life-altering record. Some surely include some pretrial incarceration.

HB 1633, as amended in the Senate, would legalize adults’ possession of

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