State representatives in New Hampshire have filed three separate recreational marijuana bills for the 2016 legislative session. Each bill legalizes marijuana in different degrees. Officials believe that recreational legalization will help end federal prohibition, especially as more states bring the same issues up for voting this year.
The first bill, HB1675, is outlined to regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol regulation. It would also allow persons 18 years old and older to possess 2.2 pounds of marijuana for personal use.
Additional inclusions to this bill are:
- Create a structured licensing process
- Create a tax scheme for legal marijuana sales
- Create testing facilities
The second bill, HB1610, would make marijuana legal for persons 21 years of age and older. In this bill, it would allow for legal possession up to 2 ounces of marijuana plus marijuana use accessories.
This bill also includes provisions for:
- 3 mature/flowering plants
- Up to 6 total plants growing
- Transfer up to 1 ounce of marijuana to those 21 years of age and older.
The third bill, HB1694, is quite similar to HB1610, with a lesser amount of possession listed at just 1 ounce. The age requirement listed in this bill is 21 years of age and older.
Additional inclusions in HB1694:
- Structure for marijuana sales
- Legalize industrial hemp farming
The passage of any one of these three bills would make New Hampshire the first state to pass recreational marijuana through state legislature procedures. Other recreationally legal states have achieved this status via popular vote.
Founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, Michael Boldin, believes that, “The lesson here is pretty straight forward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats.”
Each bill must be approved by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee prior to a full vote being allowed.