"It’s certainly historic. Having the House vote on what’s in effect a legalization bill would certainly be a big moment in the timeline and the history of this movement," said Chris Lindsey, MPP's director of government relations.
"Compromise is often difficult, but legislators deserve credit for setting aside their differences and working together to help establish a regulated market for cannabis. I’m hopeful that they will finalize the details of the bill at their next meeting," said Matt Simon, MPP's New England political director.
The Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization supporting the legalization of cannabis, believes that for many, marijuana can be a safer alternative to opioids and other stronger pain and sleep drugs.
“Marijuana is not harmless, but there are no fatal overdoses with it,” said Director of State Policies Karen O’Keefe. “And marijuana is safer than alcohol, which is legal.”
O’Keefe said study after study has concluded that marijuana policy reform is not linked to increased rates of marijuana use among teens, a concern she hears often.
Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, predicted that others in the Biden orbit would continue to shape his views on the subject. “I certainly expect that Kamala Harris as his vice president and most likely several members of a Biden Cabinet would all be there to sort of help in his evolution on cannabis,” he said.
“It’s absolutely incredible what the volunteers and this campaign pulled off. The state received signatures from nearly 200,000 Nebraskans, including parents of children with epilepsy, cancer patients, and veterans with debilitating pain — people whose lives literally depend on this being on the ballot and passing,” Jared Moffat, campaigns coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment.
What MPP's New England Political Director Matt Simon wanted from the annulment bill was for the state to automatically expunge past records; in other words, to expunge your record without requiring you to initiate a request. “We learned that it's not possible in New Hampshire due to the primitive way records are kept. So it has to be a process, as I understand it,” explained Simon. “Certainly good that the process exists, but my hunch and my understanding is that not a lot of people have done it, simply because there's a fee involved. There's work involved.”
“New Hampshire has lagged considerably behind other states in New England,” said Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending cannabis prohibition in the U.S.
"It is encouraging to see that the legislators on this committee appear to understand the importance of moving forward with S. 54. Based on what we heard today, it sounds like there’s a good chance the committee will agree on final details by the end of this month," said Matt Simon, MPP's New England political director.
A letter from the Marijuana Policy Project states that governors and legislative leaders played up the significance of access to medical cannabis in times of a pandemic: “As leaders of states with medical cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) laws, we write to urge you to ensure patients can safely access their treatment option in a way that is consistent with public health. Cannabis is a crucial part of the treatment regimens of hundreds of thousands of individuals, including many who have vulnerable immune systems because of their advanced age or a serious medical condition.”