How to Make a Positive Impact at the Hearing on New Hampshire's Cannabis Legalization Bills
More than two-thirds of New Hampshire residents support legalizing cannabis, but in past years it has often seemed that legislators were not hearing the voices of the overwhelming majority. One way citizens can be certain that their voices are heard in 2021 is by testifying or indicating support at the public hearing on HB 629 and HB 237 in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. The hearing will be conducted via Zoom, and it will take place on Wednesday, January 27, beginning at 11 a.m.
HB 629 and HB 237 would both legalize possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older. HB 237 would also legalize, regulate, and tax commercial cultivation and sales of cannabis for adults. Here’s how you can help support these bills:
(2) Select the date (1/27) and the committee: House Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
(3) Select either HB 629 or HB 237, identify yourself as a “member of the public,” and indicate that you support the bill.
(4) If you wish to speak at the hearing, check the box. If you do not wish to speak, click “continue” and enter your name and contact information on the next page.
(5) After you submit the form, you can repeat this process for the other bill.
Summaries of the two bills are available here: HB 629, HB 237. You can access the full text of the bills here: HB 629, HB 237.
If you decide to testify, please take time to prepare. Legislative committees appreciate receiving written testimony in addition to oral testimony. If you do not have written testimony, that is okay as well — but still, it is a good idea to prepare some notes in advance. If you have written testimony, you can email it to this address: HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us.
When your name is called, begin by introducing yourself. Tell the committee your name and town, and that you support the bill. Then spend up to three to four minutes telling them why you are in favor.
Please be courteous and respectful. Legislators do not respond well to insulting comments or disrespectful behavior. It’s important to remember that the members of this committee are not our enemies. In fact, many committee members are very supportive of legalization. Some legislators remain undecided, so it is very important that advocates make a positive impression.
Dress appropriately. Attire should be appropriate to avoid distracting from our message. Please wear business or business casual clothes.
Please do not repeat testimony that has already been presented. The hearing may last several hours, so we should be respectful not only of the committee’s time, but of the people who are waiting for their opportunity to testify. If all your points have already been made, you might simply say, “all my points have been made,” and encourage the committee to support the bill.