The Case for HB 1648 — New Hampshire’s Bill to Legalize Cannabis for Adults 21 and Older
1. Strong majorities support legalization and home cultivation.
a. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Granite Staters support legalization (27% opposed).
— March 5, 2019 poll, UNH Survey Center
b. By a more than two-to-one margin, New Hampshire residents supported a 2018 bill to legalize possession and home cultivation of cannabis for adults’ use. — February 27, 2018 poll, UNH Survey Center
c. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Americans support legalization. — October 2019 Gallup poll
d. Cannabis legalization is more popular than any of the state’s best-known elected officials.
e. House Bill 1648 would legalize cannabis possession and limited home cultivation for adults 21 and older, putting New Hampshire’s laws more nearly in line with the laws in neighboring states.
2. Cannabis is legal for adults in all neighboring jurisdictions.
a. Eleven states, including all three neighboring states, have legalized cannabis for adults’ use. Cannabis is also legal throughout Canada.
b. There are now more than 30 retail cannabis stores in Massachusetts, including six within 15 miles of the New Hampshire border. In 2019, stores in the Bay State reported over $420 million in sales of adult-use cannabis.
c. The governors of several northeastern states are supporting and leading efforts to end cannabis prohibition in 2020, including Ned Lamont (CT), Gina Raimondo (RI), Phil Murphy (NJ), and Andrew Cuomo (NY).
3. Opponents’ fears have not been realized.
a. According to the most comprehensive surveys, teen use has remained flat— or has decreased — in states that have legalized and regulated cannabis sales.
b. Opponents’ concerns about legalization “are overshadowed by wild speculation regarding potential adverse social and economic impacts.”
— Dr. Robert Kiefner, writing for the Concord Monitor
c. “We must allow consenting American adults to decide when and how to use cannabis, just as they have done with alcohol and tobacco – two far more dangerous substances.”
— Dr. Gilbert Fanciullo, writing for the Concord Monitor
4. Sources cited by opponents lack credibility.