New Hampshire House votes to legalize recreational marijuana

Less than two months after similar legislation was blocked in the New Hampshire House, the body approved a bill Tuesday that would legalize possession and recreational sales of marijuana.

The House voted 207-139 in favor on a bill that would legalize the possession of up to three-fourths of an ounce of marijuana, and the cultivation of three plants by adults. The legislation would also create a regulatory system for cultivating and distributing marijuana, and taxing sales.

A majority of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee had recommended the bill be killed because a commission created last year to study the issue won’t make its recommendations until November. Last November, that committee voted not to recommend a legalization bill to the House.

The Senate must now vote on the bill.

The state had passed laws in 2013 legalizing medical marijuana and in 2017 decriminalizing adult-use marijuana.

Update, 11:45 a.m. MT, January 9: NORML is reporting that “New Hampshire House Leadership, instead of sending the approved bill directly to the state Senate, has referred the legislation back to the House Ways and Means Committee. Now, either the committee declines to take action and sends the bill to the state Senate or holds hearings on the bill before sending it back to the House floor for another full vote.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.