Governor Now Supports Cannabis Legalization in New Hampshire

Gov. Chris Sununu has opposed cannabis legalization in New Hampshire. But while he has previously vetoed bills to legalize recreational marijuana, Sununu recently reversed course and said he now supports cannabis legalization under certain conditions.

In a recent interview, Sununu said he would support legalization if it included strict regulations to ensure public safety and prevent underage use, according to ABC affiliate WMUR in Manchester, New Hampshire. He also expressed support for allowing towns and cities to opt out of allowing marijuana sales if they choose to do so.

Sununu, a Republican, acknowledged that the majority of voters in the state support legalization. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that still makes using recreational cannabis a crime.

Comments Came After Senate Vote

Sununu’s comments in support of cannabis legalization in New Hampshire came just after the state senate rejected a legalization proposal. Republicans, who control the state senate, led the effort to kill the bill (it failed by a 14-10 vote).

The bill would have allowed adults over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and would have created a system for legal sales and taxation. Despite support from Democratic lawmakers, the bill failed to pass after facing opposition from some Republican lawmakers and law enforcement officials.

Supporters of the bill argued that legalization could bring significant economic benefits to the state and would reduce the number of people who are arrested and incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. However, opponents argued that legalization could lead to an increase in impaired driving and youth access to marijuana.

Sununu’s Shift Marks a Turning Point for New Hampshire

Sununu’s shift in position on marijuana legalization is significant, as he has been a vocal opponent of legalization in the past. However, his recent comments suggest that he recognizes the growing support for legalization in the state and is open to finding a compromise that can satisfy both supporters and opponents of legalization.

Supporters of legalization have welcomed Sununu’s comments, noting that his support could help to build momentum for legalization in the state. They argue that legalization would bring significant economic benefits to the state, including new jobs and tax revenue.

Sununu said legalization of recreational cannabis in New Hampshire will help keep cannabis from the illicit market, some of it laced with other drugs, from getting sold in New Hampshire. He also said legalization now seems inevitable.

“You see the poll numbers. Obviously, the vast majority of folks across the state support it,” Sununu said, according to WMUR. “Whether we like it or not, this is probably inevitable in some way or form. So, let’s make sure we design a system that focuses on harm reduction as opposed to profits.”

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