One of New Hampshire’s top champions of marijuana legalization in the Senate changed his tune Tuesday, announcing it was not the right time to pass a sweeping legalization bill.
“I don’t think the state is ready for legalization at this time,’ said Sen. Harold French, in brief remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee, arguing the bill needs to be “fixed” first.
French, a Franklin Republican, made the remarks shortly before the committee recommended 4-0 to shelve this year’s legalization bill. That recommendation will be taken up by the full Senate in January.
The vote signals the latest setback for the legalization campaign in New Hampshire, which for months has struggled to overcome opposition in the state senate and governor’s office.
Even with a recent swing delivering new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, the dynamic has proved resilient: a House majority of progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans pushing legalization, with a bipartisan majority of Democrats and Republicans standing opposed.
In Tuesday’s vote, the senators recommended sending House Bill 481 to “interim study,” a move that would effectively nullify the bill for the rest of the legislative session.
Championed by Rep. Renny Cushing, House Bill 481 is the latest attempt to legalize cannabis in the Granite State. [Read more at Concord Monitor]