Sununu Changes Mind About Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in New Hampshire
🔴 Support of legalized marijuana among New Hampshire residents helped Gov. Chris Sununu change his mind
🔴 The Republican want to sign the "right" bill for New Hampshire
🔴 Legislation that would legalize marijuana has never reached Sununu's desk
After the New Hampshire Senate narrowly rejected legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, Gov. Chris Sununu said he would sign a bill if it reached his desk.
The Senate turned down the bill 14-10 and keeps the Granite State the only New England state where recreational marijuana is illegal. No bill has passed both the state's House and Senate during Sununu's time as governor.
In a statement Friday, Sununu admitted he has not always supported the idea.
"In the past, I said now is not the time to legalize marijuana in New Hampshire. Across this country and in the midst of an unprecedented opioid crisis, other states rushed to legalize marijuana with little guardrails. As a result, many are seeing the culture and fabric of their state turn."
Sununu said he took notice of one New England state after another legalizing marijuana and its support among New Hampshire residents. Medical marijuana was legalized in 2017.
"I stand ready to sign a legalization bill that puts the State of New Hampshire in the drivers seat, focusing on harm reduction, not profits. Similar to our liquor sales, this path helps to keep substances away from kids by ensuring the State of New Hampshire retains control of marketing, sales, and distribution eliminating any need for additional taxes. As such, the bill that was defeated in NH this session was not the right path for our state."
A Granite State Poll conducted by the UNH Survey Center in February showed more than two-thirds of residents support the legalization of marijuana
Sununu wants to be the governor to legalize its sale "in the right way", rather than a poorly thought out bill to be approved in the future.
The perfect legislation for Sununu would give towns to have the ability to reject retail outlets. The state would also control all advertising and messaging for retailers as not to bombard children.
Legalizing marijuana would also be a safer option when black market drugs are often laced with fentanyl.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH