Press Statement

May 30, 2019

CONTACT: Meghan Farrell, 508-423-5185

MARIJUANA COMMERCIALIZATION BILL SENT BACK TO SENATE COMMITTEE

CONCORD, N.H. – This afternoon, in a unanimous vote, the New Hampshire Senate re-referred HB 481, which would legalize and commercialize marijuana, halting efforts to pass the bill this year. HB 481 will now be sent back to the Senate Judiciary Committee to be revisited next legislative session. In response, advocates released the following statements.

Kate Frey, Vice President of Advocacy at New Futures, said: 
“It is clear that our Senators have heard the concerns of a large number of advocates and community members who oppose this bill. As written, HB 481 does not put into place the regulations or protections for our children that should come with commercialization. New Hampshire deserves better than HB 481, and we look forward to continuing to work with our policymakers to keep New Hampshire healthy.”

Dr. William Goodman, M.D., MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Catholic Medical Center, said:
“HB 481 would have allowed a major industry to utilize aggressive marketing tactics for the commercial sale of marijuana, just as the tobacco, vaping, and marijuana industries have done in other states. This marketing would have targeted our children and likely have lead to the rampant use of marijuana by adolescents and children. It is our youth who are most vulnerable to the damaging effects of marijuana and I applaud the NH Senate for exercising good judgement in re-referring HB 481."

Chief Mark Chase, President, NH Association of the Chiefs of Police said:
“The proposed legislation for the legalization of recreational marijuana has raised many safety concerns to include lack of proper oversight, the lack of per se law for those operate a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana, and that it conflicts with federal law. We are thankful, especially during the opioid epidemic when local, state and federal law enforcement is working together combat this crisis, that HB 481 will not move forward this year.” 

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