BY: Citizens Count
The Commission to Study the Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana released its report last week on recommended best practices should the state legalize marijuana. Read the commission report here.
According to the report, the state could collect up to $57.8 million a year by taxing the retail sale of marijuana. Among its 54 listed recommendations, the commission suggested:
- The creation of a standalone Cannabis Commission to license and regulate retail sales, rather than assigning the task to an existing entity like the Liquor Commission;
- Limiting legal possession to one ounce for individuals 21 years of age or older;
- Funding public education and prevention;
- Allowing limited home growing, up to six plants per person (three mature) or twelve for a household of two or more people (six mature);
- Not permitting public consumption of marijuana or marijuana products in places like bars, hotels or social clubs—at least until the drug has been legal for several years;
- Requiring towns to opt-in to allowing marijuana-related businesses inside their boundaries.
The commission did not reach a consensus on whether to officially recommend legalization. The state already allows the medicinal use of pot and has decriminalized the possession of marijuana in small amounts.
Supporters of the commission report argue that it is a viable blueprint for legislation to legalize marijuana in the 2019 session of the state Legislature. Efforts at legalization in the past have passed the House but failed in the Senate.
Opponents of the commission report argue it overestimates the revenue because legal sales will be undermined by a black market for the drug. They say the report also failed to address the dangers of marijuana as a gateway to addictive drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines and opioids. The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police cited a lack of information on the harmful uses of marijuana that can lead to psychosis, schizophrenia, and other mental health issues.
Others oppose the commission’s suggestions on the grounds of how they still limit marijuana growing and sales, arguing that cannabis should be treated for legal purposes like any other herb.
Do you agree with the findings of a committee created to study the legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire? Share your opinion in the comments below.