During an interview with WCVB 5 “On the Record” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said he was still unsure whether the state was ready to legalize cannabis for adult use, although he admitted he likes the bill currently being considered by lawmakers.
Sununu said that he doesn’t think it is the right time to legalize cannabis in the state as officials have just gotten the opioid crisis under control. He noted that New Hampshire is the only state that did not see an increase in opioid-related deaths last year.
“If you’re gonna do it, that’s the way to do it. But I just think we’re seeing – we’re the one state that’s seeing really positive results [from efforts to address the opioid crisis] – we’ve got a long way, of course, I mean almost 400 people died last year [from opioids]. The rest of the country has doubled their opioid deaths, we’re down 18% in the past three years.” – Sununu on “On the Record”
Both of New Hampshire’s border states, Massachusetts and Vermont, have legalized cannabis for adult use. Sales to adults began in Massachusetts in 2018 while Vermont’s initial bill in 2018 legalized possession and use but not sales – a separate bill to allow sales was passed by Vermont lawmakers in 2020 but sales have yet to commence in the Green Mountain State.
New Hampshire lawmakers in 2017 approved a bill to decriminalize possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of cannabis – which was signed by Sununu – while the state House of Representatives approved a broad legalization bill in January. The passage marked the fourth time in three years the lower chamber has approved the reforms.
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New Hampshire Governor Not Ready to Legalize Cannabis