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The New Hampshire Capitol Building located in Concord, New Hampshire.

Ken Lund

New Hampshire’s House approved a motion to refer its recreational cannabis legalization bill for interim study after a roll call vote to keep the bill alive was defeated 135-153. The vote effectively kills the bill for further consideration this year but leaves the door open for the House Ways and Means Committee to study the measure further.

The chamber had voted the measure “ought to pass as amended” in January. The bill would have legalized possession of three-quarters of an ounce of cannabis, 5 grams of “hashish” and home cultivation of six plants but would not have created a taxed-and-regulated market and it would have remained illegal to sell any amount of cannabis.

“House leaders should be ashamed of themselves for subverting the will of Granite Staters and failing to send this bill to the Senate. As election season approaches, voters will surely study today’s roll call vote with great interest.” – Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a press release

The vote to punt the measure was influenced by Republican Rep. Patrick Abrami, who chairs the commission tasked with studying legalization and the Ways and Means Committee. The Marijuana Policy Project has called for Abrami to be replaced as head of the legalization study commission arguing that he has “misrepresented the testimony heard by the study commission to lawmakers” in the House. The advocacy organization launched a petition on Change.org calling on House Speaker Gene Chandler to remove Abrami as chair.

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