Pot Decriminalization Clears Major Hurdle in NH State Senate

May 12, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire is on the path to joining its New England neighbors by decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The state Senate passed legislation Thursday to remove criminal penalties for possessing up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana. It must go back to the House for a final vote before heading to Gov. Chris Sununu. He's likely to sign it.

In this June 17, 2015, file photo, marijuana plants grow at LifeLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn.
AP Photo/Jim Mone, File

With Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on board, advocates for marijuana decriminalization hope this is the year New Hampshire joins its New England neighbors in removing criminal penalties for possessing pot.

But the measure is facing challenges in the Senate, where lawmakers aligned with police chiefs are working to water it down. Lawmakers, police and advocates agree some form of decriminalization will likely reach Sununu’s desk. Up for debate, though, is what amount of weed will be decriminalized and how much discretion cops should have to make arrests.

Haven Daley / Associated Press

When recreational marijuana is available for retail sale in Maine sometime next year, it will generate an estimated $12 million a year in tax revenue.

BANGOR, Maine - Officials in Bangor are set to discuss the regulation of marijuana in the wake of the City Council chairman raising the possibility of the city getting into the pot business.
The City Council and staff will discuss marijuana Monday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. There is a moratorium on marijuana sales in the city in wake of state residents approving legalization of the drug last year.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The legislative committee implementing Maine's new recreational marijuana are considering switching the oversight of retail sales from the state agriculture agency to the one that regulates alcohol.

The legalization law approved by voters in November originally tasked the Agriculture Department with the licensing and testing of retail pot. But Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon and Gov. Paul LePage believe the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations is a better fit.

Brennan Linsley / Associated Press/file

Maine and other states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana face a growing cloud of uncertainty following signals of a possible enforcement crackdown from the Trump administration.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he's dubious about state-led efforts to legalize marijuana.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's towns and state legislators will tackle the subject of marijuana legalization in separate events.
The Legislature's Marijuana Implementation Committee is taking public comment on Tuesday in Augusta on subjects such as how to regulate and tax the substance. Also Tuesday, the Maine Municipal Association is holding an event called "Lifting the Haze: Marijuana and Legal Considerations.''

Health Effects of Marijuana

Feb 7, 2017

What does using marijuana do and not do to your body—especially your brain? What are the physiological and cognitive effects of the drug on young people versus adults? We’ll hear about the status of medical research on cannibanoids and physician recommendations.

Guests:  Christian J. Teter, PharmD, BCPP, Associate Professor, Psychopharmacology, University of New England College of Pharmacy

Vijay Amarendran, MD, MS, Medical Director of Out-Patient Services, The Acadia Hospital

LITCHFIELD, Maine - A Maine town has passed a 180-day moratorium on the establishment of recreational marijuana businesses days after smoking marijuana became legal in the state.
The Kennebec Journal reports that Litchfield voters approved the moratorium on Wednesday.
Voters in the state decided to legalize marijuana in a close vote in November. As of Monday, it's now legal to smoke it, gift it, grow it and possess up to 2.5 ounces of it.

Maine has joined eight other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing the recreational use of Marijuana as of Monday. But sales will not be allowed for another year as a special legislative committee develops rules for how those sales will take place.

Legally, you can now possess 2.5 ounces of pot and grow six mature plants in your home. Use of the drug can only be done in private, and retail sales are expected sometime next year. But first, the law allowing recreational marijuana needs to be implemented.

LePage Relents, Signs Pot Law Fix

Jan 29, 2017
Julien Lagarde

Gov. Paul LePage signed an emergency bill on Friday that ensures minors cannot possess marijuana, ending a 24-hour squabble with the Legislature. The governor said Thursday he would not sign the bill until lawmakers passed a provision to shift regulatory oversight of retail sales of the drug.

The crystalline properties of the OG Kush strain of pot.

Gov. Paul LePage is in a standoff with legislative leaders over an emergency bill designed to ensure minors won’t have access to marijuana. The governor says he won’t sign it until the Legislature fixes other problems with the citizen-initiated law that legalizes the drug. But lawmakers say the governor’s request came late and the bill sitting on his desk already gives him part of what he wants.

Customers buy products at a marijuana dispensary in San Francisco, CA.
File: AP Photo/Haven Daley

Gov. Paul LePage says he won’t sign a bill designed to ensure that minors won’t have access to marijuana until the Legislature fixes other issues with a citizen-initiated law that legalized the drug for adults.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine lawmakers continue to review a bill that would delay the retail sale of recreational marijuana while ensuring that minors cannot possess it.

Maine voters approved the citizen initiative in November, but some lawmakers want to delay several aspects of legal marijuana to give the state more time to develop the regulatory framework to oversee the licensing and sale.