State Democrats to vote this month on embracing marijuana legalization
New Hampshire Democrats will decide at their upcoming state convention if the state party should formally support the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.
“It’s a first. It represents an evolution on the part of the Democratic Party,” said state Rep. Renny Cushing, a longtime champion of legalization.
The entire platform, including the marijuana plank, will be voted on by the 400-600 delegates expected to attend the party’s annual convention in Stratham.
“It’s right where the state of New Hampshire is,” Cushing said of the proposed change. “The legalization of marijuana is more popular than the legislature or the governor and it’s only a matter of time before New Hampshire steps up and joins with its neighboring states and legalizes, regulates and taxes marijuana.”
Voters in Massachusetts and Maine in 2016 approved legalizing recreational marijuana. And this year Vermont’s governor signed into law a bill that removes penalties for adults possessing small amounts of marijuana.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu last year signed into law a bill that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. But an attempt this year to legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes failed in the State House. Sununu had promised to veto the legislation if it had reached the governor’s desk.
The plank from Cushing (D-Hampton) and a couple of other party activists was originally rejected last week by the state party’s platform committee.
It originally read: “We believe that New Hampshire should treat cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, and that cannabis (marijuana) should be legalized, taxed and regulated.”
Cushing said in negotiations following last week’s setback, the reference to alcohol was dropped and the language was shorted to say: “We support the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana.”
Cinde Warmington, the chair of the NHDP’s platform committee, said the platform subcommittee ultimately voted to approve the new