The green space is felt all throughout New England. That is, of course, the state of New Hampshire. While it hasn’t been strictly opposed to legal measures involving cannabis, it hasn’t caught up to speed with the surrounding states. For many, the idea seems ridiculous. I mean, why is the “Live free or die” state the only one limiting people on “living free”? Most New Hampshire residents understand why, but for those who aren’t, we’re going to go through a few reasons.
NH Controls Alcohol
Every New Hampshirite knows this. The state controls the liquor. They do this to increase consumption from other states. The end result: Profit. New Hampshire makes a lot of its money on alcohol sales. So much so, that they put their stores right off the highway.
This has led to a lot of public outcry. Not because of issues with drunk driving, but due to issues with arrests. Sure, having a liquor store right off the highway sounds like a dumb move – but its a persons choice and there are safe ways of transporting alcohol.
In the same vain that the states controls liquor, they would like to control Cannabis as well. Unfortunately, they have already made an attempt to have exclusive rights to cannabis – through the liquor commission, no doubt.
This is where things get murky. For starters, Cannabis is still a Schedule 1 narcotic. This isn’t just from state-to-state, this is federal. That being said, it would be hard for a state to have full ownership over the production and distribution of cannabis.
NH Doesn’t Want Competition
Again, it comes down to controlling liquor. With an alternative to drinking, many legalized states have already seen a decline in alcohol consumption. With the threat to their funding on their doorstep, the state wants to do everything it can to halt its progress…even if 75% of its citizens want legalization to happen.
This isn’t to say cannabis wont be taxed, but in a free market, the ability to have some sway into where that money goes to can provide a lot for the people. Instead, the state continues to hold back the overflowing tide of legalization.
The Green Space Is Halted Due To Federal Aid
Last but not least, lets talk about the opioid addiction. While the granite state continues to have some of the worst cases of opioid overdoses in the country (per capita), funding to fight it has increased. As of right now, the state takes in 33% of its entire funding from federal aid.
While the police force received larger sums of that money…even in places like Candia, Goffstown and Hooksett, the way the state can continue to receive this money is by creating reasons to have it. Prior to legalization, cannabis arrests were a good way to book citizens, pay fines, and make money. Once cannabis was decriminalized, the state still wanted to penalize people.
This is why, when most states adopted common sense policies for their legalization efforts and ounce was the limit. States knew this because most people purchase their cannabis in ounces. New Hampshire, on the other hand, set their limit to 3/4 of an ounce with the full knowledge that this will still penalize citizens.
This continues to fuel their federal funding and continues to pay for enforcement that does more to hurt cannabis users than help.
The main reason why so many citizens still face penalties is because the state makes a profit from it either by federal funding, or by penalties. Still advocates for the green space continue to fight for a just and common sense regulations surrounding cannabis.