This article originally appeared in The Granite Haze of Mind
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a small town located just across the border from Maine could host New Hampshire’s first Cannabis shop.
It’s community, views, and respect for artisans, make it the most productive and respectable city In New Hampshire. To say it bluntly, it’s progressive.
New Hampshire has an issue with cannabis. The issue isn’t a result of the users, but a result of the law that still has the potential to ruin the lives of many who reside here. The punishment that affects people the most is the ability to arrest and jail residents for up to 1 year or face a fine of up to $2,000 dollars. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that hasn’t lessened the burden of this law.
For legalization, we should look to Maine for an appropriate reaction to legalization. In the city of South Portland, a bill was passed to give adults the ability to carry on them up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis without facing the harsh penalties that New Hampshire still burdens its citizens with.
That is where Portsmouth comes in. Portsmouth, with its small community and more relaxed view on cannabis, has become a hubspot for many young adults looking to reap the benefits of a weekend nightlife without the issues stemming from places like downtown Manchester, Nashua, or Concord. With its attractions, its cobblestone sidewalks, and effectively progressive ideologies, Portsmouth seems like the most effective area to show the state that cannabis users are more coherent and respectable with the freedom to obtain, smoke, or ingest cannabis.
Now, the state has passed a bill giving residents the ability to obtain medical cannabis, but the laundry list is small, and even though we now have people utilizing these benefits for self-medication, the state hasn’t taken kindly to those who qualify and have obtained the right to access it.
With 62% of New Hampshire residents in support of legalizing cannabis and 73% in favor of decriminalization, it appears that the vast majority of citizens in this state are not in favor of keeping these laws in place.
The House of Representatives have also voiced themselves as pro-cannabis by having most bills pass the house, but the buck stopped at former Governor, Maggie Hassan’s desk. Since our election, Hassan has been replaced with Chris Sununu (R) who maintains the stance of pro-decriminalization. If there was any consolation as to where New Hampshire can start increasing its progressive “free minded” values, it would be in the City of Portsmouth.