Despite New Hampshire’s unsuccessful attempts at passing adult use marijuana legislation, a new poll shows the state’s voters are in support of regulating and taxing marijuana for recreational use.
Sixty-one percent of New Hampshire voters support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, according to the latest WMUR Granite State Poll.
The survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire, asked 528 voters the following question: “Do you support or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use in New Hampshire similar to what the states of Colorado and Washington have done?”
Thirty-nine percent of survey participants said they strongly supported legalization and 22 percent said they somewhat supported the passing of legislation. Thirty-two percent of voters responded that they were opposed, and 7 percent said they were neutral or unsure.
Support for legalization was found to be strongest among Democrats (73 percent support), liberals (79 percent), younger adults (77 percent) and those who never attend church (79 percent). Opposition was found to be strongest among conservatives (51 percent oppose), older residents (48 percent), and regular churchgoers (51 percent).
The voters were then asked whether they would approve or disapprove of marijuana being regulated and taxed like alcohol or tobacco if it were made legal.
Of the 525 who responded, 48 percent supported regulating and taxing marijuana, 24 percent said they would want it decriminalized, and 24 percent responded they want to keep marijuana laws as they are.
A bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 years old and older was introduced in New Hampshire earlier this year, but it was tabled in the House. Three years ago, the House approved an adult use marijuana bill, but the Senate then killed it. Several attempts to pass decriminalization bills over the last few years have been unsuccessful, and Gov. Maggie Hassan has repeatedly said that she will veto any bill aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Hampshire.
Cannabis advocates are hoping the shifting attitudes on adult use marijuana will eventually influence lawmakers in New Hampshire. Four states (Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska) and Washington D.C. have legalized adult use cannabis, and at minimum California and Massachusetts will be voting on recreational marijuana legislation this November. A poll done by Quinnipiac University earlier this year found that a majority of Americans throughout the United States support the legalization of adult use marijuana.
States that have legalized adult use marijuana are reaping the revenue. Colorado just brought in a record-breaking $117.4 million in cannabis sales in the month of April alone. Oregon saw nearly $60 million in recreational cannabis sales from January through May. In 2014, online financial publication Nerd Wallet estimated that New Hampshire’s marijuana market size would be an estimated $66 million and the state would pull in nearly $10 million in annual revenue from sales and excise taxes if recreational marijuana were made legal. The state did pass comprehensive medical marijuana legislation in 2013, allowing patients to possess up to 2 ounces of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of 23 conditions.