Newscast
5:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

State House Moves Recreational Marijuana Bill Forward

The State House has narrowly approved a proposal on recreational marijuana that it voted down earlier in the day.

The bill would legalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use for anyone age 21 and older; it would also allow people grow up to six marijuana plants in a controlled environment

The House first voted down the measure this afternoon, by a vote of 170 to 168. But lawmakers immediately took up a motion to reconsider that vote, and it passed, which restarted debate.

After fending off efforts to table or kill the measure, the House approved the bill 170 to 162.

It next heads to the House Ways and Means Committee, where members will consider the measure's financial aspects, such as a provision to tax the drug when it is sold at retail at a rate of $30 per ounce. 

Proponents say that could bring the state a lot of new revenue; critics dispute those projections as overly optimistic, and they also point to health concerns and the fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Governor Maggie Hassan has promised to veto the bill if it reaches her.