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The road to legalization is closed for now, after a committee is holding off action on a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in New Hampshire.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted unanimously to hold it in committee. The recommendation means it is unlikely a legalization effort will move forward in the Legislature this year. The House passed the bill in April.

Governor Sununu had pledged to veto the legalization bill if it reached his desk.

Senators expressed interest in further reworking the bill, while opponents applauded the Senate committee’s move. 

Kate Frey is vice president of advocacy for New Futures. In a statement, she said New Hampshire is joining other states, including New Jersey and New York, that “have put the brakes on the marijuana industry’s attempt to market and sell another addictive drug to vulnerable populations.”

Matt Simon, New England Political Director for Marijuana Policy Project, noted there neither legislative chamber likely had enough votes to override Sununu’s promised veto.

“The odds have been against this bill from day 1,” he said. “They pressed pause from our perspective.”

Critics rallied against the legislation during two public hearings the Senate Judiciary Committee held this spring.  

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