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New Hampshire House votes for legal marijuana

Ben Schmitt
| Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, 11:51 a.m.
A leaf of marijuana
Associated Press
A leaf of marijuana

Members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to legalize recreational marijuana use Tuesday, despite a new federal crackdown against pot use.

The House voted, 207-139, for a bill that would legalize possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana, and the cultivation of up to three plants by adults, The Cannabist reported . The legislation does not legalize marijuana commerce.

The Senate must now vote on the bill.

New Hampshire's neighbors Massachusetts and Maine have already legalized recreational marijuana use.

Advocates, including state Rep. Frank Sapareto of Derry, said the “war on pot” should be over, according to New Hampshire Public Radio . Others pointed to New Hampshire's “Live Free Or Die” motto, with the state possibly being “an island of prohibition” among neighboring states that have legalized pot for adults.

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he will let federal prosecutors where marijuana is legal decide how aggressively to enforce long-standing federal law prohibiting it. Under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance, similar to heroin.

Recently appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady, said Thursday that he plans to “vigorously enforce the laws of the United States,” even though the state has legalized medical marijuana.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, bschmitt@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

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