NH Marijuana Policy Voter Guide

There are many issues which matter to voters on Election Day, and while marijuana policy is not likely to be an individual's number one issue, it has certainly been established as an issue that voters ask about and care about.  This guide will provide a brief overview of where candidates on New Hampshire ballots stand on marijuana policy reform:

  • President George Bush and his administration have been hostile to all marijuana policy reforms.  In the battle to replace Bush,  Republican John McCain has not agreed to any significant reforms, but Democrat Barack Obama has at least offered to end federal interference in medical marijuana states, and in the past he has argued for decriminalization of marijuana.  However, the three candidates who take the strongest positions in favor of marijuana policy reform are Libertarian candidate Bob Barr (a former drug war prosecutor and Congressman who changed his tune), independent candidate Ralph Nader, and Green candidate (also a former Congresswoman) Cynthia McKinney (who did not qualify for the NH Ballot.)  For more info on the presidential candidates, check out this video from the Marijuana Policy Project.

  • Governor John Lynch made news when he threatened to veto HB 1623 in 2008.  This bill would have reduced the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana, but Lynch said it would "send exactly the wrong message to children."  However, Lynch has never taken a public position against allowing marijuana for seriously ill patients, so it may be possible to earn his support for a medical marijuana bill.  Republican challenger Joe Kenney has said he opposes both medical marijuana and reducing penalties.  Libertarian candidate Sue Newell supports ending Marijuana Prohibition altogether.

  • To our knowledge, neither Senator John Sununu nor his challenger, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, has taken a public position for or against marijuana policy reform.  Libertarian candidate Ken Blevens supports ending Marijuana Prohibition altogether.

  • Congressman Paul Hodes voted correctly on the Hinchey-Rohrbacher Amendment, a good bill that would have ended the DEA raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in states where medical marijuana is legal.  Unfortunately, the bill failed.  Hodes' Republican challenger, Jennifer Horn, told us on one occasion that she would not vote to end these raids.  A friend, however, reports that Horn later told him she believed the federal government should not be interfering in states where medical marijuana is legal.  It is possible that Horn did not understand the question the first time she was asked, or perhaps she has reconsidered her position.  Libertarian candidate Chester Lapointe supports ending Marijuana Prohibition altogether. 

  • Congressman Carol Shea-Porter also voted correctly on the Hinchey-Rohrbacher Amendment.  Her Republican opponent, former Congressman Jeb Bradley, voted against the same legislation when he was in Congress.  Libertarian candidate Robert Kingsbury supports ending Marijuana Prohibition altogether.

The most important races of all are races for the New Hampshire State Senate and State House of Representatives.  With 424 seats up for grabs, we can't post all the information here, but email us at info@NHCommonSense.org, tell us what town you are in, and we will be happy to tell you what we know about candidates in your district!


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