Executive Councilor and candidate for governor Andru Volinsky held a press conference in Manchester yesterday to highlight his marijuana legalization plan. The plan, which you can read here, includes legalizing possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over. It also is allowing for adult homegrown cannabis, providing new revenue for public schools and community colleges, and funding drug and alcohol and mental health treatment.
Along with being an issue of racial justice, marijuana legalization would also provide revenue for public schools and community colleges. The event was held outside of a New Hampshire State Liquor and Wine Outlet in Manchester. As governor, Volinsky would lease spaces in these outlets to certified marijuana retailers and use the revenue to provide funding for public education.
“Governor Sununu has been the greatest barrier to legalizing marijuana, and to solving the racial injustice issue that it presents.” Volinsky said.
“Here’s what I would do. I would legalize cannabis for those 21 and over up to an ounce. I would make it clear that growing up to six plants is legal in our state. That’s if people need cannabis for healthcare reasons, including many of our vets, who suffer with PTSD. I would make it legal for them to possess marijuana in New Hampshire. I would tax the sale of Marijuana in New Hampshire. New Hampshire, among all its neighbors, is the only state that has not legalized adult use of cannabis. I would offer a plan subject to discussion with the legislature to rent space in our State Liquor Stores to retailers who would be chosen with social equity issues in mind, favoring women-led, veteran-led, BIPOC-led business who have the capability of coming together complying with regulatory protocols and safely selling marijuana to adults in New Hampshire.”Volinsky
Legalization- Social Equity
Volinsky noted his commitment to making sure marijuana legalization has strong social equity components that learn from the failure of Massachusetts to include communities of color. “The legalization of marijuana is a racial justice issue as well as a revenue issue. Black and Brown young people are often disadvantaged at a much higher rate. That’s number one. Number two, New Hampshire has a revenue problem. From the studies we’ve read, we can expect $20-30 million dollars in direct tax revenue, and we can expect additional revenues through licensing wholesalers and retailers. If we’re smart about where the wholesalers locate, they can improve the property tax base in property-poor communities, which we know plays a big role in the school funding problem,” he said.
Volinsky has been endorsed by Rights and Democracy-NH, 350-NH, New Hampshire Youth Movement, and many other grassroots organizations and unions for his dedication to courageous and equitable leadership for all Granite Staters. To watch the full press conference, visit Volinsky for New Hampshire on Facebook.