Poll Results Show New Hampshire Support for Adult-Use Legalization

by | Cannabis Times


New Hampshire Residents Still Push for Cannabis Legalization Despite Legislative Setback

On June 20, the University of New Hampshire released the results of its latest poll, covering a range of state topics including Gov. Chris Sununu’s job performance, the top statewide issue of housing, and the hotly debated topic of cannabis legalization.

The poll revealed that a recent bill (House Bill 1633) proposing the legalization of adult-use cannabis was rejected by legislators in a close 178-173 vote on June 13. This bill was the only one to make significant progress in New Hampshire thus far, and if passed, would have legalized cannabis by 2026, set possession restrictions, allowed for up to 15 cannabis “franchises,” and established a 15% tax rate.

Despite the bill’s failure to pass, the poll showed that New Hampshire residents still strongly support legalization. According to the report, “Two-thirds (65%) of Granite Staters strongly (45%) or somewhat (20%) support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, 19% are strongly (11%) or somewhat (8%) opposed, 15% are neutral on the issue, and less than 1% are unsure.”

Interestingly, the poll also revealed a decrease in support for adult-use cannabis legalization from 72% in May 2023 to 65% in 2024. This change was attributed to a decrease in support from Independents and Republicans. The report stated, “Large majorities of self-described socialists (97%) and progressives (95%) and most libertarians (76%), liberals (72%), and moderates (66%) support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but only 41% of conservatives agree.”

In February 2022, a previous poll found that 74% of residents approved of legalization, showing a slight decrease in support over time.

Interestingly, the poll also found that only 16% of participants had heard details about HB-1633, while 45% had heard “some about it,” 28% had heard “not very much,” and 10% had heard “nothing at all.” Surprisingly, among the 10% who had heard nothing at all (approximately 1,060 participants), 37% said they strongly support legalization, while only 24% “somewhat” support it, and 14% are neutral. On the other hand, within the same 10%, 23% said they “strongly” oppose legalization, and 9% said they “somewhat” oppose it, with 1% being unsure.

The poll also delved into the reasons why those who oppose legalization choose to do so. “Among Granite Staters opposed to the bill (N=247), only 19% oppose it because they want to legalize recreational marijuana in another way while 75% oppose the bill because they do not want to legalize recreational marijuana at all,” the results stated. “Younger opponents of the bill and self-identified Democrats are more likely to want to legalize marijuana in another way while older opponents and Republicans are more likely to not want to see marijuana legalized at all.”

The bill was approved by the House in April and the Senate in May before being killed by the committee, causing frustration among supporters of legalization. Despite this setback, it is clear that the push for cannabis legalization in New Hampshire is far from over.