Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana Sales Could Raise Millions in New Revenue
CONCORD, NH -- An active duty New Hampshire corrections superintendent will testify before a state House of Representatives committee today in favor of a bill that would allow the NH Department of Revenue Administration to license and tax the sale of marijuana to adults over 21. The bill, HB 1705, will be heard by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee at 11:00 AM EST in Legislative Office Building Room 204.
Richard Van Wickler, the corrections superintendent for Cheshire County, NH, will appear in support of the bill. "As an active duty jail superintendent, I've seen how marijuana prohibition doesn't do anything to reduce marijuana use but does cause a host of other problems, from taking up space in already crowded jails to funding a violent black market controlled by gangs and cartels."
Van Wickler is a speaker for the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international group of police officers, judges, corrections officials, border agents and other criminal justice professionals who have witnessed the failures of the so-called "war on drugs" firsthand.
At the hearing, Van Wickler, who was named "Corrections Superintendent of the Year" for 2011 by the New Hampshire Association of Counties, will also hand-deliver written testimony on behalf of fellow LEAP speaker and active Plainfield, Connecticut chief of police Robert Hoffman. "Of course LEAP, like other law enforcement organizations, does not endorse or condone marijuana use," Hoffman says in his testimony. "But that is not the issue here, because to regulate the manufacture and sale of marijuana is not an endorsement or condonation of its use. On the contrary, regulating the market for marijuana will take it out of the control of violent gangs and cartels."
New Hampshire spends over $17.2 million enforcing its marijuana prohibition laws every year, according to Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron. He says the state could take in an additional $12.6 million in new revenue through legal and taxed sales of marijuana.
The full text of the bill being heard today and other information can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB1705.html
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, prison wardens, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 25, 2012
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