NEWTON, N.H. — New England is about to get a big break.
A wave of legislation that will give states the power to pass their own laws regulating the sale of recreational marijuana will go into effect in July.
New Englanders have been waiting a while for this to happen, and a wave of recreational legalization could have been possible a few years ago.
But the legislation is going to come soon, so it could be a few months or even a few weeks before it becomes law.
A state law would create an independent, non-profit regulator that would regulate the industry.
And the state would create a set of standards to guide the industry and set standards for potency and other safety aspects of the drug.
But it could take a couple years to set those standards.
A new normal could be emerging, said Richard Pollock, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New England.
The state has the power under existing laws to pass its own rules on how the industry should be regulated.
But it is likely to take years for the laws to take effect.
That’s because a wave will hit the industry in waves, Pollock said.
And some states, including New Hampshire, will likely have more stringent rules that the federal government won’t enforce.
There is a real danger that states could become the next New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania or California, Pollocks said.
If the state is so worried about how marijuana is being regulated, they could get more serious about regulating it.
If it is legal in New Hampshire to buy it in a store, that means it’s legal to possess it, but the law will allow anyone 21 and older to buy up to an ounce and grow up to six plants, according to Pollock.
That means the number of recreational pot users in the state could increase.
Pollock and others say that will create a dangerous situation.
A marijuana grower in New Brunswick said he’s seeing people driving on the highways and on their way to work.
He said he doesn’t think the state should be allowing marijuana, but he also said the state has to regulate it.
“We’ve had enough marijuana grown in this state for the state to regulate,” said the grower, who asked not to be named because of his safety concerns.
“The state has failed this community.”
Pollock said he would be concerned if the law is so stringent that the marijuana industry will have to shut down.
“I think you’d have a lot of growers in this region who’d be very concerned about that,” Pollock added.
And it’s not just growers who could be affected.
Pollocks office has seen a spike in calls from people worried about marijuana.
“People want to know if their neighbors are getting their weed,” Pollocks chief of staff, Steve Daugherty, said.
Pollock has long advocated for stronger regulation, especially for medical marijuana.
He has called for a federal ban on marijuana, and he said he believes it would be a mistake to relax regulations in New England because the industry is growing.
The governor of Vermont said he thinks New Hampshire should be able to regulate marijuana.
His comments came during a trip to New Hampshire.
“You have to be careful that you don’t set a precedent for the rest of the country,” he said.
“We’ve seen that happen in other states.
You’ve got to be smart about it and you’ve got a duty to make sure that we’re keeping this state as safe as possible.”
But many of Pollock’s supporters in New Jersey are concerned about the new law.
Some people in New York are worried about the state having to create its own regulatory system.
Andrew Cuomo has said that state officials would have the authority to create a system for regulating marijuana if they felt like it was necessary.
But many New Yorkers believe that would be unconstitutional.
A recent poll showed New York voters opposed legalizing recreational marijuana.
Cuomo said he was not concerned about it, saying that he supports marijuana legalization and he thinks it’s a good idea.