A bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state of New Hampshire has cleared the first bar towards becoming a reality.

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee passed a recommendation that the full legislature should allow a pending bill that would legalize marijuana to become the law. The current proposal would legalize cannabis for anyone 21-years-old or older, and would institute a retail tax on the drug. 

Members of the subcommittee believe New Hampshire needs to legalize marijuana in the near future or risk being left behind. Two of their neighbors, Maine and Massachusetts, passed recreational legalization in 2016 and plan to implement the laws in 2018, and many believe their other neighbor, Vermont, will do so in the near future. One Republican and two Democrats approved the recommendation, while one person from each party voted against it.

This doesn't mean New Hampshire will legalize marijuana in the near future, or possibly at all. A larger committee will now consider the proposed law and determine sometime in November on whether or not to let the full House vote on the bill. 

An issue possibly preventing the bill from passing is a commission was established earlier this year to study the possible benefits of legalizing marijuana in New Hampshire. The commission's report will not be completed until November 2018. It's possible that many of the state's lawmakers will wait until the full findings from that study are released before making up their minds on legalization.

But at this rate, it seems likely that New Hampshire will legalize marijuana sometime in the next few years. 

And if they don't, it's just a short drive to Maine and Massachusetts to purchase 100 percent legal cannabis.

(h/t Union Leader)