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New Hampshire pot vote could nudge Vermont to loosen rules on marijuana

The dominoes are falling all across New England. 

The New Hampshire House of Representatives made history last week when it became the first state Legislature to vote in favor of a bill to legalize the sale and possession of recreational marijuana. 

"Polls show 60 percent of voters in the state support (the bill), and we won't rest until that includes a majority of their state legislators," Marijuana Policy Project legislative analyst Matt Simon said in a statement last week. 

If the bill survives committee and a final vote is signed off by the governor, New Hampshire would join the pot-friendly New England town of Portland, Maine, which voted to legalize it on Election Day 2013 in a special referendum, and a host of other states and municipalities looking to ax the prohibition on cannabis. 

"The legalization of marijuana is moving fast in parts of the United States, and it looks as though the domino effect could quickly move to other states such as Vermont," said former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, chairman of Project Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group "dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy." 

If the former congressman, now an infamous pot crusader on the national stage, is correct, then the New England pot domino theory likely points to Vermont as the next state to abandon prohibition in the 21st century and embrace a radically different approach to drug use and abuse. 

The state already passed a law effectively decriminalizing marijuana in July 2013, and, in the pattern of states such as Colorado and Washington, a bill to completely legalize the sale and possession of cannabis will be on this session's agenda in Montpelier. 

Click for more from Watchdog.org.