New Hampshire: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Gains Legislative Support

Concord, NH: Statewide legislation that seeks to remove the threat of arrest for minor marijuana possession offenses is moving forward in the New Hampshire legislature.

On Friday, members of the state House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation, House Bill 1526, to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses. The measure reduces marijuana possession penalties (up to one half ounce) from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one-year in jail and a $2,000 fine to a civil infraction punishable by no more than a $250 fine and no criminal record.

The proposal now awaits action from the Senate.

Separate legislation — Senate Bill 409, which seeks to authorize qualified patients to grow and possess limited amounts of cannabis for therapeutic purposes — remains pending in the state Senate.

State lawmakers in 2009 passed similar medical marijuana legislation, only to have the measure vetoed by Democrat Gov. John Lynch.

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