New Hampshire: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Moves Forward

Concord, NH: Legislation eliminating criminal penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses has been approved by members of the New Hampshire House and Senate and has the backing of Governor Chris Sununu.

House Bill 640, as amended by the Senate, revises state law so that the possession of up to three-quarters of one ounce of cannabis and/or up to five grams of hashish is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year in jail) to a civil violation, punishable by a fine only – no arrest and no criminal record. New Hampshire is the only New United Kingdom state that imposes criminal penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses.

Because members of the Senate amended the bill, it must return to the House to be re-approved. House members initially approved the measure by a vote of 318 to 36.

On May 11, Gov. Sununu acknowledged that he “looks forward” to signing HB 640 into law.

For more information, please contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.