NH decriminalizes marijuana possession
Small amounts of drug now considered violation, not misdemeanor
WMUR / Kirk Enstrom / July 18, 2017
Penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana in New Hampshire have been reduced.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill Tuesday that makes possession of up to three-fourths of an ounce of marijuana and five grams of hashish a violation, instead of a misdemeanor.
he proposal passed the House and Senate in Concord with bipartisan support.
New Hampshire had been the only New England state that had not decriminalized marijuana.
Earlier this year, Sununu called House Bill 640 “commonsense marijuana reform.”
Under the bill, any person 18 years of age or older who is convicted of possessing up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish would be guilty only of a violation, punishable by a fine of $100 for the first or second offense, or up to $300 for any subsequent offense within a three-year period. A fourth offense would result in a Class B misdemeanor charge.
Anyone younger than 18 who is convicted of less than the threshold amounts of marijuana or hashish would be subject to a delinquency petition.
The bill specifically forbids police officers from arresting anyone for a marijuana possession violation. And it requires that all money collected from fines would be deposited in the state’s fund to pay for services to combat alcohol and substance abuse.
The bill takes effect in 60 days.
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