New Hampshire Lawmakers to Consider Cannabis Decriminalization

New Hampshire lawmakers are expected to consider House Bill 1631 today, a bill that would decriminalize small amounts of cannabis throughout the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket), the bill would reduce the penalties for the possession of up to half an ounce of cannabis from potential jail time to a $100 fine on first offense. The fine would increase to $200 for a second offense, and then again to $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

“It should be stressed that HB 1631 does not legalize marijuana — it would merely reduce penalties for possession, putting New Hampshire’s marijuana laws more nearly into line with those found in neighboring states,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

Currently, New Hampshire is the only New England state where the possession of personal amounts of marijuana remains a criminal offense. The possession of any amount of cannabis currently carries penalties of up to a year in prison and $2,000 in fines.

Recent polling suggests that 62 percent of New Hampshire voters are ready to end cannabis prohibition.

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