BY LEAH MAURER
We have been following the proposed cannabis legislation in New Hampshire’s state Congress closely this session, and we are so glad that the decriminalization measure has passed through both the House and Senate!
According to The Washington Times:
Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, said earlier this month that he plans to approve the measure, House Bill 640, and applauded the state legislature for passing what he called “common sense marijuana reform.”
If Mr. Sununu signs the bill as expected, the legislation will put the Live Free or Die State on path to join the rest of New England in rolling back penalties for minor marijuana possession.
Other news outlets, such as NECN, have reported that the governor is expected to sign the bill, which would make possessing a small amount of marijuana a violation instead of a crime, removing any possibility of jail time for violators.
However, this doesn’t mean that people can possess all amounts of cannabis without some kind of legal trouble (yet-fingers crossed!). Marijuana Policy Project has done a good job at clearly outlining the bill, and a few of the key points here are:
Amounts:The bill reduces penalties for possession of three-quarters of an ounce or less of marijuana, five grams of hashish, and — for adults 21 or older — marijuana-infused products purchased from states where they were legally sold, if they are stored in the properly labeled, child-proof containers. The total amount of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, would be limited to 300 mg, which is about the equivalent to three-quarters of an ounce.
First and Second Offense Penalty:For adults 18 and older, the first two offenses within three years would carry a $100 civil fine.
Subsequent Offenses:A third offense within three years would carry a $300 fine, while a fourth offense within a three-year period could be charged as a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $1,200.
Arrests:Possession of the above amounts of marijuana or marijuana products would no longer be an arrestable offense, except in cases where people refuse to identify themselves or who lie about their identity. Minors found with marijuana could also be taken into custody.
There is no timeline for Governor Sununu’s signature on this bill, but TWB is ready and waiting for it!