Marijuana and Cannabis News
Republican Speaker of the House Bill O'Brien abstained from voting, allowing the bill to get through by one vote, reports Kevin Landrigan at the Nashua Telegraph. The bill, HB 1526, cleared the House after O'Brien announced he was letting the measure pass by not voting.
Under current New Hampshire law, anyone possessing a half ounce of marijuana can face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. This bill would make such possession a civil violation on the first offense, with a fine of up to $250, and a fine of $500 the second time it occurred.
But that's where the good news peters out into lame-itude: Anyone caught for marijuana possession a third time would face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
A second bill, HB 1705, which would have legalized marijuana for anyone 21 or older, was defeated in the House by a 228-91 vote.
|Step It Up|
|Rep. Steve Shurtleff is clueless: "That crosses the line and they are getting into the area of sales and distribution"|
The decrim bill was carefully written to discourage people from "overusing marijuana" (whatever that means), but not burden young people who are caught a single time with a criminal record, according to Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Northwood).
"This is a calculated, reasonable compromise," Tasker claimed.
But Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord) got all bent out of shape because he claimed a half ounce of marijuana is "20 to 30 joints" (dude must roll pinners), and the clueless Shurtleff believes that's more than recreational use.
"That crosses the line and they are getting into the area of sales and distribution," said Shurtleff's ass, I mean his mouth.
A retired deputy US marshal (ah, the pot hatred all starts to make sense now), Shurtleff said he would author legislation next year that decriminalized possession of a "much smaller amount" than in this bill.
|Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald|
|Gov. John "The Stench" Lynch's office: "As the governor has said in the past, he will veto legislation that would essentially legalize marijuana"|
The Democratically-controlled House had overwhelmingly passed a decrim bill for a quarter ounce of marijuana in 2010. The New Hampshire Senate killed it on a voice vote after Gov. John "The Stench" Lynch threatened to veto it.
"Stench" Lynch -- a four-term Democrat who is not seeking reelection -- will likely veto this bill, as well, according to Press Secretary Colin Manning.
"As the governor has said in the past, he will veto legislation that would essentially legalize marijuana," Manning said, revealing his willful ignorance about what the bill would do.
"Marijuana is a controlled drug that remains illegal under federal law," Manning said. "New Hampshire parents are working to keep their kids away from marijuana and other drugs. We should not make the jobs of parents or law enforcement harder by sending a false message e that some marijuana use is acceptable."
Oh well, then, I suppose it's perfectly acceptable to make the jobs of parents and law enforcement a lot harder by lying about the effects of a harmless plant, then. Glad you set us straight in that regard, Colin.
Supporters of the complete legalization bill, HB 1705, said marijuana is a victimless crime and state control and sale of cannabis would be no different that the state's monopoly on liquor sales.
"People living in the 'Live Free or Die' stat e should be free to engage in activities they enjoy as long as they are not harming others or infringing on others' rights," said Rep. Mark Warden (R-Goffstown).
Political observers give the half-ounce decrim bill slim chances of passing the Senate, where it's likely to die again as the quarter-ounce decrim bill did two years ago, especially since Gov. "Stench" Lynch is again threatening a veto.