N.H. House Considering Marijuana Decriminalization


Graphic: The Boston Phoenix

‚ÄčNew Hampshire’s House is considering decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults, a year after the Legislature voted to legalize medical use of the herb.

Governor John Lynch, who vetoed the medical marijuana bill last year, also opposes the bill to decriminalize a quarter-ounce (seven grams) or less of cannabis, according to the Associated Press.
The Legislature’s attempt to legalize medical marijuana last year fell just two votes shy in the Senate of overriding Gov. Lynch’s veto. The House successfully overrode the veto.

The new bill would make adult possession of a quarter-ounce or less of pot a violation, with a $200 fine and no jail time.
Persons under 18 caught with a quarter-ounce or less would also be subject to the $200 fine. The youth’s parents would be notified and the teen would have to complete a drug awareness program and community service within a year of the violation. Failure to do so would result in a $1,000 fine.
Continuing to spend limited law enforcement resources battling marijuana use “seems foolish,” according to Rep. David Welch (R-Kingston).
“It’s no worse than tobacco and possibly not as bad,” Welch said.
The House is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday.