For the 6th time since 2008, the New Hampshire House passed a decriminalization bill. HB 618, which would redude the penalty for possessing up to one-half ounce of marijuana to a violation, was overwhelmingly approved in a 297-67 vote. Next it will be considered by the Senate
The easiest way to contact senators about the decriminalization bill is to use the Marijuana Policy Project’s system. You can also find your senator and his or her contact information by clicking here. Tell them every other New England state has decriminalized marijuana possession, and there's no reason New Hampshire shouldn't do the same!
HB 621, as amended by the House, would reduce the penalty for possessing up to a quarter ounce of marijuana, making it a civil fine of up to $200. This bill passed the House by a surprising 214-115 margin and will move to the Senate. Sadly, Gov. Maggie Hassan says she opposes any reform other than a very limited medical marijuana bill.
HB 492 is based on Colorado's Amendment 64. It would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults over 21, and it would allow individuals to cultivate up to 6 plants (3 mature). This bill has been retained by the committee for further study.
HB 337 would make marijuana entirely legal with no limits or restrictions under state law. This bill was rejected 12-8 by the committee and killed in a 239-112 vote by the full House.
HB 621 would reduce the penalty for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana, making it a civil fine of up to $100. This bill was rejected 12-6 by the committee, but was amended and passed the House.
Three bills will have public hearings Thursday afternoon, February 14 in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee (Legislative Office Building Room 204)
HB 492 is based on Colorado's Amendment 64. It would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults over 21, and it would allow individuals to cultivate up to 6 plants (3 mature). This hearing will begin at 1pm.
HB 337 would make marijuana entirely legal with no limits or restrictions under state law. This hearing will begin after the previous hearing concludes, likely around 2pm.
HB 621 would reduce the penalty for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana to a violation punishable by a fine of up to $100. This hearing will begin after the previous hearing concludes, likely around 3pm.
A new poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project has found strong public support for reforming marijuana laws in New Hampshire! According to the poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), 68% of Granite Staters support allowing marijuana for medical use, 62% support decriminalizing possession of up to one ounce, and 53% support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it similarly to alcohol and tobacco. The full results are available here.
Tuesday the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee approved a bill that would reduce the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana. HB 1526 was first amended, then voted “ought to pass” by the committee in a 9-7 vote. With the amendment, possession of less than ½ ounce becomes a violation for the first two offenses before rising to the level of misdemeanor for the third offense.
Three bills of interest have been scheduled for hearings:
HB 1705 allows the purchase and use of marijuana by adults, regulates the purchase and use of marijuana, and imposes taxes on the wholesale and retail sale of marijuana. This bill has been scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday, January 25, at 11:00 a.m. in Room 204 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
This very comprehensive article by Richard Ager kicks off 2012 with a comprehensive discussion of marijuana and marijuana policy in New Hampshire.
In 2012, we will work to make New Hampshire the 17th state to pass an effective medical marijuana law. The home base for this campaign will be NHCompassion.org, so please bookmark that site and stay tuned for new developments.
Committee Members Say They Prefer to Focus on Passing a Medical Marijuana Law and Decriminalizing Personal Possession