Source: By Thomas H. Clarke |  The Daily Chronic 3.13.14

House Bill 1625 would replace criminal penalties and potential for jail time with a civil fine of $100 for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill Wednesday to decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, replacing current criminal penalties with a $100 fine. The proposal would also make cultivation of up to six plants a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony.

The bill, House Bill 1625, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, now moves to the Senate for consideration after passing in the House by a vote of 215 to 92.

New Hampshire remains the only state in New England that  that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time.  Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana in New Hampshire is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year of incarceration and a maximum fine of $2,000.

According to a survey conducted in January 2013 by Public Policy Polling, 62% of New Hampshire voters support replacing the state’s current criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a fine of up to $100 and no jail time. Only 27% said they were opposed.

Seventeen states have removed the threat of jail for possession of marijuana, including Colorado and Washington, where marijuana is now legal for adults 21 and older.

Earlier this month, the District of Columbia Council approved a bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine, similar to a parking ticket.

, , , ,

Article source: