New Hampshire Passes Bipartisan “Commonsense Reform” Decriminalizing Marijuana

New Hampshire Passes Bipartisan “Commonsense Reform” Decriminalizing Marijuana

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New Hampshire has just joined the ranks of U.S. states that are implementing “commonsense marijuana reform”.

That’s because the state recently passed House bill 640-FN, which reduces the penalty of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a violation.

Any person 18 years or older who is caught with up to one ounce of marijuana will simply be subjected to a $100 fine, rather than criminal charges. All of the proceeds of these offenses will help finance the state’s alcohol abuse program.

If anyone under the age of 18 is found guilty of possession will be subjected to a delinquency petition.

CHECK OUT: Surplus Marijuana Tax Revenues to be Used for Bully Prevention in Colorado

“Reducing the penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana to a violation and allowing offenders to pay fines by mail will result in less time and resources spent on such cases, allowing police and courts to spend more time and resources dealing with serious crimes,” reads the bill.

“A criminal penalty accompanying a conviction for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana can lead to a lifetime of harsh consequences. These may include denial of student financial aid, housing, employment, and professional licenses. Reducing this penalty to a violation will significantly reduce the number of New Hampshire residents who receive criminal records for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.”

“Marijuana policy reforms that reduce criminal penalties for the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana have the potential to address social and racial inequities in the New Hampshire criminal justice system.”

The bill, which passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support, was signed into effect by Gov. Chris Sununu on Tuesday. The legislation will go into full effect in 60 days.

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(Photo by Cagrimmett, CC)

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