New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Clears Senate, Moves Back to House

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Cannabis decriminalization in New Hampshire has just two more hurdles after the Senate passed HB.640; however the measure must go back to the House after the Senate amended the measure to drop the cannabis possession limits from 1 ounce to three-quarters of an ounce. The bill would eliminate jail time for possession up to three-quarters of an ounce up to five grams of “hashish” and reduce the fine from $350 to $100 for adults 18-and-older.

The original House version, which passed 319-36 in March, decriminalized up to 1 ounce of flower, but was reduced via a Senate amendment.

Rep. Renny Cushing, a decriminalization proponent, told WMUR that he was confident the House would concur with the Senate version of the bill, paving its way to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu who has indicated he would sign it.

“I want to thank the legislature for passing common sense marijuana reform,” Sununu said following the Senate vote. “I look forward to signing House Bill 640 into law.”

Under the measure, the fines will increase to $300 for a third offense and a fourth offense would result in a Class B misdemeanor charge. Minors convicted of possessing less than the law allows would be subject to a delinquency petition.

The bill specifically forbids law enforcement officers from making arrests for cannabis possession violations.


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