Cannabis decriminalization is headed to New Hampshire as a bill to do just that has passed the Assembly and is moving to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu, who has publicly supported the plan and will likely sign the reform bill, the Concord Monitor reports.
The measure will spell the end of criminal possession charges for adults caught possessing up to three-quarters of an ounce, making it a violation carrying a $100 fine for the first three offenses. Additional offenses within a three-year period will be subject to misdemeanors and higher fines.
Democratic Rep. Renny Cushing, a long-time proponent of cannabis reforms in the state, said it “makes no sense” for New Hampshire to be jailing people for cannabis possession while other New England states, namely Maine and Massachusetts, are rolling out adult-use programs.
According to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, the state spent more than $6.5 million enforcing cannabis possession laws in 2010 and black people were 2.6 times more likely to get arrested for possession than whites.
Another bill adding chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder to the state’s medical cannabis qualifying conditions list is also in the hand of the Democratic governor but he has not indicated whether he would sign the legislation.