‘Live Free’ and Smoke: New Hampshire Decriminalizes Marijuana

New Hampshire joins other New England states and decriminalizes marijuana.

On Tuesday, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation that will dramatically reduce penalties for individuals caught in possession of small amounts of marijuana or cannabis concentrates (a.k.a. hashish).

Soon to be a civil violation as opposed to a misdemeanor offense, the change to New Hampshire’s marijuana law is scheduled to take effect in approximately 60 days.

Aimed at reducing penalties for personally possessing small amounts of pot to a mere ticket, allowing offenders to “pay fines by mail,” New Hampshire’s policy makers trust the new law will dramatically reduce the time, money, and resources spent on such trivial cases.

smoking a joint in the forest

‘Live Free’ and Smoke

The new law decriminalizes the personal possession of less than 5 grams of extracts (concentrates/hashish) and no more than three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana. No longer wasting their time on recreational smokers, New Hampshire’s law enforcement and court system will finally be able to allocate more assets to cracking down on real crime.

Historically tenacious, the constituents of New Hampshire take their liberties seriously – and their state representatives know it. Passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, Gov. Sununu informed the Washington Times earlier this year that House Bill 640 is “common sense marijuana reform.”

Bipartisan-backed, the new law converts a possession case of no more than three-quarters of an ounce into a simple civil violation. Enforced by a $100 fine for adult offenders, repeat offenders caught in possession of more than three-quarters of an ounce of weed on four or more occasions will face a Class B misdemeanor charge. Once the law goes into full effect, those unlucky individuals under the age of 18 caught with excessive stash will be subject to a court-mandated, substance-abuse assessment.

A victory for those living in the “live free or die” state, while not quite legalization – decriminalization is significantly better than the status quo.

Photos courtesy of Allie Beckett

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