New Hampshire Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Gets Senate Committee Hearing on Tuesday

Bill Has Already Been Passed By House, Would Reduce Penalty for Possession of Quarter-Ounce of Marijuana to a Fine of Up to $200

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 6, New Hampshire’s Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1653, a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to one-quarter ounce of marijuana, and replace them with a fine of up to $200.

Under current law, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense, carrying a potential penalty of up to one year in jail, a $2,000 fine, and a criminal conviction that could damage someone’s ability to find employment, secure government benefits, or qualify for student financial aid.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Lindsey (D-Keene) HB 1653 would also require parents of offenders younger than 18 to be informed of the offense, and underage offenders would have to complete a drug awareness program within one year of the violation, or face a $1,000 fine.

            Last month, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a bipartisan 214 to 137 vote.

WHAT: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on marijuana decriminalization bill

WHO: Witnesses will testify in favor of the bill

WHERE: State House Room 103

WHEN: Tuesday, April 6, at 2:30 p.m.