Bill to Remove Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Possession in New Hampshire to Receive Public Hearing Thursday
Measure with bipartisan support would replace criminal penalties and potential jail time with a civil fine of up to $100 for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana
A news conference with the bill sponsors will be held at 12:30 p.m. ET, immediately preceding the House committee hearing
CONCORD — The New Hampshire House of Representatives Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Thursday on a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. A news conference featuring the bill's sponsors and other supporters will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. It will immediately precede the public hearing, which will be held in Rooms 202-204 of the Legislative Office Building.
HB 1625, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and a bipartisan group of seven co-sponsors including Sen. Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton), would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. It would also make cultivation of up to six plants a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time.
"Arresting people for small amounts of marijuana creates far more harm than marijuana use ever could," said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which is supporting the bill. "Granite State voters are sick of treating people like criminals simply for possessing a substance that is far safer than alcohol. We applaud state lawmakers for listening to their constituents and taking action on this important issue."
WHAT: News conference and House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee hearing on HB 1625, which would remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession in New Hampshire
WHEN: Thursday, February 13, News conference at 12:30 p.m. ET, hearing at 1:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: News conference in lobby of Legislative Office Building, hearing in Rooms 202-204, 33 N. State Street, Concord
WHO: Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket)
Sen. Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton)
Devon Chaffee, executive director, New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union
Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project