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Thursday
Feb132014

MPP - NH House to Hold Marijuana Bill Hearing Tomorrow (Thu.)

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

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