After a Decade of Saying No, N.H. Senate Poised to Support Marijuana Decriminalization
The New Hampshire Senate, which has historically rejected proposals to decriminalize marijuana, took a step toward breaking that streak Tuesday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a measure by a three to two vote that would make the possession of three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Under the bill, the first two offenses would carry a $100 fine with the third being a misdemeanor. Currently, the first offense could bring up to a year in jail.
But Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project says with pot now legalized in neighboring Massachusetts and Maine - times are changing.
“It’s just a reality – marijuana prohibition is not going to become an effective policy," Simon said, who's been advocating for this for roughly a decade now. "Is this the best way for police and courts to be spending their time dealing with arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana?," he asks. "Most Granite Staters would say no and most legislators now are saying no as well.”