Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation today decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses.
House Bill 640, which takes effect in 60 days, eliminates criminal penalties for the possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of cannabis and/or up to five grams of hashish for those age 18 or older. Under the new law, first time offenders will receive a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine.
Presently, first-time marijuana possession is punishable by up to one year in prison, a potential $2,000 fine, and a criminal record.
“New Hampshire will soon join the chorus of states that recognize the baseline level of dignity for it’s citizens and tourists who choose to consume marijuana,” said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director. “Soon, throughout New England, individuals will be able to freely travel without the threat of jail time for possession of marijuana.”
New Hampshire is the only New England state that presently treats minor possession offenses as a criminal offense.