New Hampshire House Passes Broad-Ranging Bill Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana just got the green light in New Hampshire with zero holds barred.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives just passed another bill to legalize marijuana, but this version contains no regulations or limitations.

The bill removes marijuana from the state’s controlled substances list, and strikes multiple provisions in statute which refer to criminal penalties for marijuana-related offenses.

It also adds language to allow people under 18 who possess marijuana to be subject to a substance misuse assessment. People between 18 and 21 would face a violation for simple possession, decriminalizing the substance for that age group. Public consumption is a violation.

People with past cannabis convictions or pending case would have their records annulled.

Proponents of the bill released a report ahead of the House vote which read in part, “These members felt that as New Hampshire is the lone state in New England that still criminalizes cannabis, there is a high likelihood that New Hampshire citizens who want to obtain and use cannabis products, probably already are. They felt that if that is the case, by keeping it criminal we are accomplishing nothing other than exposing more citizens to potential criminal justice system involvement.”

The report adds, “These members also expressed that by legalizing it, there would be a better chance that the products being used would be safer than that which is available on the black market. That being said, these members believe other legislation that is before other committees is the best vehicle to accomplish this.”

The New Hampshire Senate now takes the ball to decide what happens next.