Like every other state in New England, New Hampshire has decriminalized marijuana possession.
Even as federal authorities put pressure on Colorado over marijuana policy, New Hampshire has decriminalized small amounts of marijuana possession. Governor Chris Sununu signed the bill into law this week and it will take effect in 60 days.
Under the new regulations, possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce will be punishable by a civil citation. Previously, even small amounts of marijuana was a misdemeanor. A violation will result in a $100 fine for the first two offenses. If a third offense occurs within a three-year span, then it and additional offenses will result in a $300 fine. Fines collected from marijuana violations will be put toward drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, Matt Simon, was pleased with the Governor’s decision.
“The governor deserves credit for his steadfast support of this common-sense reform,” Simon said according to the Press Herald. “Unlike his predecessors, who opposed similar proposals, Gov. Sununu appears to understand that ‘Live Free or Die’ is more than just a motto on a license plate.”
Supporters of the bill argued that decriminalization could help avoid incarcerating individuals for small nonviolent offenses as well as freeing up police resources.