A bill to decriminalize marijuana possession has made it through the New Hampshire legislature. Governor Sununu is expected to sign it.
On Thursday, the New Hampshire House passed a bill that will decriminalize possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana. The Houses’ initial bill called for the decriminalization of under one ounce, but the Senate lowered the amount when they reviewed the House bill. The House approved the Senate’s changes and now the bill will go to Governor Sununu.
Earlier this month, Sununu signaled that he was ready to enact marijuana decriminalization. “I want to thank the Legislature for passing common sense marijuana reform,” Gov. Chris Sununu, said in a statement according to Patch. “I look forward to signing House Bill 640 into law.”
Under the bill, New Hampshire residents 18 years or older will be charged with a violation and a $100 fine for marijuana possession of under three-quarters of an ounce or five grams of hashish for the first two violations. The fine would rise to $300 for a third violation in a three year period. A fourth violation would escalate the charges to a Class B misdemeanor charge.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire was pleased with the House’s actions. “It is time for New Hampshire to join the rest of New England in adopting more sensible marijuana possession laws,” the group said in a statement.
Governor Sununu is expected to sign the bill into law sometime this month.