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New Hampshire House Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

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new hampshire medical marijuanaThe New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday evening in a voice vote that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine. The measure will now be considered in the Senate.

HB 1631 would make possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense. Under current state law, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

“This is commonsense marijuana policy reform,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It is irrational to brand people as criminals simply for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol.”

Nearly three out of four New Hampshire residents (72%) think the legislature should decriminalize marijuana possession or make it legal for adults, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll released earlier this month. The full results are available at http://bit.ly/1Xdt8j9.

“New Hampshire citizens want the legislature to adopt a more sensible marijuana policy,” Simon said. “House members have done their part, and we hope their colleagues in the Senate will join them in supporting this measure.”

New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have removed the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession. Fifteen other states, including New Hampshire, are considering bills to do so this year.

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Source: The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

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  • malcolmkyle

    SH, you owe the rest of us answers to the following questions:

    #1. Why are you not concerned with the fact that we have all been stripped of our unalienable rights, leaving us totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government and a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into our homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary?

    #2. Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing substances which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself probably use and approve of, such as alcohol and tobacco?

    #3. Do you honestly expect the rest of us to look on passively while you waste another trillion dollars on this ruinously expensive garbage policy?

    #4. Why are you waging war on your own family, friends and neighbors?

    #5. Why are you so complacent with the fact that our once ‘proud and free’ nation now has the largest percentage of it’s citizenry incarcerated than any other on the entire planet?

    #6. Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing hospitals, schools and libraries?

    #7. Why do you wish to continue spending precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free, while additionally, many cases involving murder and rape do not even get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy?

    #8. Why are you a supporter of the ‘prison industrial complex’ to the extent of endangering our nation’s children?

    #9. Will you graciously applaud when, due to your own incipient and authoritarian approach, even your own child is caged and raped?

    * It is estimated that there are over 300,000 instances of prison rape a year.
* 196,000 are estimated to happen to men in prison.
* 123,000 are estimated to happen to men in county jail.
* 40,000 are estimated to be committed against boys in either adult prisons or while in juvenile facilities or lock ups.
* 5000 women are estimated to be raped in prison.

    #10. How much worse does it have to get before you’re able to read the paintings on the wall of your cave?

  • Franklin

    Steve Jobs never mentioned LSD. Look up his DOD interview, He said ”I smoked marijuana heavily for creativity”. Then note that the DOD interview was for the already finished personal computer that he was selling to the US Government.

    Steve Wozniak is the largest marijuana reform donor in America today and reportedly still enjoys the plant. Silicon Valley has the highest marijuana usage in the world and also the highest average IQ, and one of the top income levels. We are doing just fine out here.

    LSD has nothing to do with the topic of the marijuana plant. I haven’t seen or heard it since the 1960s. Did notice that SAM followers have been directed to make that association. The problem with the prohibition approach as far as propaganda, is that the weak minds are already following Fox so are all for having more people in prison that any other country. The Marijuana Majority grows larger every day because they just aren’t making those old horse carriages anymore. Every time a prohibitionist dies there is no way to replace them. As the Big Government generation dies off from old age the group opposed to the 21st Century or even science just becomes irrelevant.

    Same thing happened with the automobile in fact. Reds screamed that people were not intended to go that fast and that it would cause every thing they say marijuana causes today. Look it up. When Henry Ford manufactured and started selling the first production line affordable auto, he was breaking Federal law. That car had been denied a license the year before. He knew he was violating an unjust law. Most Americans are thankful that he did.

  • Randy

    SH – You really are arguing just to argue. Your facts are outdated, you refuse to give details on your data. You are just an ignorant troll looking to argue and your not willing to actually look at the facts. You have a nice life, I know I will.

  • Randy

    SH – Most of what you say is nonsense, if you really wanted to understand both sides of the argument, you would look up new research on marijuana, not the 1950s government bullshit from the Drug Czar.

  • A-Pug

    Etc., etc.

  • Randy

    Because you are a ignorant person, who can’t look at all the facts and make a reasonable conclusion. I stick with my previous comment that you are stuck in a reefer madness movie.

  • Randy

    SH – There is no chance of educating you, you are stuck in a refer madness movie and you like being there. I hope you enjoy your chemicals from Big Pharmaceutical companies while I enjoy healing naturally.

  • Jon

    Yeah exactly. Makes sense, though, that it is a felony to grow pot, and buying it the less serious crime. From their standpoint, if you grow you probably sell.

  • Randy

    What year did this come out?

  • David Murray

    Not from what I’ve seen.

  • David Murray

    Sorry but you don’t get to choose how people defend Cannabis use. The comparison to alcohol is completely warranted and justified. After all, how can you send the message to kids that alcohol, a known killer, is legal. While Cannabis, not known to kill anyone, is illegal.

  • saynotohypocrisy

    My source for the 100,000 alcohol related deaths a year is the Centers for Disease Control. As far as I can tell they don’t have a number for cannabis related deaths.
    You want the law to force people to use alcohol if they want to get a buzz??? How is that supposed to promote public health? You know what alcohol does to some people, it turns them into domestic terrorists.

    Your .definition of cannabis related traffic fatalities in Colorado is bogus, you’re confusing someone who used sometime in the previous days or weeks with someone who was under the influence at the time of the accident.

  • kevin_hunt

    Ok…so what we have here is a system that is rigged to support the black market. Growers and dealers take the risk, so the consumers don’t have to.

    If growing your own was a misdemeanor and buying it was a felony, the Mexican cartels wouldn’t sell pot.

  • kevin_hunt

    Google: “5 Biggest Lies from Anti-Pot Propagandist Kevin Abraham Sabet-Sharghi By Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D.”

  • Jon

    Yes, they could easily for that.

  • kevin_hunt

    It’s not illegal to grow opium poppies (papaver somniferum).

  • kevin_hunt

    You may be right about that. How about someone who grows a few plants for personal consumption? Does anyone in NH go to jail for that?

  • Jon

    Sorry, I meant in the state of New Hampshire. I should of clarified. It doesn’t surprise me that a extremely conservative state like Louisiana would do that.

  • kevin_hunt

    “I am JUST as worried about alcohol as I am about marijuana. “?

    ..and that’s why you are calling for an immediate ban on alcohol, complete with SWAT raids on anyone that might be suspected of brewing beer in their home?

  • kevin_hunt

    “Traffic fatalities total around 500 a year in the state.””

    Before legalization, there were 677 traffic fatalities in Colorado (2002 data) .

    What do those numbers tell you?

  • kevin_hunt

    “they got hooked on started their drug use off with marijuana. “?

  • kevin_hunt

    Research from Harvard Medical School, in a comparison between families with a history of schizophrenia and those without, finds little support for marijuana use as a cause of schizophrenia.

    “The results of the current study suggest that having an increased familial morbid risk for schizophrenia may be the underlying basis for schizophrenia in cannabis users and not cannabis use by itself,” note the researchers.

    The research was published in December 2013 in Schizophrenia Research.

  • kevin_hunt

    ” And why are you always accusing the government of being the ones that are trying to keep this illegal? ”

    The evidence that the government is to blame for keeping pot illegal is overwhelming. Law Enforcement lobbyists are constantly fighting against decriminalization. The drug czar is required by law to oppose all attempts at legalization. Committee chairs in Congress won’t let legalization bills come to a vote. Pharma, Prison, Alcohol, and Tobacco industries ALL give millions of dollars in legal bribes to our elected representatives in order to maintain the status quo of criminalization.

    To argue otherwise is delusional, ignorant, or dishonest,

    “and you are ruining it for the rest of us and our children with your confused messaging.”?

    Confused messaging…like ‘drugs are bad’, but go ahead and take this Ritalin, Adderall, Prozac, etc.

    Or, confused messaging….like “hemp is a schedule I narcotic’.

    Or, ‘drugs are bad’, but ‘Coors Lite won’t slow you down’.