New Hampshire won’t be the next state to decriminalize marijuana possession, at least not this year. The state Senate Thursday voted down a decriminalization bill, with senators calling it “deeply flawed.
Introduced by Rep. Kyle Tasker, House Bill 621 would have decriminalized the possession of up to a quarter ounce and imposed a maximum fine of $200. The bill passed the House in March on 214-115 vote.
But it had a rougher reception in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee gave it a negative recommendation in April, and now the Senate has killed it.
The bill was too lenient, opponents claimed. Sen. Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) told the Associated Press the bill made punishments for pot possession more lenient than those for alcohol or tobacco (presumably for minors), that the House version of the bill had no age parameters, and that there were no increased penalties for repeat offenders.
Marijuana decriminalization or legalization bills have been introduced in nearly two dozen states this year. Some, like New Hampshire’s, are already dead, but others remain alive.