New Hampshire Committee Approves Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis
New Hampshire’s House Committee on Criminal Justice voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve House Bill 618, a measure that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis.
If approved into law, the proposal would make the possession of up to half an ounce of cannabis a simple ticket rather than an arrestable misdemeanor. Under current law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can result in a year-long jail sentence.
“We should be better spending our limited time and resources, and on top of that, the New Hampshire Constitution says the penalty ought to fit the crime,” Representative Adam Shroadter, a Republican from Newmarket, said before the committee’s vote.
House Bill 618 would also reduce the penalty for cultivating up to six cannabis plants from a felony, to a misdemeanor.
According to polling released in October, 78% of New Hampshire adults believe that cannabis should be decriminalized; 58% believe it should be legalized.