Decriminalization Bill Reaches New Hampshire Senate for the Ninth Time

Decriminalization Bill Reaches New Hampshire Senate for the Ninth Time

Flickr / Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0 /

On April 11, 2017, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee took on the long-standing issue of decriminalizing the possession of marijuana in small quantities.

Last month, New Hampshire’s House of Representatives approved House Bill 640, a bill that would make possession of less than an ounce a civil violation.

According to NH1, HB 640 represents the ninth time a marijuana decriminalization bill has made its way to Senate within the past 10 years. Every decriminalization bill, thus far, has been denied by the Senate; however, a few committee members have already voiced their support for the new bill.

Sens. Bette Lasky, Martha Hennessey and Harold French each submitted amendments that slightly revised HB 640 in an attempt to give the bill a greater chance of passing.

“The Senate has changed. We have a lot of different members than we had just two years ago,” Lasky told NH1. “I think people are realizing in the long run it’s not helping us by prosecuting young kids and prosecuting people with small amounts of marijuana.”

Even those on the opposing side are willing to implement the bill if it passes. “I don’t support it. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t work to create a product that is good for the people of the state of New Hampshire,” said Sen. Sharon Caron to NH1.

If the Senate passes HB 640, it will head to Gov. Chris Sununu who is expected to sign the bill considering he has previously voiced support of decriminalization, as reported by the Marijuana Policy Project.

Amanda Taylor is a graduate student in the Masters of Writing program at Coastal Carolina University and the editorial intern at Marijuana Industry News.

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