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New Hampshire House To Decide On Pot Law Reform Plan

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 27, 2008

    New Hampshire’s House of Representatives will debate next week whether or not to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana

    Will the Granite state become the become the thirteenth state to stop jailing minor marijuana offenders? Here’s how you can make a difference.  

    On Wednesday, March 5, the New Hampshire House is scheduled to debate and vote on House Bill 1623. As amended, this measure would reclassify minor marijuana penalties from a misdemeanor to a civil violation.

    Specifically, HB 1623 will impose a civil penalty of no more than $200 upon first-time offenders found guilty of possessing up to one quarter ounce of marijuana. Under current law, defendants face up to one-year in jail and a $2,000 fine for possessing even trace amounts of pot.If you live in New Hampshire, please take a moment today to e-mail your representatives and urge them to vote ‘yes’ on HB 1623. You can send a pre-written letter here.

    In addition, please consider calling your representatives before Wednesday’s vote and telling them: “Otherwise law-abiding citizens who use marijuana responsibly are not part of the crime problem. It’s time for state lawmakers to stop treating them like criminals.” Our friends at the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy have additional talking points here.

    Finally, even if you don’t reside in New Hampshire you can help support this worthwhile effort by submitting an op/ed or letter to the editor in support of HB 1623.

    Despite receiving a less-than-favorable vote last week from 13 House Committee members, Wednesday’s debate and vote will reflect the will of all 400 House members. Please take time out today to help us educate these legislators, and urge them to vote ‘yes’ on HB 1623.

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