Sunday, April 15, 2012

Senate considers bill to decriminalize marijuana

CONCORD, N.H.—A Senate committee will hear what the public has to say this week about decriminalizing a person's first two marijuana possessions under one-half ounce.

The House passed the bill last month 162-161 with Republican House Speaker William O'Brien abstaining from voting, which allowed the bill to move to the Senate.

A first offense would be a violation punishable by a $250 fine. The second would be $500. Subsequent offenses would be misdemeanors subject to a year of jail time and a $1,000 fine. Offenders under 21 could also be ordered to take a drug awareness program.

All offenses are currently misdemeanors punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and a year in jail.
Gov. John Lynch has promised to veto the measure.

The Judiciary Committee hearing is Thursday afternoon.

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