New Hampshire is the latest state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. As New Hampshire Public Radio reports, Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill in which those found with up to three-quarters of an ounce face a civil violation and a fine of up to $100 for a first offense. The new bill will take into effect in 60 days.
The Governor also signed a bill that will create a comission to study marijuana; namely, legalization, regulation and how it should be taxed. Before the bill passed the state's House, the Governor explained his stance. “We’ll let the legislature go through their process and we’ll see where it ends up but I do believe in the decriminalization aspect of marijuana," he told NH1 News in April. "Obviously not the full legalization. Those are two very different issues.”
As NH1 points out, proponents of the bill believe that young people would benefit from not getting incarcerated for small-time busts. Critics feel that decriminalization sends a wrong message about the dangers of drugs, especially as the state grapples with addiction.
New Hampshire is the 22nd state to decriminalize marijuana. It is the last state in New England to decriminalize. As The Hill shares, Maine and Massachusetts voters have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes while Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut have passed decriminalization laws.