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Pot Decriminalization Bill Snuffed In N.H. Senate

An effort to decriminalize a small amount of marijuana in New Hampshire was voted down in the Senate today. The legislation would have made possession of up to a quarter ounce a violation, subject to a $200 fine.

Senator Donna Soucy, a Democrat from Manchester, says the policy has merit with some lawmakers in the upper chamber, but the bill has serious technical flaws.

She pointed to a provision that anyone under 18 found in possession complete an approved drug awareness program. However, no such program exists in the state. 

"Nor does the legislation provide for the creation of the program, nor does it provide any funding for such a program."

Soucy also says there needs to be graduated sentencing for repeat offenders.

The House approved the bill back in March. 

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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