Police, Advocates Clash Over Pot Decriminalization Bill

Apr 17, 2017

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  With Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on board, advocates for marijuana decriminalization hope this is the year New Hampshire joins its New England neighbors in removing criminal penalties for possessing pot.

But the measure is facing challenges in the Senate, where lawmakers aligned with police chiefs are working to water it down. Lawmakers, police and advocates agree some form of decriminalization will likely reach Sununu's desk. Up for debate, though, is what amount of weed will be decriminalized and how much discretion cops should have to make arrests.

Police chiefs say decriminalizing marijuana amid a drug crisis is a confusing and dangerous message. But as neighboring Maine and Massachusetts move to full legalization, advocates say it doesn't make sense for New Hampshire to continue arresting people for a seemingly minor offense.