N.H. Lawmakers Consider Marijuana Decriminalization And Legalization
Under a law passed last year in New Hampshire, people with certain medical conditions can use marijuana. Now, lawmakers are considering decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug and studying the legalization question. These debates are sweeping the country, even as the drug remains illegal under federal law.
- Matt Simon: New England Political Director and Legislative Analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project
- Tym Rourke: Director of the program department of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment,
- John Hudak: Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and Managing Editor of the FixGov blog.
Response to the show from State Representative John E. Tholl Jr.
I listened to the Thursday program at 8 pm as the house was in session all day. There were several misstatement made during the program. Under current law a person who has a small quantity of marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor even if he/she pays a $100 fine. The bill as passed by the house lowers the offense to a violation for 1/2 ounce or less with a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. I removed the Misdemeanor charge of growing 6 or fewer plants as well. While I voted for the amendment, as it made the bill better, I voted against the bill on the house floor. I feel that the quantity of marijuana allowed 1/2 ounce is too large as it would produce approximately 30 marijuana cigarettes. I believe that the quantity should be 1/4 ounce an that the fourth offense should remain as a misdemeanor. I am in favor of reducing the possession of a small quantity should be a violation for the first -3rd offenses as the normal penalty handed down by all the judges I have appeared in front of during my 43 years in law enforcement has been $100 and it doesn't make sense to have a higher penalty if it is not used. I applaud the idea that screening should be used and that both guest agreed that marijuana is not harmless. Rep. John E. Tholl Jr. Chair Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Member Governor's taskforce on Drug and alcohol abuse