Marijuana decriminalization - HB 1631

Marijuana decriminalization - HB 1631

New Futures opposes efforts to legalize or decriminalize the cultivation, possession, or use of marijuana because current research indicates that marijuana is an addictive substance that can be harmful, particularly to youth. We are opposed to HB 1631, relative to penalties for possession of marijuana.

House Bill 1631 is about "decriminalization" not "legalization" of marijuana. "Legalization" would eliminate all state sanctions (for both criminal and violation offenses) for activities involving marijuana and hashish.

Under "decriminalization," marijuana remains an illegal substance but certain specified offenses are classified as a violation offense (subject to a fine), rather than a criminal offense.

These have both changed since 1999

                                               

In the last ten years, the average potency of marijuana (measured by THC content) has dramatically increased from 4% - 6% to more than 15%, and presents an increased risk of dependence and acute reactions, particularly to youth and young adults. New Hampshire has some of the highest rates of youth substance use in the nation.

Even if you believe that New Hampshire's marijuana laws should be changed to reduce the sanctions for the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults, you should still oppose HB 1631.

HB 1631 is vaguely written... 

House Bill 1631 authorizes "possession" but does not specify that the possession is for "personal use." 

House Bill 1631 benefits dealers in larger amounts of marijuana and growers by significantly reducing penalties for their illegal conduct.

HB 1631 presents a risk to youth... 

House Bill 1631 will increase the availability of and access to a substance that we know to be harmful, particularly to youth, and sends the message that use of marijuana is without risk. There is no mechanism in the bill for youth offenders to receive a substance use disorder risk assessment.

10%
the amount marijuana use among high-school seniors would increase if legalized (estimated by Vermont Department of Health)
32.3
of 15-17 year olds in NH admitted to trying marijuana for the first time (Drug-free NH)

On April 21st 2016 the Senate voted Inexpedient to Legislate (bill killed) on a 14-10 roll call vote.

 

Bill Status
  • Committee
  • Public Hearing
  • Executive Session
  • Full Body Vote
  • Committee
  • Public Hearing
  • Executive Session
  • Full Body Vote