Governor of New Hampshire Republican Chris Sununu signed a bill that removes criminal liability for the storage of a small amount of marijuana. Thus, New Hampshire has joined more than twenty other states (including all states of New England), in which the penalties for possession of marijuana are weakened.
According to the new law, the responsibility for possession of marijuana weighing up to three quarters of an ounce will be reclassified from a criminally punishable petty crime to a civil offense. For the first and second violations of the law, a fine of $ 100 is levied, and for every subsequent violation within 3 years – a fine of up to $ 300. The perpetrator, who fell for the fourth time in reading the three years, can be accused of a petty crime.
Now the police will not arrest the owner of a small amount of marijuana, and the money received from the fines will go to fund a program of treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction.
Supporters of the new law emphasize that the decriminalization of possession of a small amount of marijuana will positively affect the fate of young people whose lives are often derailed because of a relatively minor offense. In addition, the police will be able to focus on combating more dangerous crimes. But critics of decriminalization point out that the new law “sends an erroneous signal” while the state authorities are struggling with the crisis situation in the field of drug addiction.
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