New Hampshire Legislators Vote For Bill That Would Decriminalize Marijuana

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are trying to turn the state a bit greener, with representatives passing a bill in the House that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

There’s still a hard row to hoe for the bill before it can become law, as it’s expected to get major pushback in the senate, reports Reuters. Governor Maggie Hassan has also said she would veto such a bill.

But despite that likely resistance and unsuccessful attempts to decriminalize pot in the past, this measure had a winning margin that’s bigger than in previous votes, at 297-67. It could possibly lead to a super-majority of legislators overriding a potential gubernatorial veto.

If the bill becomes law, having up to half an ounce of pot would be much like getting a traffic ticket — a first offense would come with a $100 fine.

Representative Adam Schroadter sponsored the bill, noting that a recent poll showed that almost 60% of state residents are in favor of legalizing marijuana.

“New Hampshire is a grassroots state,” he said in an interview before the vote (that pun had to be intended, right? Come on). “People here are very politically aware. I think people just see [decriminalization] as common sense.”

New Hampshire is the latest state to get into the decriminalization issue, with Washington D.C. recently passing a law that makes small amounts of pot legal, though it still can’t be sold in the District as it’s still illegal under federal law. Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska have all passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana in their states.

Speaking of the federal government, three senators recently introduced a bill in the United States Senate that would ease up federal restrictions in states that have already legalized medical marijuana.

New Hampshire lawmakers vote for bill decriminalizing marijuana [Reuters]