[Hpn] House takes action on marijuana bill~OT~

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 15 Feb 2008 14:54:59 -0500


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 Friday, February 15, 2008
House takes action on marijuana bill
By KEVIN LANDRIGAN Telegraph Staff=20
klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com=20
CONCORD - A House group took the first legislative action toward =
decriminalizing the possession of a small amount of marijuana in more =
than 20 years.

If approved, an amended bill would reduce the possession of no more than =
one-quarter ounce of marijuana to a violation, with a fine of up to =
$200.

Currently, any possession is a criminal misdemeanor that can include =
jail time as a punishment.

Reps. Jeffrey Fontas and Andrew Edwards, D-Nashua, had wanted the =
non-criminal sanction to be applied to the possession of up to 1.25 =
ounces of pot.

Matt Simon, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition for Common =
Sense Marijuana Policy, said the larger amount is what several states =
have chosen in passing their own decriminalization laws.

"This is much smaller than what we wanted, but we are happy with the =
result and moving forward,'' Simon said.

The amended bill heads to the entire House Criminal Justice and Public =
Safety Committee with the 3-1 support of a working group.

Supporters include Rep. David Welch, R-Kingston, who chairs the =
committee dealing with all law enforcement issues, and Rep. John Tholl, =
R-Whitefield, the committee vice chairman and Dalton police chief.

"I know I'm going to hear about this by the police chiefs, but times =
change, and we've got to recognize that if this House had all members 30 =
years old and younger, it would pass 400-0,'' Welch said.

"It's time to have a meaningful, substantive debate on this issue once =
again, and this subcommittee vote will guarantee that happens.''

During the mid-1980s, the House of Representatives approved legislation =
to decriminalize marijuana after a spate of nearly 10 states including =
Maine had put such laws on the books the previous decade.=20

Kevin Landrigan can be reached at 224-8804 or=20
klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com.






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Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
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http://www.missingkids.com
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<DIV>&nbsp;Friday, February 15, 2008
<H1 style=3D"PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px">House takes action =
on=20
marijuana bill</H1>
<H2 class=3Dbyline>By KEVIN LANDRIGAN Telegraph Staff <BR><A =
class=3Dalwaysredbig2=20
href=3D"mailto:klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com">klandrigan@nashuatelegraph=
.com</A>=20
</H2>
<P><FONT class=3Dbodytext>CONCORD =96 A House group took the first =
legislative=20
action toward decriminalizing the possession of a small amount of =
marijuana in=20
more than 20 years.<BR><BR>If approved, an amended bill would reduce the =

possession of no more than one-quarter ounce of marijuana to a =
violation, with a=20
fine of up to $200.<BR><BR>Currently, any possession is a criminal =
misdemeanor=20
that can include jail time as a punishment.<BR><BR>Reps. Jeffrey Fontas =
and=20
Andrew Edwards, D-Nashua, had wanted the non-criminal sanction to be =
applied to=20
the possession of up to 1.25 ounces of pot.<BR><BR>Matt Simon, executive =

director of the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana =
Policy, said=20
the larger amount is what several states have chosen in passing their =
own=20
decriminalization laws.<BR><BR>"This is much smaller than what we =
wanted, but we=20
are happy with the result and moving forward,'' Simon said.<BR><BR>The =
amended=20
bill heads to the entire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety =
Committee with=20
the 3-1 support of a working group.<BR><BR>Supporters include Rep. David =
Welch,=20
R-Kingston, who chairs the committee dealing with all law enforcement =
issues,=20
and Rep. John Tholl, R-Whitefield, the committee vice chairman and =
Dalton police=20
chief.<BR><BR>"I know I'm going to hear about this by the police chiefs, =
but=20
times change, and we've got to recognize that if this House had all =
members 30=20
years old and younger, it would pass 400-0,'' Welch said.<BR><BR>"It's =
time to=20
have a meaningful, substantive debate on this issue once again, and this =

subcommittee vote will guarantee that happens.''<BR><BR>During the =
mid-1980s,=20
the House of Representatives approved legislation to decriminalize =
marijuana=20
after a spate of nearly 10 states including Maine had put such laws on =
the books=20
the previous decade. </FONT></P>
<H2 class=3Dtag>Kevin Landrigan can be reached at 224-8804 or </H2>
<H2 class=3Dtag><A=20
href=3D"mailto:klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com">klandrigan@nashuatelegraph=
.com</A>.</H2>
<DIV class=3Dtag><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dtag><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dtag><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dtag><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dtag><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR>New Hampshire Homeless<BR>Founded=20
11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">newhampshirehom=
eless-subscribe@topica.com</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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