The sale and use of recreational marijuana are both currently illegal in New Hampshire.
State law permits people with certain medical conditions to receive medical marijuana prescriptions. Learn about medical marijuana in New Hampshire.
According to a 2019 UNH poll, 68% of New Hampshire residents support legalizing small amounts of marijuana while 27% are opposed.
Marijuana laws in NH
New Hampshire law classifies marijuana as a restricted, illegal substance.
In 2017, the state decriminalized the possession of small quantities of marijuana. This means the possession of quantities up to 3/4 of an ounce no longer carries a jail sentence. Learn more about marijuana decriminalization. Today, those found guilty under this law face only a violation and must pay fines between $100 and $300. Violations are the least serious offenses in the criminal justice system.
Minors convicted of possession can still lose their licenses for up to 5 years.
“The idea that we can continue to make outlaws out of a wide swath of the population is a continuation of failed public policy.”
Possessing quantities over 3/4 of an ounce is still a criminal act. If you’re caught with marijuana more than three times within a three-year period, you can face criminal charges. It is also illegal to grow any marijuana plants.
New Hampshire has a drugged driving law. This means it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance such as marijuana.
Selling or intent to sell marijuana is also a serious felony punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Where is marijuana legal?
Across the country, voters in ten states have passed measures legalizing recreational marijuana. This includes all the states bordering New Hampshire.
It is illegal to transport marijuana over state borders. That means marijuana can’t be purchased in a state where it is legal, such as Maine or Massachusetts, and then transported into New Hampshire.
“To go to a full recreational marijuana when other states are seeing all the problems it has and issues it is bearing – it’s definitely not something I’m supportive of right now.”
Marijuana is still illegal according to federal law, which applies even in states that have legalized marijuana. Because of this, businesses dealing in legal marijuana encounter difficulty following federal tax and banking rules.
There are many legal and economic problems to sort out if marijuana is to be legal.
Most legalization proposals regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol or tobacco. In 2019, a bill to legalize recreational use passed the New Hampshire House. The bill would have taxed the drug, limited the places it can be used, and restricted it to users over 21 years old. This bill stalled in the Senate because of disagreements about how to legalize the drug. Some of the many objections that led to the bill’s failure in the Senate included:
- Disagreements about how high (if any) to set a tax on marijuana
- Disagreements about how much money the state can hope to raise through taxation
- Difficulties enforcing marijuana DWI laws
- Potential links between marijuana and psychosis
What you can do
Care about whether marijuana is legal for recreational use in New Hampshire? Find your representatives and tell them what you think.
The sale and use of recreational marijuana are both currently illegal in New Hampshire. State law permits people with certain medical conditions to receive medical marijuana prescriptions. Learn about medical marijuana in New Hampshire. According to a 2019 UNH poll, 68% of New Hampshire residents support legalizing small amounts of marijuana while 27% are opposed.
Marijuana Legalization Loses Steam At N.H. State House
Efforts to loosen New Hampshire’s marijuana laws appear to be losing momentum at the State House, as separate Senate committees took action this week against bills that would make marijuana more accessible.
AP Analysis: Legalizing Cannabis For Adults Can Hurt Medical Marijuana Industry
When states legalize pot for all adults, long-standing medical marijuana programs take a big hit, in some cases losing more than half their registered patients in just a few years, according to a data analysis by The Associated Press.
Marijuana Legalization Bill Put On Hold in N.H. Senate
Marijuana legalization efforts at the State House were put on hold Thursday, as the Senate referred the bill back to committee.
“Although we may disagree on whether the prohibition of marijuana has been a success, or whether we should remain an island within New England, we all agree that this decision cannot be made lightly and without further consideration,” Sen. Martha Hennessey, D-Hanover, said in motioning the bill back to the Judiciary Committee.
Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets Sidetracked in N.H. Senate Committee
A committee is holding off action on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New Hampshire.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted unanimously to hold it in committee. The recommendation means it is unlikely a legalization effort will move forward in the Legislature this year.
Marijuana Critics Seek to Derail Legalization Bill As N.H. Senate Takes It Up
Critics of marijuana are trying to derail a legalization bill in New Hampshire by questioning the costs of legalization in other states.
They spoke out today as a Senate committee held its first hearing on the bill. Sen. Bob Giuda, a Warren Republican, rallied opponents before promising he would lead the opposition in the Senate.
N.H. House Votes To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Marijuana legalization cleared another legislative hurdle Thursday at the New Hampshire State House.
The House of Representatives voted 200-163 to pass a marijuana legalization bill, as amended by the Ways and Means Committee.
N.H. House Panel Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill, Reworks Tax Structure
A bill to legalize marijuana in New Hampshire has cleared another step in the State House, but not before a rewrite of how the state would tax it.
Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 1, 2019
The New Hampshire House takes a big step toward legalizing recreational marijuana in the state, but Gov. Chris Sununu has already promised to veto. The New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon gets clearance to host a country music festival. And a Sig Sauer executive goes to court in Germany over a weapons deal. This and other stories from the week in news.
N.H. House Clears Bill That Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana
New Hampshire legislators on Wednesday voted to move forward a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The House voted 209-147 to pass a measure that would allow possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.
2020 Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Support Marijuana Legalization Bill
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of half a dozen Democratic senators running for the White House, is reintroducing a bill on Thursday that would fundamentally end the federal government’s prohibition on marijuana.
The Hype – And The Many Unknowns – Around CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound derived from marijuana plants. In New Hampshire, CBD is available for purchase online and in stores, and has seen a recent boom lately. Many users say it helps with a range of health issues, from insomnia to anxiety to pain. However, clinical research remains limited. We look at what we know about CBD, and what we don’t.
In Close Vote, House Committee Backs Marijuana Legalization in N.H.
A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New Hampshire has won the backing of a House committee, but the narrow vote foretells a floor fight when the full House of Representatives considers it.
The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 10-9 to recommend passage of House Bill 481.
With Marijuana Legalization Across All Borders, What Does It Mean For N.H.?
The marijuana legalization debate returns to the Granite State. Advocates have been trying to legalize pot here for years, and this session, lawmakers are again taking up the issue. On Tuesday, we examine the arguments. Advocates say legalization could lead to a decline in the use of more dangerous drugs. But opponents warn of unintended consequences, including the impact on babies born to mothers who consume cannabis while pregnant. We’ll also examine the broader context, as New Hampshire’s three neighboring states have all legalized.
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