Rep. Adam Schroadter: Penalties for marijuana use in NH should fit the crime
The best argument for passing HB 1625 comes straight out of our New Hampshire Constitution. Part I, Article 18 says “all penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense.” In other words, the punishment ought to fit the crime.
If we as legislators ask the people who voted us into office, then according to several polls, the answer is that there should be no penalty at all. Polls have consistently found majority support for legalization, with opposition dwindling.
The bill also reduces other maximum penalties for amounts above one ounce, again, consistent with Article 18. Possession of up to six plants would remain a criminal offense, but it would be reduced from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor, which can still be punished by up to a year in jail. And although felony penalties would be maintained for the crime of selling marijuana, the maximum prison sentences would be reduced.
Adam Schroadter is a Republican state representative from Newmarket.
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