NH Decriminalizes Some Marijuana Possession - 3 Important Things to Know

September 16, 2017

Effective September 16, 2017, possession of 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana or less will no longer be a crime in New Hampshire.  The new law, which decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana, merely lessens the penalties for possession - it does not make marijuana possession legal. Here are three important things to understand about this change to New Hampshire law:

1. Possession of 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana is a violation level (i.e., non-criminal) offense.  Possession of more than 3/4 of an ounce is still a crime and can be punished by larger fines and possibly jail.

2. This is a change to New Hampshire state law only.  Under federal law, marijuana possession is still a crime. This means that even a violation-level conviction for a small amount of marijuana can lead to the loss of certain scholarships, student loans, or financial aid, such as federal student aid (FAFSA).

3. This law applies only to persons who are 21 or older. A person who is under age 18 and possesses 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana or less can be subject to juvenile delinquency proceedings in family court.

For basic information on New Hampshire's decriminalization bill, click here. If you have questions about how this law may affect you, particularly if you are a student, please give us a call. We are happy to schedule a consultation to provide information about your particular situation or to discuss legal representation.

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