Panel OK's Idea To Ease Pot Penalty
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Panel OK's Idea To Ease Pot Penalty
Posted by CN Staff on February 13, 2010 at 05:35:42 PT
By The Union Leader
Source: Union Leader
Concord, N.H. -- A bill to reduce penalties for having small amounts of marijuana won a 16-2 vote in a House committee Thursday.The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee recommended passage of HB 1653, which would decriminalize possession of one-quarter ounce or less of marijuana. The bill is similar to one that passed the House two years ago, but was killed in the Senate.
If the bill passes this year, it faces a certain veto by Gov. John Lynch, his spokesman Colin Manning said. The bill would make possession of small amounts a violation, punishable by a $200 fine. The bill requires courts to order drug awareness program for every offender at the individual's expense, and community service. Those who fail to complete both programs would be fined $1,000. Committee chairman Rep. Stephen Shurtleff, D-Concord, said many on the committee felt current law is too tough on small-time offenses."They just didn't want to see people have a criminal conviction on their records for the rest of their lives over possession of a small amount of marijuana," he said.Current law categorizes possession of marijuana as a misdemeanor. Courts can order jail time and a fine of up to $1,200 for a first-offense on a small amounts. Prosecutors typically reduce the charges to a violation, especially for young offenders.HB 1653 requires parents and legal guardians to be notified when someone under age 18 is charged with possession.Source: Union Leader (Manchester, NH)Published: February 12, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Union Leader Corp.Contact: opinion UnionLeader.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on February 14, 2010 at 09:04:42 PT
read more at Howards site
www.CitizensOpposingProhibition.orgCOPs on the HillStories from the week of February 12, 2009Moving forward:  The meeting I organized 3 weeks ago has born fruit.  I received word this week that the major players on the Hill are now united in what direction to take regarding marijuana; namely push for a bill to repeal federal prohibition.  COPs, MPP, DPA and NORML have all agreed on this strategy.  MPP’s Aaron Houston produced an excellent one page sheet of FAQs. (provided below).** We believe this bill will also help the ballot initiative in California to legalize adult use and sale.  As soon as we have a bill number, I will pass it on. Shot of Crown that night.  Small steps.
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