New Hampshire: Former Narcotics Officer To Testify In Support Of Marijuana Decrim Bill


A former narcotics officer will testify at a New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday in support of a bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

At 9 a.m. ET, immediately prior to the hearing, Maj. Neill Franklin, a 34-year law enforcement veteran and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), will join Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project at a news conference in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9: 40 a.m. ET in Room 100 of the State House.

HB 618, sponsored by Rep. Schroadter and a bipartisan group of seven co-sponsors, would make possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and up to $500 for third and subsequent offenses. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

The House of Representatives approved the measure 297-67 on March 11.

“New Hampshire is the only state in New England that still doles out criminal records and jail time for simple marijuana possession,” said Simon, a Goffstown resident and New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “People’s lives should not be turned upside down just for possessing a substance that is less harmful than alcohol.

“We hope the Senate and Gov. Hassan will join the overwhelming majority of the House — and the overwhelming majority of New Hampshire voters — in supporting this modest proposal,” Simon said.

WHAT: News conference and New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding HB 618, which would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana

WHEN: Tuesday, April 7, news conference at 9 a.m. ET, hearing at 9:40 a.m. ET

WHERE: News conference in lobby of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building, 33 N. State St., Concord; hearing in Room 100 of the State House, 107 North Main St., Concord

WHO: Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket), primary sponsor of HB 618
Maj. Neill Franklin, executive director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project
Others TBA