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New Hampshire lawmakers discuss decriminalizing marijuana

New Hampshire lawmakers met on Thursday, February 14, to discuss three bills proposed to decriminalize marijuana in the Granite State.

According to The Dartmouth, the New Hampshire state legislature is expected to pass HB 573, a bill that would legalize medical marijuana, in the coming months. Currently, New Hampshire is the only state in New England that doesn't permit the use of this drug for medicinal purposes.

There are, however, many politicians who are pushing to ease marijuana laws even further.

"One [bill] would simply legalize and regulate possession of up to an ounce of marijuana while legalizing 'pot farms,' another would remove criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or less and make it a civil violation similar to jaywalking, while a third would simply remove marijuana from the state's list of illegal drugs," states regional news source The Union Leader.

The hearing on Thursday consisted of a discussion between lawmakers and state officials as well as testimony from marijuana enthusiasts in the Granite State.

Representative Mark Warden, R-Manchester, sponsor of the bill to legalize marijuana and cannabis, said that he wonders why there is still a law prohibiting marijuana use, noting that attitudes toward the drug have changed significantly over the years.

Opponents such as Valerie Morgan, director of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services for the state Department of Health and Human Services, warned that legalizing marijuana would lead to more drug abuse issues.

It will be interesting to see how these discussions evolve over the next few months. In the meantime, if you have been accused of any crime involving marijuana, be sure you have the best legal team on your side of the courtroom. Working with an experienced New Hampshire lawyer can ensure that you don't unnecessarily suffer under the strict marijuana laws the state currently has in place.

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