HB 1201-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1201-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Acton, Rock. 10; Rep. Conley, Straf. 13; Rep. Knirk, Carr. 3; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5
COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
This bill permits adults to possess up to one and one-half of an ounce of marijuana, 10 grams of hashish, and certain marijuana-infused products; permits adults to cultivate up to 6 marijuana plants at home in a secure location that is not visible from other properties, and to possess and process the marijuana produced from their plants at the same location; permits adults to give marijuana to other adults, provided it is not more than one and one-half of an ounce of marijuana, 10 grams of hashish, or up to 500 mg of marijuana-infused products, or 3 immature plants; provides that smoking or vaporizing marijuana in public by an adult would be punishable by a $100 fine; provides that violations of the restrictions on cultivation would be a violation punishable by fine of up to $750; penalizes dangerous, volatile extraction; and permits adults to possess, make, and sell marijuana accessories to other adults.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
I. Since 2012, voters in the District of Columbia and 7 states, including Maine and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, have legalized possession and limited cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 years of age and older.
II. Statewide polls have consistently found that most New Hampshire voters support making marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older.
III. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society. It is less toxic, less harmful to the body, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violent or reckless behavior. Adults should not be punished choosing to use marijuana instead of alcohol, if that is what they prefer.
IV. Home brewing of alcoholic beverages is legal in New Hampshire and every other state in the nation.
V. Allowing adults to cultivate their own limited supply of marijuana will provide them with an alternative to buying marijuana from illicit drug dealers.
265-A:43 Possession of Drugs. Any person who drives on any way a vehicle while knowingly having in his or her possession or in any part of the vehicle a controlled drug or controlled drug analog in violation of the provisions of RSA 318-B shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and his or her license shall be revoked or his or her right to drive denied for a period of 60 days and at the discretion of the court for a period not to exceed 2 years. This section shall not apply to the possession of marijuana or hashish as provided in RSA 318-B:2-c[, or a personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product as defined in RSA 318-B:2-c, I(b)].
318-B:2-c Personal Possession of Marijuana.
I. In this section:
(a) "Marijuana'' includes the leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds of all species of the plant genus cannabis, but shall not include the resin extracted from any part of such plant and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation from such resin including hashish, and further, shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks, fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination. Marijuana shall not include hemp grown, processed, marketed, or sold under RSA 439-A.
(b) ["Personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product''] "Marijuana-infused product" means one or more products that is comprised of marijuana, marijuana extracts, or resins and other ingredients and is intended for use or consumption, such as, but not limited to, edible products, ointments, and tinctures[, which was obtained from a state where marijuana sales to adults are legal and regulated under state law, and which is in its original, child-resistant, labeled packaging when it is being stored, and which contains a total of no more than 300 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol].
(c) “Possession limit” means:
(1) Not more than one and one-half ounces of marijuana, excluding hashish, marijuana-infused products, and growing marijuana plants;
(2) Not more than 10 grams of hashish;
(3) Marijuana-infused products containing not more than 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC);
(4) Six marijuana plants, with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants; and
(5) Any additional marijuana, hashish, or marijuana-infused products produced from the person’s marijuana plants, provided that any amount of marijuana in excess of one and one-half of an ounce of marijuana, 10 grams of hashish, and marijuana-infused products containing no more than 500 milligrams of THC shall be possessed in the same location where the plants were cultivated.
I-a. Except as provided in paragraphs III and IV, if undertaken by a person 21 years of age or older, the following acts shall not be illegal under New Hampshire law, shall not be a criminal or civil offense under New Hampshire law or the law of any political subdivision of New Hampshire, and shall not be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under New Hampshire law:
(a) Possessing, consuming, growing, processing, or transporting an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the possession limit; or
(b) Transferring one and one-half ounce of marijuana, 10 grams of hashish, marijuana-infused products containing no more than 500 milligrams of THC, or 3 immature, non-flowering marijuana plants to a person who is 21 years of age or older without remuneration; and
(c) Manufacturing, possessing, or purchasing marijuana accessories, or distributing or selling marijuana accessories to a person who is 21 years of age or older.
I-b. No person who is 21 years of age or older shall cultivate marijuana plants except as provided in this section:
(a) Marijuana plants shall not be cultivated in a location where the plants are subject to public view, including to view from another private property, without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids.
(b) A person who cultivates marijuana shall take reasonable precautions to ensure the plants are secure from unauthorized access. Cultivating marijuana in an enclosed, locked space to which unauthorized persons do not have access, or other similar security precautions, shall be prima facie evidence of reasonable precautions.
(c) Marijuana cultivation shall only occur at the cultivator’s primary residence.
(d) A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined not more than $750.
I-c. No person shall smoke marijuana in a public place. A person 21 years of age or older who violates this paragraph shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined not more than $100.
II. Except as provided in RSA 126-X, any person under 21 years of age who knowingly possesses [3/4] one and one-half of an ounce or less of marijuana, including adulterants or dilutants, shall be guilty of a violation, and subject to the penalties provided in paragraph [V] IV.
III. Except as provided in RSA 126-X, any person under 21 years of age who knowingly possesses 10 grams or less of hashish, including adulterants or dilutants, shall be guilty of a violation, and subject to the penalties provided in paragraph [V] IV.
IV. [Except as provided in RSA 126-X, any person 21 years of age or older possessing a personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product shall be guilty of a violation, and subject to the penalties provided in paragraph V. Persons 18 years of age or older and under 21 years of age who knowingly possess marijuana-infused products shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
V.](a) Except as provided in this paragraph, any person 18 years of age or older who is convicted of violating paragraph II or III[, or any person 21 years of age or older who is convicted of violating paragraph IV] shall be subject to a fine of $100 for a first or second offense under this paragraph, or a fine of up to $300 for any subsequent offense within any 3-year period; however, any person convicted based upon a complaint which alleged that the person had 3 or more prior convictions for violations of paragraph [II, III or IV] II or III, or under reasonably equivalent offenses in an out-of-state jurisdiction since the effective date of this paragraph, within a 3-year period preceding the fourth offense shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor. The offender shall forfeit the marijuana[, regulated marijuana-infused products,] or hashish to the state. A court shall waive the fine for a single conviction within a 3-year period upon proof that person has completed a substance abuse assessment by a licensed drug and alcohol counselor within 60 days of the conviction. A person who intends to seek an assessment in lieu of the fine shall notify the court, which shall schedule the matter for review after 180 days. Should proof of completion of an assessment be filed by or before that time, the court shall vacate the fine without a hearing unless requested by a party.
(b) Any person under 18 years of age who is convicted of violating paragraph II or III shall forfeit the marijuana or hashish and shall be subject to a delinquency petition under RSA 169-B:6.
[VI.] V.(a) Except as provided in this section, no person shall be subject to arrest for a violation of paragraph [II, III, or IV] II or III and shall be released provided the law enforcement officer does not have lawful grounds for arrest for a different offense.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a law enforcement agency from investigating or charging a person for a violation of RSA 265-A.
(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as forbidding any police officer from taking into custody any minor who is found violating paragraph [II, III, or IV] II or III.
(d) Any person in possession of an identification card, license, or other form of identification issued by the state or any state, country, city, or town, or any college or university, who fails to produce the same upon request of a police officer or who refuses to truthfully provide his or her name, address, and date of birth to a police officer who has informed the person that he or she has been found to be in possession of what appears to the officer to be [3/4] one and one-half of an ounce or less of marijuana[, a personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product,] or 5 grams or less of hashish, may be arrested for a violation of paragraph [II, III, or IV] II or III.
[VII.] VI. All fines imposed pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the alcohol abuse prevention and treatment fund established in RSA 176-A:1 and utilized for evidence-informed substance abuse prevention programs.
[VIII.] VII.(a) No record that includes personally identifiable information resulting from a violation of this section shall be made accessible to the public, federal agencies, or agencies from other states or countries.
(b) Every state, county, or local law enforcement agency that collects and reports data for the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program shall collect data on the number of violations of paragraph [II, III, or IV] II or III. The data collected pursuant to this paragraph shall be available to the public. A law enforcement agency may update the data annually and may make this data available on the agency's public Internet website.
VIII. Nothing in this section shall:
(a) Be construed to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.
(b) Be construed to permit driving or operating under the influence of drugs or liquor as prohibited under RSA 265-A, nor prevent the state from enacting and imposing penalties for driving under the influence of or while impaired by marijuana.
(c) Be construed to permit the transfer of marijuana, with or without remuneration, to a person under 21 years of age, or to allow a person under 21 years of age to purchase, possess, use, transport, grow, or consume marijuana.
(d) Prohibit a state or county correctional facility from prohibiting the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in the correctional facility's property.
(e) Prohibit a person or other entity that legally owns, leases, or controls any property from prohibiting or otherwise regulating the sale, use, or growing of marijuana on or in the property.
(c) In the case of more than [3/4] one and one-half ounce of marijuana, marijuana-infused products containing more than 500 milligrams of THC, or more than  10 grams of hashish, including any adulterants or dilutants, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. In the case of marijuana-infused products possessed by persons under the age of 21 [or marijuana-infused products as defined in RSA 318-B:2-e, other than a personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product as defined in RSA 318-B:2-c, I(b), that are possessed by a person 21 years of age or older], the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(d) In the case of [3/4] one and one-half ounce or less of marijuana or  10 grams or less of hashish, including any adulterants or dilutants, possessed by a person under 21 years of age, the person shall be guilty of a violation pursuant to RSA 318-B:2-c. [In the case of a person 21 years of age or older who possesses a personal-use amount of a regulated marijuana-infused product as defined in RSA 318-B:2-c, I(b), the person shall be guilty of a violation pursuant to RSA 318-B:2-c.]
VIII-a.(a) No person, other than an alternative treatment center approved pursuant to RSA 126-X, shall perform solvent-based extractions on marijuana using solvents other than water, glycerin, propylene glycol, vegetable oil, or food grade ethanol.
(b) No person shall extract compounds from cannabis using ethanol in the presence or vicinity of an open flame.
(c) Any person who violates this paragraph shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
I. "Illegal drug'' means any drug which is a schedule I-IV drug under RSA 318-B, the possession, use, manufacture, sale, or transportation of which is not otherwise authorized by law.
HB 1201-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ X ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ X ] Highway [ X ] Other - Fine revenue to the alcohol abuse prevention and treatment fund
This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems. There is no method to determine how many fewer charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures. However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.
Violation Level Offense
Class B Misdemeanor
Class A Misdemeanor
Simple Criminal Case
It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2021 and FY 2022 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types. An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.
Public Defender Program
Has contract with State to provide services.
Has contract with State to provide services.
Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor
Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor
$60/Hour up to $1,400
$60/Hour up to $1,400
Contract Attorney - Felony
Assigned Council - Felony
$60/Hour up to $4,100
$60/Hour up to $4,100
It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).
Department of Corrections
FY 2019 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
FY 2019 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate
FY 2019 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation
NH Association of Counties
County Prosecution Costs
Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
$105 to $120
$105 to $120
The Department of Justice would not be involved in the prosecution of penalties impacted by the bill, which would be handled by municipal prosecutors and county attorneys. Any appeals of such offenses would be handled by the Criminal Justice Bureau and the Department and would be handled within the existing budget. The Attorney General's Drug Task Force investigates street-level crimes that sometimes involve the sale and possession of controlled drugs, including marijuana. The Department states, if this bill were to pass, the task force's efforts would be redirected away from marijuana cases to those involving other controlled drugs. The Department indicates this bill would have little impact on its investigation or prosecution tasks.
The Department of Safety assumes there will be additional laboratory costs associated with analysis of marijuana-infused products seized as evidence. There is no way for a law enforcement officer or home grower to know how much THC is contained in a marijuana product which is homemade. The State Police Forensic Lab does not currently have the equipment to provide such tests. To perform the tests in-house, the Department would need a LC/QQQ instrument at an approximate cost of $300,000 and possibly another lab analyst position. Alternatively, law enforcement agencies could send samples to a private laboratory at their expense. The Department states that there may also be savings as less marijuana is submitted for testing as a result of fewer arrests for marijuana possession. The Department indicates fewer possession of marijuana cases could also result in a reduction in local law enforcement expenditures. Based on results from other states that have legalized marijuana, the Department expects there may be an increase in the number of impaired drivers and the need for Certified Drug Recognition Experts statewide for roadside and after arrest evaluation of marijuana-impaired operators. An increase in impaired driving cases could also increase submissions to the toxicology unit at the State Police Laboratory and possibly require additional instrumentation, staff and laboratory space. These potential costs cannot be determined.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates legalization of marijuana and hashish is likely to affect municipal expenditures, primarily for law enforcement. There may be a reduction in expenditures related to drug enforcement because the sale, possession and use of these products by adults will no longer be illegal. The Association assumes there may also be an increase in expenditures related to impaired driving enforcement, overdose response and preventing the sale to minors. Therefore, the effect on municipal expenditures is indeterminable. There should be no impact on municipal revenues.
Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Department of Justice, Corrections and Safety, New Hampshire Municipal Association and New Hampshire Association of Counties
|Jan. 8, 2020||To Be Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety|