Legal recreational marijuana is all around New Hampshire. If you ignore the tiny 18 miles of coastline, it is literally surrounded. From state to state the marijuana laws can be a little bit of a mess to discern. Each state legislates how they see fit, and New Hampshire is no different.
So, is marijuana legal in New Hampshire?
To quote Reverend Lovejoy, it’s kind of a “short answer: yes with an if, long answer: no with a but” sort of situation. That might seem a bit confusing, but upon closer inspection, you’ll find that it perfectly sums up The Granite States relationship with marijuana.
Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this article at the time of reading. We take no responsibility for any inaccurate information.
Marijuana Possession Laws In New Hampshire
Presently in New Hampshire, recreational marijuana use is still not fully legal, but partially decriminalized. This means that while you can’t openly partake, being caught with it in your possession isn’t the life sentence it used to be.
Having up to 3/4 of an ounce nets you a civil violation without jail time, and a $100 fine (on first and second offenses). Over 3/4 of an ounce and you’ll find yourself with a misdemeanor, maximum 1 year in jail and a fine up to $350. Smoking in private is generally your safest option, however still illegal.
Medical Marijuana Program
On the invert from the recreational laws, New Hampshire has a legal medical marijuana program. This allows anyone with written certification for therapeutic use of marijuana, and a valid medical marijuana card to have in possession up to 2 ounces, regardless of if they’re residents of the state or not. However, only state residents can utilize the dispensaries. To see what conditions qualify as grounds for medical marijuana usage follow this link.
While New Hampshire has medical marijuana laws, they’re pretty restrictive when compared to other states. Outside of the personal amount of 2 ounces mentioned above (dwarfed by Oregon and Washington’s 24 oz limit), patients cannot cultivate any plants from home. A senate bill is currently pending which would allow for medical marijuana users to grow their own crop, so there is some hope. This bill is similar to a bill vetoed by Governor Sununu in 2019, who stated that patients growing cannabis at home would “make the job of law enforcement significantly more difficult“.
New Hampshire Marijuana History
The journey towards decriminalization and legalization within New Hampshire has been a long and exceedingly arduous process. The first decriminalization bill was introduced into state legislature all the way back in 1997 by Representative Tim Robertson. While many leaps and bounds have taken place since then, the state of New Hampshire still has a way to go before recreational use will even be considered. Especially in light of Governor Sununu’s veto.
Public Opinion On Legislation
Over the years since the introduction of legalized medicinal marijuana in 2013, and decriminalization in 2017, the public’s opinion on marijuana for personal and recreational use has shifted. According to a survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 68% of New Hampshire residents support the full legalization of possession of marijuana, up from only 49% in 2013. This has reflected the changing opinion nationally on the subject of legalization. While lacking the categorical authority of a University survey, a CBS news poll ran in April 2019 found that 65% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized for recreational use.
Weed Laws Of Wyoming
Only time will tell if this swing in attitude amongst the public will lead to New Hampshire politicians following the will of their constituents. Whether they like it or not though, New Hampshire is fully surrounded by legal marijuana. With Canada to the North, Maine to the East, Massachusetts to the South, and Vermont to the West, New Hampshire has nowhere to go but green (I hope).