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The state's marijuana laws still bad news for students and casual users

The march for marijuana decriminalization continues on a state by state basis with Colorado and Washington State going all the way to legalization. Unfortunately for some it is still a crime to possess even a small amount of marijuana in New Hampshire. We often represent people who mistakenly believe that because possession of marijuana in Massachusetts or their home state is not a criminal offense, they are not subject to criminal penalties in New Hampshire. 

The New Hampshire penalties regarding marijuana are as follows:

  • Possession of any amount is a misdemeanor which can carry up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $350 and up to a maximum fine of $2000. 
  • Sale or possession with intent to sell is a felony with up to three years in jail and a $25,000 fine. A subsequent offense doubles those numbers.
  • The sale or possession with intent to sell of from one ounce up to five pounds first offense is a felony punishable by seven years in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000. The penalties go up from there depending on the amount and the number of times charged.
  • Possession of paraphernalia with the intent to deliver is a misdemeanor with up to one year of jail and a $2000 fine. Possession of paraphernalia itself is not a crime in New Hampshire. However, many cities and towns have local ordinances that prohibit possession. The penalty is a fine in an amount that varies by town.
  • Sale within 1000 feet of a school zone is a felony punishable by twice the fine and sentence and caries a mandatory minimum one year jail sentence. All of the mandatory minimum must actually be served in the jail.
  • In addition to the criminal possession charges, there are significant potential penalties, includiing driver's license loss, for transporting marijuana.

For college students with financial aid and/or loans, the news only gets worse.

Federal and state drug convictions in New Hampshire and across the U.S. can have a major effect on college student's financial aid and grants, regardless of the school's regulations. This means that any federal or state drug conviction can exclude students from getting their loans if they are convicted of possession, conspiring to sell or the sale of drugs. Ineligibility can be permanent.

If you, your child at college or someone you know is charged with possession of marijuana, it's sound advice to seek out an attorney knowledgeable in the drug laws in New Hampshire. No one wants a mark on their permanent record and it would be a shame for one minor transgression to alter the course of a young person's life for the worse.

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Green & Utter, P.A.
764 Chestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03104

Phone: 603-413-4983
Fax: 603-669-9330
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