Marijuana is officially decriminalized in New Hampshire, which makes it the 22nd state to do so, according to Forbes.

As of Saturday, New Hampshire residents will no longer face the possibility of going to jail if they are found to be in possession of marijuana. That doesn’t mean there will be no punishments for users, though, as there are still fines connected to possession.

“Under the new law, people caught possessing up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana will receive a $100 fine for their first or second offenses,” Forbes wrote. “The punishment rises to a $300 fine for a third offense within a three-year period. If police find someone possessing small amounts of marijuana a fourth time in that window, they could be charged with a class B misdemeanor.”

“New Hampshire lawmakers should continue to follow their constituents’ lead on this issue,”Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project said in the press release. “Every state in New England is either implementing or strongly considering legislation to regulate marijuana for adult use. It is time for the Legislature to develop a realistic marijuana prohibition exit strategy for New Hampshire.”

The change in policy was initiated by Rep. Renny Cushing (D) during the last legislative session, according to Leafly.

It’s unclear if this means New Hampshire is moving toward legalization, which its neighbor Maine has done, but it seems pretty likely things are heading that way. Vermont looks like it might legalize cannabis in the next few years, but so far the current governor hasn’t allows the state’s lawmakers to make that change.

With the entire West Coast of the United States having legalized weed, it seems quite possible the East Coast will be starting at the top and working its way down. Advocates will just have to convince several conservative states that the financial or cultural benefits make it worth it.

[Photo by Hollis1138/Wikimedia]

About The Author

Thor Benson is a traveling writer currently based in Los Angeles. His writing has been featured in Vice, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and elsewhere. He can be found in a run-down whiskey bar. Follow him on Twitter at: @thor_benson.

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