Welcome to New Hampshire, the “live free or die” state, where possession of marijuana is still a crime.
Yes, we know – in Massachusetts you only have to pay a $100 fine for having up to one once or less of marijuana. In Maine, you only have to pay a $350 fine for having up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
Well, when it comes to marijuana laws, you can think of New Hampshire as East Berlin during the Cold War. The territories that surround us may be the land of the free, but beware that an iron curtain separates New Hampshire from those states with its strict zero- tolerance policy.
Until the legislature gets around to decriminalizing this substance, here are some things that you should know:
- The smallest amount of marijuana can be charged as a Class “A” misdemeanor, which means that you could be eligible for up to 1 year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.
- The smallest amount of marijuana, if exchanged, sold, or given to someone, can be charged as a felony, which could expose you to a prison sentence.
- The smallest amount of marijuana can be a bud, a stem, residue from a pipe, an extinguished joint in the ashtray, etc. We have even seen a few overzealous officers in smaller towns comb the floor rugs of cars to see if he could pick up some leaf droppings.
Please understand that most marijuana possession cases in NH do not result in people going to jail, although it does happen more than you would think. In addition, marijuana convictions can result in the loss of student loans, the loss of a job, expulsion from school or college, and just plain embarrassment at having to explain it to a potential employer or loved one.
Our advice – keep the stuff out of your car, out of your pockets, and leave it at home. Never consent to a search of your car or your person. If you are reading this page a few days late and you have already had to wear the silver bracelets, please give us a call. We have represented (and in a previous life prosecuted) hundreds of marijuana cases. We know what to look for and what steps to take. We are happy to discuss your case in person, on the phone, or via e-mail.
All consultations are free and confidential.
Our telephone number is: 603-595-5525