Marijuana is still an illegal drug at the Federal level. It is not known why this is the case and it is causing much consternation among many people. But thankfully, in 21 states the possession and ingestion of marijuana has been decriminalized. New Hampshire recently became the 22nd State to decriminalize the substance with the rest soon to follow as pressure mounts. With growing awareness of both the benefits and harmlessness of cannabis, the public are demanding more marijuana legalization. And many politicians are now aboard, as they want to gain votes so they are busy drafting pro marijuana legislation to the effect that marijuana will be legalized.
Decriminalization in New Hampshire
Decriminalization in New Hampshire means that it will be no longer possible to spend time behind bars for possession of marijuana. It has now been decriminalized in all of New England following a bill passed earlier on this year.
Under the new law, people caught possessing up to .75 of an ounce of marijuana will receive a $100 fine for their first or second offenses. 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.Until now, first-time cannabis possession was treated as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year behind bars and a $2,000 fine.
The bill really makes sense. There is simply no longer any reason to put people behind bars for possession of marijuana. In fact, there never really was any good reason for the putting people behind bars for possession of marijuana. Members of certain ethnic groups – namely African Americas –were badly disadvantaged by such policies. On the plus side, it could be possible to get sentences retroactively rescinded or reduced. Prisons will rapidly empty given how many people were(falsely) imprisoned by possession of the plant, and this fact will disturb many members of the prison industrial complex who need to generate another source of income.
Many advocates want to take it even further and get marijuana fully legalized, an ideal that is supported by up to 68% of adults in the region. According to Matt Simon of the Marijuana Project Policy in a recent press Release:
“New Hampshire lawmakers should continue to follow their constituents…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”
Marijuana Legalization Implications
Marijuana legalization is fast becoming a reality all over the US. On the whole, this is a fantastic thing to witness as it signals a shift in perception away from marijuana as some sort of harmful illicit drug that induces violence towards the actual truth of the plant as a wonderful tool for healing and restoration. But the USA, in some states, has gone a little overboard and there is a lot of misconceptions around cannabis use. It will not build strength or character and it should be used in moderation to relax and deal with severe conditions, not be seen as an everyday miracle item. Dependency will soon develop with this sort of mentality.
And then there are the real concerns that of marijuana quality and the wider environment. It is a fact that there are a number of illegitimate growth operations which cultivate low quality cannabis, and this cannabis can easily flow into the legal and recreational market. These illegal growing operations wreak absolute havoc on the environment, and cannabis is not an ecofriendly plant when it is not properly attended to and not properly disposed of and recycled. And there is also the very real cost of oversupply and the wasted time, effort and energy. It takes an enormous amount of nutrients, waterand electricity (in the form of light) not to mention materials to create a good crop of cannabis. A balance needs to be struck in a world where many go without and where energy is scarce. It is also a fact that most recreational growers will fail on their first or second attempt. As amazing as marijuana legalization is, there are downsides that can only be mitigated by letting cannabis slowly develop into a market instead of rushing into marijuana legalization without any existing frameworks or very quickly written policies, which many states are doing.
Other states are taken a more cautious approach, and might wait for a few years before fully legalizingrecreational marijuana due to the complications it may cause. There will be blowback, though once the development phase of marijuana integration is complete, the payment for the wonderplant will be huge socially, medicinally and financially.