(Associated Press file)

New Hampshire a signature away from weed decriminalization

CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire House has voted to remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The bill, which passed without debate Thursday, now goes to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who plans to sign it. When he does, New Hampshire will join the rest of New England in decriminalizing the drug.

The House originally approved changing possession of up to an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation-level office. The Senate changed that to three-quarters of an ounce, and the House agreed to the change.

Supporters argue that the change will ensure young people’s lives aren’t ruined by getting caught with marijuana. Opponents have argued that decriminalization sends the wrong message as the state battles a drug crisis.