CITIZEN VOICES® Annulling records of marijuana offenses

Jan 17, 2018

A bill being considered by the Legislature this year would make it easier for adults to have arrests and convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana removed from their criminal records. The bill would do away with the waiting period to file for annulment of offenses related to possession of ¾ of an ounce or less of cannabis. It would also put the onus on prosecutors to show that the offense entailed more than ¾ of an ounce of pot—otherwise, the court must grant the annulment. Read more about this issue

Should NH make it easier to annul arrests and convictions for possession of 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana (or less) that occurred prior to Sept. 16, 2017?

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page January 10, 2018

292 citizens responded244 citizens were in favor of making it easier to annul marijuana convictions13 citizens were opposed to making it easier to annul marijuana convictions35 citizens said other

What Participants Said

Yes: 244 people were in favor of making it easier to annul arrests and convictions for possession of small quantities of marijuana.

  • “This prohibition was wrong. We know it was wrong... let the people fix the record they likely shouldn’t have gotten in the first place.”
  • “Yes… Every one should be automatically annulled without people having to fight it. It never should have been illegal to begin with.”
  • “Yes... and, legalize while you are at it.”

No: 13 people were against making it easier to annul arrests and convictions for possession of small quantities of marijuana.

  • “NH resident with no issue legalizing it, but if you broke the law while it was illegal, face the music, you broke the law.”
  • “A law is a law. Breaking it deserves punishment.”
  • “If you committed the crime when it was illegal, it's a crime.”

Other: 35 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Legalizing marijuana: “First NH should figure out how to handle its legalization.”
  • Enforcement: “I wish the government would pursue opiates as aggressively as they do marijuana.”
  • Opioid addiction: “Strange how in the states where weed is legal their opioids problems went down.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question.

Click here for details on our methodology

Comments

Jackie Benson
- Kensington

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 9:27am

This bill was ultimately shot down in the Senate, partly due to arguments from law enforcement officials that the quantity of marijuana involved in an arrest or conviction isn't always clear-cut. The issue will be back on the table in 2019, with a new bill from Rep. Renny Cushing. Since the text of that bill hasn't yet been released, it's not clear how Rep. Cushing addresses those concerns. However, with the Democrats in control of both branches of the Legislature, the bill stands a much stronger chance of passing, since opposition to it in 2018 fell largely along party lines.

Related Bill

HB 1477 (2018)
Bill Status: Tabled in the Senate
Hearing date: Mar 27, 2018

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