Mar 8, 2017 1:18 PM

NH House passes bill to decriminalize up to ounce of marijuana

NH1.COM

CONCORD — A bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession overwhelmingly passed the New Hampshire state House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The bill, which would allow possession of up to once ounce of marijuana, was approved by a 318-36 vote.

The measure has passed through the chamber eight times over the past ten years, but has repeatedly been shot down in the state Senate.

Asked by reporters after the House vote if he would sign the bill if it reached his desk, Gov. Chris Sununu said "I support decriminalizing marijuana."

Representatives are voting on hundreds of bills Wednesday, with many more up for votes Thursday, as well.

House passes 'Croydon' bill

In a much closer vote, the House also approved letting some towns use taxpayer dollars to send students to private schools.

The contentious measure passed largely on party lines. The bill says districts that don't offer certain grade levels, which is common in small towns, can choose to send students to private schools using state aid.

Sununu, the state’s first GOP governor in a dozen years, has vowed to sign the legislation into law if it reaches the Corner Office.

The measure, known as the ‘Croydon’ bill, is named after the small town in Sullivan County (just north of Newport) which has struggled with the state Education Department and the courts over its attempt to send five local students to a nearby Montessori school using taxpayer funds.

The on-going case has become a rallying point for so-called school choice activists in New Hampshire and beyond.

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