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Apr 21, 2016 2:37 PM

NH senate kills bill to decriminalize marijuana

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) — N.H. lawmakers have once again rejected efforts to remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The vote leaves New Hampshire as the only New England state without some form of decriminalization for the drug.

The New Hampshire Senate defeated the measure by four votes, in a vote that did not fall along party lines.

Possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana would not have carried criminal penalties under the bill. It also would've reduced penalties for possessing larger amounts.

Opponents say decriminalizing marijuana would send mixed signals as the state battles a heroin and opioid crisis. But supporters of the effort say criminalizing marijuana is a misplaced effort that diverts resources from fighting more harmful substances. They say a marijuana charge should not permanently mar someone's record.

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