I've read that there are 14 states that have "decriminalized" marijuana. But, a description of a bill for "decriminalization" in the NH house is confusing, stating the proposed bill is that first offenses would be violations punishable by a $250 fine and the second would be $500 with subsequent offenses subject to a year of jail time and a $1,000 fine; all for possession of "under one-half ounce".
Currently in NH, it is stated that for the same amounts of marijuana (under on-half ounce) the fine is $2,000 and the jail time is up to one year, and it's a misdemeanor.
Aside of the amounts of the fines, and that it takes a third offense to see up to one year in jail, is there really much of a change? Thing is, I can see situations where a person in possession could actually see the first, second and third offense all at once, depending on what they have and where it's discovered.
Authorities already seem to throw the book at people, from what I read, for example, when there's an accident. I've read list of charges that include; "driving too fast for conditions" and "speeding" all for the same single event so have no reason to believe that for example, the same tactic wouldn't be used for finding a baggie, a joint and a pipe all in one location or on one person. (I also object to the use of the word "jail" as it somewhat softens the reality of "prison" ; so what's up with that?)
My question is, with prison still a factor in possession, how on earth does this equate to "decriminalization"? Can anyone explain? Is this typical of what the other 14 states have on the books? Is this what Vermont is also working toward? If so, it seems to fall far short of what I imagined it meant to decriminalize and also opens up the potential that law enforcement (many of whom would not agree with the decriminalization) to work something out where they can skip steps and aim directly toward the prison gate.