FYI Massachusetts, Marijuana Is Only Legal In Massachusetts and Maine But Not New Hampshire!
Fellow Bay State residents, before you head out of state for that beautiful “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire summer weekend getaway trip, maybe you’re planning to visit Lake Winnipesaukee this 4th of July for Independence Day or going up to North Conway to experience the beautiful mountains, well whatever your doing just make sure you leave the cannabis at home in Massachusetts. That is, of course, if you even decide to head up north this year.
As June kicks off, police in Hampstead, New Hampshire are reminding Massachusetts residents that cannabis is not legal in the Granit State saying, “As a public service announcement: It is illegal to possess recreational marijuana in New Hampshire, even if you only ‘smoke it in Massachusetts,'”. This came in a brief press release after Hampstead police arrested Selket Taylor, pictured above with his tongue sticking out of his mouth in his mugshot, who was charged on Monday for the use of an electronic device, a violation, transporting drugs and possession of drugs, both misdemeanors, and felony drug possession. Taylor, who has previously been arrested for a criminal mischief (vandalism) charge back in 2013, was seen by police Sgt. Robert Kelley driving his car while holding his cell phone up to his left ear.
The beautiful White Mountains in Lincoln, New Hampshire
So what is the penalty for having possession of this natural plant in New Hampshire? Signed June 21st by Governor Maggie Hassan, Senate Bill 498, first-time possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $350. We are unaware if Mr. Taylor has a prior criminal record. And while there are no operating dispensaries in the region yet, you are legally allowed to possess cannabis for medicinal purposes in the state. The only stipulation is that the patient must be authorized for the same qualifying medical conditions that are allowed under New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law.
Despite the harsh penalty, New Hampshire is slowly making progress and catching up with the rest of New England where you can have possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in Maine or 1 ounce in Massachusetts for personal use. Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have also made some progress by only enforcing civil penalties instead of a misdemeanor like in the Granite State. But luckily two weeks ago New Hampshire lawmakers in the Senate voted to decriminalize cannabis where Governor Chris Sununu responded by saying, “I want to thank the legislature for passing common sense marijuana reform. I look forward to signing House Bill 640 into law.”
Because of outdated laws like this we want to remind you how fortunate we are to be here in Massachusetts, the greatest state in the country. So as you start to plan out this year’s summer vacation trip you might want to consider heading out to western Massachusetts to the Berkshires instead of having to worry about anyone or anything interrupt what is supposed to be your time to relax and enjoy yourself. And don’t get us wrong, we love going up to New Hampshire at least once or twice during the summer but sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.