Marijuana is no longer the fear inducing gateway drug of years past. In fact, there has been a growing movement across the United States to legalize or decriminalize the drug. This has led to a number of changes in state laws, with many states legalizing it for medical or recreational use. Despite these changes, marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
Federal Marijuana Law
Under federal law, possession of marijuana is still considered a criminal offense. Simply put, it’s illegal. Specifically, under 21 U.S.C. § 844, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally possess any amount of marijuana. This includes both possession for personal use, as well as possession with the intent to distribute.
Similarly, in the District of Columbia, possession of marijuana is illegal under D.C. Code § 48–904.01(d)(1). This law prohibits the possession of any amount of marijuana for personal use.
However, in recent years, there have been efforts to provide pardons for individuals who have been convicted of marijuana offenses. This includes pardons for prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana under 21 U.S.C. § 844 or D.C. Code § 48–904.01(d)(1).
What This Means to the People of New Hampshire
Well, first of all, it’s important to understand that New Hampshire is not directly impacted by these federal and D.C. laws. However, this issue is still relevant to people in New Hampshire because it is related to the movement around the drug.
In New Hampshire, marijuana possession is still illegal under state law. In fact, it’s the only state in New England where marijuana remains illegal. Possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce is considered a violation and carries a fine of up to $100. Possession of larger amounts can result in more serious penalties, including potential jail time.
However, there have been efforts in recent years to legalize or decriminalize marijuana in New Hampshire. In 2021, a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would have legalized the possession and cultivation of up to six plants for personal use. However, the bill ultimately failed to pass. Despite this setback, there is still a strong push for marijuana legalization and decriminalization in our great state. And as this movement gains momentum across the country, it’s possible that we could see changes to federal law as well.
In the meantime, if you have been convicted of a marijuana offense in the past, it’s worth exploring your options for obtaining a pardon. While pardons are not available to everyone, they can provide a way for some individuals to clear their criminal records and move on from their past mistakes.
The issue of pardons for prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana under 21 U.S.C. § 844 or D.C. Code § 48–904.01(d)(1) is an important one that speaks to a larger movement towards marijuana legalization and decriminalization.
If you have a past marijuana conviction of charge on your record, get in touch with our experienced New Hampshire criminal defense team to learn how we might be able to apply this new pardon to your case. Unfortunately, keeping these offenses on your record can limit your job prospects and impact your quality of life.