CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire won’t join neighboring Maine and Massachusetts in decriminalizing possession of small amounts marijuana after the Senate rejected what it called a deeply flawed proposal removing criminal penalties for possession of up to a quarter ounce of the drug.

Sen. Donna Soucy, a Manchester Democrat, said Thursday the bill makes restrictions on marijuana possession more lenient than alcohol or tobacco. There are no age parameters in the House-passed bill, so technically children could use the drug. She also said the penalties don’t ramp up for minors who are repeat offenders.

A bill prohibiting the classification of hemp as a controlled substance to be grown for the industrial use of its fibers and seed oil was retained to be studied further.


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