Majority support dropping marijuana possession charges to a violation - 410 participants, 1,013 responses

May 31, 2016

On June 1, the New Hampshire House and Senate adopted SB 498, a bill that allows—but does not require—courts to treat possession of 1/4 ounce or less of marijuana as a violation. Leading up to the vote, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members on May 31, posting the question, “Do you support SB 498, which allows some marijuana possession charges to be dropped to a violation?”

“Do you support SB 498, which allows some marijuana possession charges to be dropped to a violation?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 66% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 34% of participants—a higher than usual percentage—engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 1,013 responses from 410 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: The majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 83%, supported dropping some marijuana possession charges to a violation.  

  • “It’s really sad that law makers don't see that marijuana is better medicine than the opioids that are killing the youth of today. Pass the law to protect the next generation before they are all gone.”
  • “Yes, it is a start. We have lost the drug war, we have crowded prisons for non-violent offenses, and taxpayers [have spent] billions fighting a losing battle.”
  • “I support full legalization, so any interim step on that path is a good one as far as I'm concerned.”

No: A minority, at 17% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, opposed dropping some marijuana possession charges to a violation.  

  • “It should be a crime to have marijuana with the exception of medical.”
  • “This bill will pass, but some day somehow the state of New Hampshire will be sorry for letting that happen. Crime will increase, and motor vehicle accidents will rise up to the roof.”
  • “We are in the middle of a drug crisis and you want to talk about removing the laws?”

Other: As noted above, a substantial 34% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Arguing for the legalization of marijuana: “I support legal recreational use for adults. Anything less is an ignorant violation of rights.”
  • Discussing the possible revenue from a legalization bill: “Legalize and tax it like Colorado does. Think of the millions the state would make."Expressing concern regarding public health: “Smoking marijuana is worse than cigarettes on overall pulmonary function.”
  • Expressing concern regarding public health: “Smoking marijuana is worse than cigarettes on overall pulmonary function.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you support SB 498, which allows some marijuana possession charges to be dropped to a violation? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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