New Hampshire implemented a medical cannabis program in 2013 and decriminalized cannabis possession in 2017. Although nearly three in four Granite State voters support legalizing cannabis, the New Hampshire Senate voted down a bill in April 2022 to make it legal for adults 21 or older to possess and grow small amounts of cannabis.
New Hampshire Medical Cannabis Program
The New Hampshire Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP) was established in 2013 with the passage of legislation that established exemptions from criminal penalties for the therapeutic use of cannabis for qualifying medical conditions. The TCP created a confidential registry list of qualifying patients, caregivers, and certifying medical providers. Registry ID cards allow patients and caregivers to purchase cannabis at one of the state’s licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs).
New Hampshire lawmakers decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis in New Hampshire in 2017. Three-fourths of an ounce or less of cannabis flower was reduced from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100. However, possession of over three-fourths of an ounce is still a misdemeanor and is punishable by one year in jail and a fine of up to $350.
The possession of larger amounts of cannabis is a felony crime and is considered an intent to sell. Punishment can range from three to seven years of incarceration and a fine of $25,000 to $300,000. Greater amounts of cannabis in possession and subsequent offenses carry more severe penalties.
New Hampshire laws and penalties for cannabis possession are summarized here. Information courtesy of the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
How Does New Hampshire Define a Cannabis DUI?
In New Hampshire, a person is guilty of a cannabis DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition. The law specifies that a person is in an intoxicated condition when they are under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, a controlled substance, a drug, or any combination thereof.
If you are a medical cannabis patient or cannabis consumer in New Hampshire, it’s essential to know that cannabis impairs driving. The best advice is don’t drive high.
Furthermore, even if you last consumed cannabis days or even weeks ago, THC can show up positive on drug tests and be used against you in the event of a cannabis DUI charge. Unlike alcohol, there is no connection between a person’s present level of impairment and THC levels in the body.
Does Having a Medical Card Protect Me From a Cannabis DUI in New Hampshire?
No. Even if you have a TCP medical cannabis registry card, you can still get a cannabis DUI charge in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire law requires applicants for a qualifying patient registry identification card must sign an attestation that they will not be under the influence of therapeutic cannabis while operating a motor vehicle.
How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in New Hampshire
A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in New Hampshire is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.
Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.
Considering that New Hampshire has no minimum THC threshold for a cannabis DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face severe risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. If you’re a medical or recreational cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, consider what a reepher membership offers.