Do you support legislation that would reduce the penalty for a first-time drug offense to a misdemeanor?

Jan 13, 2018

In 2018, New Hampshire lawmakers will consider HB 1678, a bill that would reduce the penalty for first-offense drug possession charges to a misdemeanor. In the case of repeat offenders, the sentencing court may decide whether to sentence them to a misdemeanor or a felony.

Do you support legislation that would send parole violators who are drug addicts into rehab instead of back to jail?

Dec 18, 2017
parole and drug rehab

A bill currently being considered by the NH Legislature, HB 143, would give the adult parole board the option of suspending the jail sentence of someone who violated their parole, if he or she “enters and successfully completes a residential or intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program deemed acceptable by the board.”

Current policy on parole violations

Currently, there is a standard minimum jail sentence of 90 days for violating parole. The parole board is allowed to make an exception to that rule under certain circumstances:

Using immigration checkpoints for drug searches?

Dec 13, 2017
drug sniffing dog enforcement search

The New Hampshire branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit that challenges the legality of drug arrests that were made during checkpoints on Interstate 93 in Woodstock near the border with Canada.

A mix of immigration and drug enforcement

This summer U.S. Customs and Border Protection collaborated with New Hampshire state and local police to search cars at a checkpoint about 90 miles from the Canadian border.

New marijuana law in effect

Sep 18, 2017
marijuana decriminalization

New Hampshire will now treat possession of three-quarters of an ounce or less of marijuana as a violation, similar to a speeding ticket.  

The new law went into effect this weekend, making New Hampshire the 22nd state to end jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

A victory for marijuana law reform

Supporters of the law argue that marijuana is not as harmful as other drugs or even alcohol, so it makes sense to lessen penalties for marijuana possession.

Prison visit restrictions aimed at curbing drug abuse

Sep 01, 2017

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Department of Corrections implemented a new policy that limits prisoners and visitors from hugging for more than three seconds. The prison system also eliminated board games and vending machines from prison visiting rooms. The changes followed 2015 policies that saw greeting cards and drawings prohibited.

The rules were designed to make it more difficult for visitors to smuggle drugs to inmates.

NH sues over OxyContin marketing

Aug 10, 2017
oxycontin

The New Hampshire Attorney General is suing the manufacturer of OxyContin for deceptive marketing.

According to the court filing, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, violated New Hampshire law by:

More state funding for drug treatment?

Aug 08, 2017
drug addiction treatment funding

Treatment for drug addiction is expensive. For some addicts, private insurance plans will cover all or part of the cost. New Hampshire residents covered under the state’s Medicaid expansion can also get treatment paid for, while more limited benefits are available to standard Medicaid patients.

However, uninsured addicts can still be left struggling to pay for treatment, and even those who are covered can have difficulty finding space in residential or intensive outpatient treatment centers, where demand far exceeds capacity.

NH has fewer at-risk youth

Jul 28, 2017
young adults

According to a new report from WalletHub, New Hampshire ranks 49th among states for the percentage of youth at risk of negative outcomes such as poverty, violence, and health problems. The report defined “youth” as residents age eighteen through twenty-four. 

The report examined ten factors, such as homelessness and obesity.

New Hampshire scored particularly well for the percentage of youth attending school or working.

Sununu signs drug enforcement bill

Jul 15, 2017
drug enforcement

Gov. Chris Sununu has signed a bill to authorize more funding and state troopers to fight drug trafficking.

The bill, SB 131, sailed through the House and Senate with large majority votes. It sends $2.1 million to the state police and forensics lab and $2.4 million to local law enforcement grants. The money must be spent on five new state troopers and other substance abuse enforcement efforts, particularly on the state's borders. 

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