ACLU keeping close eye on planned border checkpoints

Jun 01, 2018
border patrol

Federal border patrol officials are planning five checkpoints in New Hampshire this summer. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Hampshire is monitoring the checkpoints to ensure they do not violate the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

At highway checkpoints, border patrol agents can ask all travelers if they are in the United States legally. Travelers do not have to answer, but if they refuse, border patrol agents may temporarily detain them and try to determine their status.

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.

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. 

Increased drug enforcement on NH borders?

Mar 25, 2017
border drug enforcement

Earlier this week, the New Hampshire Senate voted in favor of SB 131, a bill that would increase funding for law enforcement efforts to combat the drug crisis, particularly at the state’s borders.

The bill uses $1.5 million out of an estimated $80 million surplus to fund hiring five new state police officers, to be assigned full-time to a new cross border drug interdiction program.

Special session to fund Operation Granite Hammer

Jun 16, 2016

On Thursday, June 16 the New Hampshire Legislature convened a special session to authorize $1.5 million in grants for local law enforcement to fight heroin trafficking, as part of Operation Granite Hammer.

Special session coming on drug enforcement

Jun 03, 2016

House Speaker Shawn Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morse have agreed to hold a special legislative session June 16 to vote on a drug enforcement bill.

The New Hampshire Legislature had its last scheduled voting day on Wednesday, June 1. 

SB 485, a bill that would have set up $1.5 million in grants for law enforcement to combat opioid abuse, failed that day by just one vote.  

Attorney General charges drug dealer for overdose death

May 25, 2016

Attorney General Joe Foster announced in December that his office was going to aggressively pursue holding drug dealers legally responsible for overdoses. The charge is called “death resulting” and it is less serious than a murder charge, however it could still result in life in prison. In concurrence with this new effort, the state has instituted a police training program beginning this summer, which will teach officers to treat overdoses like crime scenes.

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