I had a phone call with Drug Policy Alliance today. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share this info, but I found it shocking and wanted to share.
The opinion of DPA is basically that NH is messing up criminal justice reform for the rest of the country. Aside from the fact that we are the last in New England not to have decriminalized cannabis, there is this battle going on between Governor Maggie Hassan and Senator Kelly Ayotte to prove which woman is the “toughest” on drugs/crime. Their behavior is seen nationally as being reflective of the views of the voters, when it’s not.
In DC, Ayotte is currently trying to raise mandatory minimum sentences. Here at home, Hassan is standing in the way of cannabis decriminalization and ensuring a very difficult medical cannabis program while mandating we pass additional funding so the police can arrest more people for a disease. The effort in NH to kowtow to the police lobby has resulted in a ripple effect across the United States and is severely limiting drug policy reform in every other state.
I think you, the reader and voter, know that the War on Drugs has failed. I don’t know which way you should vote this fall, and I don’t really care. What’s important today is that you write your NH reps and let them know that we’ve had enough of the stupid War on Drugs, that it isn’t working, and that it’s time to look to new solutions. We’re ruining it for everyone else.
The people who claim to represent us are scrambling for support from the police lobby, even if it means sending our children to prison in the process. Only in NH, it seems, can a homeless man go to jail for holding a joint — and never leave, having overdosed on fentanyl inside the jail.
They can’t even keep the drugs out of the prisons — what good does it do to send an addict there? Stand up for the people you love and demand treatment instead of punishment. Email or call your rep today.
Hillsborough District 12
About the author: Amanda Bouldin is a single mom living in Manchester. She founded Shire Sharing in 2011, a nonprofit that feeds the needy during Thanksgiving, to honor her late father. Shire Sharing fed over 2,000 NH residents in 2015. She was elected in 2014 as a state rep from Manchester’s Ward 5, passing key legislation related to the opioid epidemic.
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