BY: Citizens Count
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.
Drugs are coming in from Massachusetts
Bill supporters argued more law enforcement funding was necessary to cut off the supply of heroin and other opioids.
“This important legislation will help to cut off the flow of heroin, fentanyl and other deadly drugs that are poisoning Granite Staters every day. We continue to hear stories of arrests made at the Massachusetts border for selling fentanyl to dealers in New Hampshire. A cross border drug interdiction program will add the funds necessary to continue fighting this deadly epidemic.”
- Sen. Jeb Bradley, prime sponsor of SB 131
Too much emphasis on enforcement?
There was a small but vocal minority that said the funding in SB 131 was likely to be used against low-level drug users, including marijuana users. They argued that spending on treatment, reducing demand for drugs, would be more effective.
“The state of New Hampshire at this point has squandered enough money to put every single person that they arrested through a treatment program and a large percentage of those people were small time users, they weren’t heroin dealers.”
Share your opinion on SB 131
When we asked our community about SB 131, most commenters opposed the bill. We presented all the comments we received at a hearing for SB 131. Click here to read a summary of what we presented.
Do you have an opinion on SB 131? Share your thoughts in the comments below.