Primary Voters in New Hampshire Want Drug Decriminalization
According to a survey of New Hampshire primary voters, many voters support the decriminalization of drugs, meaning that “drug use, and its associated domains, ought to be handled through public health rather than criminal justice efforts” (Siegel, 2016).
The poll results concluded that 73 percent of these voters support the dismissal of current mandatory minimum sentences for individuals charged with nonviolent drug offenses. In addition, “half of all Republican voters, and 68 percent of Independents . . . believe people caught with a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use should be evaluated for drug problems” (Siegel, 2016). These findings echo the nationwide consensus that the country’s “War on Drugs” has not been successful.
Overdose deaths in the United States have increased 400 percent from 1999 to 2014, and New Hampshire is one of five states that has struggled with steadily rising opioid-related deaths (Siegel, 2016). While 66 percent of primary voters in New Hampshire stated that their state’s drug laws are “too harsh,” 37 percent admitted that they or someone they know has been involved in heroin abuse or overdose, or prescription drug abuse (Siegel, 2016).
Siegel, Z. (2016). New Hampshire voters support drug decriminalization. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/new-hampshire-voters-support-drug-decriminalization