Chief Edwards offers a pragmatic answer to injustice:
Decriminalize Marijuana Possession.
Our state constitution demands that the punishment must fit the crime; however under current law being caught in possession of a pipe with as little as the burnt residue of marijuana therein is a criminal offence dooming the perpetrator to a lifetime of closed doors and lost opportunity.
One small mistake and the rest of your life is marginalized. The punishment does not fit the crime.
I spent most of my adult life enforcing the laws of our great state, but watching time and time again as good people had their lives upended by one small mistake has always gnawed at me. We also need to talk about the cost of an estimated 6.5 million dollars per year spent on enforcement added to our tax burden that does little to make us safer.
Almost 40 years ago the state of Maine (which borders our district), decriminalized small amounts of marijuana possession with no discernable impact on the quality of life there. It works there and it can work here.
Making possession of a small amount of marijuana a violation level offence on par with our "open container" laws would still allow law enforcement to police our public spaces without creating marginalized citizens.
Similar legislation has already passed the New Hampshire House of Representatives but failed to garner enough support in the Senate to make it to our governor's desk for signing. As the next state senator from District 4 I will support legislation to change this wrongheaded policy.