N.H. Lawmakers Take Up Bills to Loosen Up Drug Laws

Apr 4, 2016

Both the New Hampshire House and Senate will be in session this week but with a pretty light agenda – only about 20 bills are on the docket in both chambers.

But lawmakers will still hold dozens of public hearings – some to look at loosening up the state’s drug laws and others to build them up.

On Tuesday Senate lawmakers will weigh in for the first time on a bill to decriminalize heroin residue found on used needles. Currently it’s a felony to possess a dirty syringe.

The aim of the bill is to allow people to turn in used needles for clean ones at designated places in hopes of preventing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

Check out NHPR's earlier coverage of this story.

The Senate will also consider a bill that would make the possession of half an ounce of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. A similar measure was killed in the Senate last legislative session.

Then on Wednesday Senate lawmakers will look at whether to toughen up prescribing rules from the board of medicine to the board of dentistry.

There will also be public hearings this week on repealing the state’s 25-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics and banning sexual-orientation conversion therapy for minors.