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Overdoses lead to serious drug charges against drug dealers

The Attorney General of New Hampshire has mounted an aggressive battle against drug dealers whose customers die of overdoses. Although the drug charges filed against alleged dealers are not as serious as a murder charge, it can potentially mean a life sentence for the defendant. According to critics, the problem with the beefed-up policy is that drug dealers in most instances are also addicts who need rehabilitative healthcare.

The Attorney General may possibly be the latest official nationwide who has gone off-message in proclaiming the worn-out, failed policies of the war on drugs. He has expressed that selling these substances to drug addicts is like selling poison, which in some cases could be seen as murder. The latest defendant to be charged with selling drugs while allegedly knowing that they were a life threat to his customers is a 27-year-old New Hampshire man.

Authorities accuse him of selling fentanyl to a woman who overdosed and died. The man is charged with a death resulting crime, which is just a notch below homicide. Critics and defense attorneys do not agree that clamping down on drug dealers, who may themselves be addicts, is the appropriate way to alleviate the crisis of hard drug use in the country. It appears that whenever the efforts of law enforcement officials were ratcheted up over the years, the crisis of runaway drug addiction has also increased in intensity.

Many government officials nationwide still do not appreciate that the mass incarceration of drug defendants on severe drug charges has only exacerbated the drug problem. Not only has the policy of mass incarceration in New Hampshire and all other states destroyed families, damaged the economy, and increased the welfare expenditures in each state, but the prisoners return from their sentences with a virtual diploma evidenced by new connections and better resources to resume their illegal activities. Officials may do better by adopting some of the dynamic and successful rehabilitation programs emerging throughout the country that are making notable strides in stemming drug addiction, which is the root of the problem.

Source:, "New Hampshire toughens charges against drug dealers", Kathleen Ronayne, May 24, 2016

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