Harden Law Offices

104 Main Street, Lancaster, NH 03584 603.788.2080
2 Cottage Street, Littleton, NH 03561 603.444.2084
199 Heater Road, Lebanon, NH 03766 603.448.3737

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

State Marijuana Policy


VIDEO: It is everywhere except in NH State Trooper's Cruisers and Body Cam? Shame!

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I have been practicing law for over 20 years.  I have exclusively handled criminal cases for almost 20 years.  In all those years and through those thousands of cases, video is still the exception not the rule. 

I was reading about Lane Lesko (the male that left Lake Umbagog) who was shot in Peterborough on Route 136.

It is always a tragedy when a young person dies. I am sorry for his family's loss.  I do not mean to minimize the tragedy, but I am troubled by a line in the WMUR  story that says the man's mother was "told that none of the officers involved were wearing body cameras and that the patrol cars with cameras were not in position to videotape the scene."  Mother of man killed by New Hampshire police wants answers

There is no reason to ever have police cruisers and officers involved in any stop or detention without video.  It is cheap, easy to use and protects all involved from false allegations.  In 2016 you should expect that everything you are doing in public is being recorded.  There are cameras in convenience stores, fast food restaurants, super markets, banks, stores and in virtually all cell phones.  My 5 year old expects that he is being videoed in every restaurant and points out the cameras and images.

Why do the NH State Police resist using video?  Are they hiding something?  It is time for NH State Police to add video equipment.

The fleet of NH State cruisers appears to be relatively new.  The cruisers seem to get replaced regularly.  These new cruisers also appear to have special police features for high speed pursuits, special handling and enhanced frames.  They need to be mandated to record and video stops, detentions and arrests.  There are no reasons against and many reasons to demand video recordings.

Simply put, there is no reason to allow NH State Police to stop, detain and arrest without any video records being created.  It is time to demand proof and force that evidence be preserved.  The mother of Lane Lesko wants answers and so should every citizen in NH.

I practice in a very rural, poor section of Northern NH.  I am proud to say that there are many towns in my area that use cruiser cameras and body cameras. The argument that it is too costly is wrong. These northern towns (Littleton, Haverhill, Berlin, Lancaster, Lebanon) are not as well-funded as the NH State police, yet they can afford video. In my experience, videos help reduce arguments about what was said, done or not done. The videos show the facts, reduce court time and result in pleas or cases being dropped. The videos help the honest officers and out the undesirable. The videos help the innocent go free and convict the guilty.

It is time for video to be mandated.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Remain Silent

Friday, June 10, 2016

Canada: Rising Popularity Of Medical Cannabis Among Veterans Associated With Declining Opioid Use

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According to the Globe and Mail Veteran's Affairs Canada has statistics that show opiate requests are down as cannabis requests have climbed.

It is interesting that opiate prescription requests are down while rising rates of cannabis are being seen in Canadian veterans.  The numbers show a decrease of 30 percent for bezodiazepines between 2012 and 2016.  Opiates decreased 17% during the same period.  Prescription cannabis has gone from 100 to over 1,700.

The data set is too small to establish cause and effect, but the trend may be one way to reduce the growing opiate problems in NH and the United States.

Canadian Study of veterans drug use.
Prior assessments from the United States report that incidences of opioid-related addiction <http://norml.org/news/2016/04/28/study-opioid-abuse-rates-lower-in-medical-cannabis-states> , abuse <http://norml.org/news/2015/07/16/study-medical-cannabis-access-associated-with-reduced-opioid-abuse> , andmortality <http://norml.org/news/2014/08/28/study-state-medical-marijuana-laws-associated-with-lower-rates-of-opiate-induced-fatalities>  are significantly lower in jurisdictions that permit medicinal cannabis access as compared to those states that do not.