New Hampshire State Representative Max Abramson

State Representative Max Abramson’s office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 3/1/2019 6:33:12 PM.

What district of New Hampshire do you represent?

Rockingham 20

Briefly, how would you describe the opioid crisis in your state?

It's an epidemic that has killed hundreds and ruined thousands of lives.

What are the two or three most significant bills that have been introduced in your chamber to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state?

HB373, "Jessie McCassies Law," Operation Granite Hammer, HB 481 legalization of marijuana

What was your involvement, if any, in those bills (e.g., introduction, advocacy, vote pledge)?

I'm the prime sponsor of HB 373, introducing the bill to my own committee. I spoke on the floor against Operation Granite Hammer, since it was very expensive and has only been used to go after marijuana users.

Have any of the bills passed? If not, why?

Jessie McCassie's Law received the support of a minority of members of the committee, but has not yet gone before the full House. HB 481 was 10-9 in favor in the Criminal Justice Committee, and passed the House on Thursday by 209-147.

What was the most memorable experience you had while learning about the opioid crisis in your state?

I've lost five friends in the last five years. The worst was the loss of Kelly Deyo who died surrounded by 19 different bottles of prescription drugs. Aaron Smith was 21 when he died, and he was a good kid.

If you had a magic wand that allowed you to pass any legislation you wanted in order to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state, what would that legislation look like?

That depends how magical the wand is. If we're just talking Harry Potter, I'd say allowing unfettered medical use of marijuana or any other natural plant. If we're talking Gandalf, open access to treatment, prevention, recovery support, employment support, faith based programs, and every treatment option that's been shown to work for those seeking it.

Are there any additional thoughts you would like to share?

A dozen western European countries have changed from using prisons to offering treatment, prevention, and recovery support.