Substance abuse is currently one of the leading public health concerns in the state of New Hampshire. State Representative James Belanger has proposed House Bill 1603 (HB1603), which aims to establish a drug dealer registry in New Hampshire. This report assesses the potential and challenges of a drug dealer registry in New Hampshire. The research analyzes the current state of New Hampshire’s drug problem, previous attempts to pass a registry in the state, and offers a state-by-state analysis of similar registries in other states, providing comparative context for a New Hampshire registry.
Data drawn from interviews with 13 law enforcement officials and other states’ registry administrators, as well as evidence from drug dealing activities are used to assess the potential effectiveness, costs, and benefits of a registry in New Hampshire. The data from local law enforcement officials evaluates whether or not these officials would find the proposed drug dealer registry and its specific characteristics, such as the three-strike policy, to be effective or helpful in work combating drug crimes. Interviews with administrators in other states supplements a quantitative state-by-state analysis of similar registries, assessing their effectiveness, cost, and administrative structure. This report supplements HB1603 sponsored by State Representative James Belanger.