In today’s video founding partner Devens Hamlen talks again about heroin addiction in Maine. Recently the Governor of Maine has proposed a bill that would limit the amount of opioids that doctors can proscribe. Hamlen’s take on the matter is that doctors know more about medicine than legislators, and this proposed approach is misguided.
Watch the video to learn more.
If you need our help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207) 221-6363.
Unfortunately, very often people with addiction or mental health issues are winding up in jail instead of in treatment. At H&H Law Center we see it all the time, someone with a serious mental issue acts in a way that they would ordinarily not act, and ends up being convicted of a crime and serves time. In Maine we see this come up time and time again with heroin addiction. The problem with that approach is clear, jails simply aren’t equipped to handle the underlying causes of the behavior, the root cause isn’t treated. In the state of Maine, and all over the country, we need to take a closer look at how we are treating, both socially and medically, these people with sometimes debilitating psychological problems. We need to ask ourselves, are we treating them with the compassion with which we would want to be treated, or our children, or our friends?
Watch the video to see Devens Hamlen’s take on the issue.
If you need help, please email us at email@example.com or call (207) 221-6363.
Heroin in Maine: Felony or Misdemeanor?
There is an interesting legal ambiguity right now in the state of Maine regarding heroin. For a long time the possession of heroin was a felony charge, and as such carried all the implications a felony conviction could carry. As we have talked about before, felony convictions can have lifelong consequences. A few months ago the Maine legislature passed a law reducing the punishment for the possession of a small amount of heroin from a felony to a misdemeanor. However, because of the timing of the bill at the end of the legislative session, currently both laws are on the books.
Watch the video to learn more.
When is it OK to make someone a criminal if the criminal act was an accident? So called “strict liability crimes” (where the State doesn’t have to prove you meant to commit the crime) are everywhere from driving offenses to statutory rape. When we punish people, is it OK to lock them up for their mistakes instead instead of true malicious acts?
Vice: “If You Accidentally Break the Law, Are You a Criminal?”
Marijuana and Alcohol are very different drugs, yet when it comes to an OUI charge, some want to treat them the same. Testing for the presence of THC in the blood stream as a way to help build the State’s case against a person accused of driving impaired is problematic. Even if we assume it is possible to determine impairment of some kind at some time based upon the level of THC in the blood, how can we possibly determine marijuana induced impairment at the time of driving?
Bangor Daily News: “Group splits on how Maine would define pot users’ OUI” (12/15/2015)
Portland Maine Lawyers Discuss Treatment Versus Jail
The solution to the drug problem in this country is not locking up addicts. That is something we believe very strongly.
The goal should be treatment and rehabilitation, this is the only effective and compassionate approach to our nation’s drug problem. If you live in Maine, and you have a friend or a family member who has had contact with the police because of drug problems, we really encourage you to find a lawyer that may be able to help steer him or her away from jail and towards treatment. In the long run, that will be best for everyone. Best for the person struggling with addiction, best for the community, and best for the family.
In today’s video, both founding partners Merritt Heminway and Devens Hamlen talk about the problem.