Road powers closer for Fish & Game officers
Senate Bill 389 would help small communities, particularly those in the North Country with part-time police forces, bill supporters said.
“Fish and Game should be able to do this to help our towns and maybe prevent that drunken driver from going down that road and hurting somebody,” Rep. Joe Duarte, R-Candia, said. “Most municipalities and the State Police support this.”
Fish and Game officers are paid from hunting and fishing license fees.
Bill opponents said the Fish and Game fund is not keeping up with department expenses now; adding traffic enforcement would take officers away from their primary duties and further drain the agency’s resources.
Other opponents were concerned if the Fish and Game officers enforce motor vehicle laws, the cash-strapped department could claim some highway fund money to help pay officers’ salaries.
The House defeated an attempt to add a provision allowing patients qualified under the state’s new medical marijuana program to grow their own pot.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Donald Wright, R-Tuftonboro, said: “This would give patients the safe access (to marijuana) they need now, not two or three years from now. This would send the message we care to those people we care for dearly and we won’t let them down.”