New Hampshire is not a state with a reputation for being a hotbed of criminal activity. If anything, the opposite is true. Federal law enforcement agencies have historically connected drug availability and offenses in New Hampshire with interstate trafficking and drug trends in neighboring states.
State law enforcement agencies and federal organizations are on the lookout for people making one of the most basic mistakes while driving through New England. Bringing the wrong things from a trip out of state could have criminal consequences.
Specifically, crossing state lines with a controlled or prohibited drug could lead to trafficking allegations if you bring that drug back with you to New Hampshire.
Crossing state lines can make the issue a federal one
When people think of trafficking, they usually think of someone selling drugs and turning a tidy profit. While it is certainly true that federal and state prosecutors can pursue trafficking charges against people who have previously profited off of the sale of drugs, there does not have to be any provable financial gain for someone to face trafficking charges.
Prosecutors only need to show that someone crossed state lines while in possession of a controlled substance or a federally prohibited drug. Even if the drug in question was legal where you bought it, as might be the case if you buy some marijuana in Massachusetts, it becomes illegal when you cross state lines.
Both the act of traveling from state to state with the drug and the act of possessing it in New Hampshire could run afoul of drug laws. Depending on who catches you, you could find yourself facing either state or federal charges.
Drug trafficking carries more serious consequences than possession
Simple possession charges are among the most common drug offenses prosecuted in New Hampshire, and even possession of a controlled substance could be a felony. However, trafficking is a far more serious accusation with more significant penalties as well.
Trafficking allegations could result not only in significant criminal sentences but also a permanent issue on your criminal record that reduces your opportunities for years to come. Understanding when you might face drug trafficking charges could help you make better decisions when you travel out of New Hampshire.