Activists, State Legislator Smoke Cannabis at NH State House Front Door

Dylan Gingues and Kyle Tasker

Dylan Gingues and NH state rep Kyle Tasker with a big jar of primo cannabis outside the State House.

For the sixth consecutive year, activists smoked cannabis out in front of the New Hampshire state house on April 20th at 4:20pm, in heroic defiance of the state’s draconian drug laws that consider cannabis possession to be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

Dozens of New Hampshire’s inhabitants braved constant rain and cold to come out for the epic event, which also featured state representative Kyle Tasker toking up.  Tasker later said in an interview exclusive to Free Keene, “The message sent by law enforcement and heard loud and clear by protesters was police have more important things to do than harass otherwise law abiding citizens over marijuana possession and public use even when it was clear there were amounts present at the protest that could be charged as a felony. The New Hampshire senate needs to consider how productive it is to keep an unenforced, indeed nearly unenforceable law on the books with which the public disagrees.”

No one has ever been arrested at these events despite mass civil disobedience of the cannabis possession laws taking place right outside the state house’s front doors. In fact, obvious police presence was near-zero this year, with a lone state trooper sitting across the street idling in his cruiser for a short time. In previous years, troopers have stood inside the state house windows, watching with crossed arms. This year, nothing!

Rich Paul kicked off the ceremony with his traditional invocation and a short speech. Afterwards the megaphone was open to anyone with something to say, and several attendees spoke out on various subjects. See the raw video here, courtesy Garret Ean. Here’s an edited clip of the beginning of the event:

Even mainstream media is speculating that cannabis decrim may pass in NH this year. 80% of the house voted for decrim already and now it awaits its turn in the NH senate. However, the state’s governor, Maggie Hassan has promised to veto it. This, despite the fact that she admitted to having used it when she was younger. Do you think Maggie would be better off today had she gotten a misdemeanor on her record had she been caught with her pot in her college days?

Unless Maggie finds her conscience, the senate would have to pass cannabis decrim with a veto-proof margin (as did the house – solidly) to protect the legislation from her veto. Now is a good time to contact “your” state senator and talk to them about how they feel about decriminalizing cannabis.

The next event for 2016 is already on facebook.

Concord Monitor Feature Article on Free State Project’s Future

Free State ProjectThe liberty movement in other states don’t get a fraction of the news coverage that Free State Project participants do. That’s because they aren’t anywhere near as relevant. The FSP is a major threat to the status quo, and the press its members receive is proof. Here’s the latest feature piece from the Concord Monitor focusing on the future of the FSP, thanks to the Monitor’s Nick Reed: (more…)

The Sriracha Guy is Moving to NH in March for Free State Project

Randy Clemens

Randy Clemens

The author of the Sriracha Cookbooks, Randy Clemens says in a recent blog post that he’s been a libertarian for a long time and is leaving California and move to New Hampshire at the end of March as part of the Free State Project. He’s FSP signer #16,081 and hopefully we’ll see more people signing up and quickly making the move, rather than waiting until the official move is triggered at 20,000 signers.

When more people who love liberty move to New Hampshire, we solidify the position as the obvious destination for those who want to be more free. Success breeds success. If freedom matters to you, then please join Randy, and as of now more than 16,000 others like you and sign the Free State Project’s Statement of Intent. Then, start planning your move to join the fun. Still not sure? Here are 101 reasons to move to New Hampshire.

Here’s Randy’s blog post explaining why he’s making the move to New Hampshire.

VICE Reports on Liberty Forum 2015

VICEVICE has previously reported on the Free State Project in other pieces on nanobreweries and Rich Paul’s heroic stand for cannabis freedom. Now, VICE moves on to Liberty Forum, the FSP’s yearly hotel convention that attracts hundreds from around the globe.

It’s good coverage, focusing on the variety of interesting characters and opinions found at the annual gathering. Will we see VICE at Porcfest 2015?

Here’s the text of the full piece: (more…)

Major Print Coverage of Free State Project’s 2015 Liberty Forum

Free State ProjectOver 560 attendees from around the world came to the eighth annual 2015 New Hampshire Liberty Forum over the weekend in Manchester at the Radisson. Some of those attendees included the media. Here are some major stories published in the Union Leader and the Concord Monitor about the event:

Union Leader:
“Free State Project Gathers in Manchester”

“It’s a Match: Free Staters and Bitcoin”

Concord Monitor:
“For liberty-minded reps, House agenda is proof N.H. needs Free Staters”

Liberty Forum 2015 – Happening in Manchester All Weekend!

Free State ProjectThe Free State Project‘s yearly convention, the NH Liberty Forum, has begun!  Now in its eighth year, the Liberty Forum attracts hundreds of liberty-loving people from around the world to network, see great speakers, and socialize.  The event features dozens of speakers both from New Hampshire and elsewhere, banquet dinners, and parties both in and out of the hotel. The fun started today with a tour of the state house in Concord and tomorrow the convention events begin in earnest at Manchester’s Radisson hotel, continuing through Sunday morning. You can see the schedule and get further details here on the NH Liberty Forum website.

The largest newspaper in NH is the Union Leader.  The editorial page editor, Drew Cline, promoted the event today in a glowing article that affirmed that the Free State Project will help make New Hampshire even more awesome.  Check it out:

Last year, the Free State Project’s Liberty Forum, held at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua, felt a little crowded. About 350 people attended, according to organizers. Today, the event kicks off in a bigger venue, the Radisson in downtown Manchester. Organizers expect about 500 attendees. Roughly half of them will be “liberty lovers” who do not live in New Hampshire. Yet.

 

Some of the out-of-staters showed up last weekend to participate in Tour New Hampshire, a series of self-guided tours throughout the week offered by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, a separate organization not part of the Free State Project. That there is a tour of New Hampshire organized by locals to cater to Free Staters is an indication of the group’s increasing clout. (more…)