According to the Marijuana Policy Project‘s Matt Simon, the new compromised “decriminalization” bill discussed Tuesday at the state house isn’t going to change much of anything at all”.
On May 24th the senate met with the NH house to discuss a compromised cannabis “decriminalization” bill. The turnout for the meeting was very good, but the prohibitionist senators again stood in the way of real progress. This video contains the full press conference, the very short hearing, a recap by Matt Simon of MPP.org, and Rich Paul and I hounding a couple of prohibitionist police chiefs afterwards. Enjoy!
On Monday’s episode of Free Talk Live we went into detail about Rich Paul’s recent arrest in Salem, NH for possession of cannabis. We spent most of the last hour of the show discussing it. In short, a few weeks ago, Rich and a friend were heading back from dropping an activist at Boston airport and stopped off at a rest area once back in New Hampshire. While there, they smoked a joint before heading back out on the road. They were immediately pulled over before even leaving the rest area, as it turns out they had smoked up in the middle of an undercover police operation that was monitoring the rest area that day for heroin deals.
According to Rich, the police seemed disappointed they didn’t bust any heroin and would have been willing to issue them summonses and release them on the scene, but Rich’s passenger did not have ID on him, so they were taken back to the police station for booking. Ultimately they were released on PR bail and issued court dates. Both have been charged with Class A misdemeanors for possession, which means they could take this to a jury trial, unless the state reduces the charges to Class B.
If it does go in front of a jury, it will be the first time an NH liberty activist has gone to jury trial for simple possession. Rich is looking forward to his chance at a jury trial, especially since he is a minister of the Church of the Invisible Hand and considers cannabis to be a sacrament.
One big, and as-yet-unanswered question is whether the state will motion the court to impose Rich’s suspended sentence from his previous conviction for selling cannabis. Stay tuned here for the latest.
Manch Cops Unnecessarily Intimidate Innocent People in Search for Suspect
Late last night, a police manhunt began for a suspect who allegedly shot two Manchester police officers. Even after the man was found, police set up checkpoints, pointed guns at innocent motorists, and searched vehicles. Manchester liberty activist Carla Gericke posted this rundown to her facebook today:
This morning my Manchester neighborhood was locked down with a “shelter in place” warning as armed law enforcement officers roamed the streets, purportedly in search for a white man with long hair in a trench coat who shot two officers around 2AM. Both officers are in non-critical condition. One was shot in the calf, haven’t seen any reports about the other wound yet. I wish them a speedy recovery.
Helicopters whirred overhead for hours. Cars were searched. Schools were closed. Blocks were closed down. There were reports that houses were being searched. I contacted my attorney to understand my 4th amendment rights should I be approached to have my house searched. I put my dog in her crate downstairs as a precautionary measure to ensure she didn’t get shot if I refused unconstitutional entry to my home.
But here’s what I want to know. According to this NH1 report, the suspect was taken into custody at 6:55AM.
MORE THAN THREE HOURS BEFORE the “shelter in place” was lifted around 10:15AM (although I still had a helicopter overhead about 30 minutes ago).
WHY? What was the purpose of having a show of force with armed men roaming the streets IF THEY ALREADY HAD THE SUSPECT IN CUSTODY?
The only conclusion I can come to is they wanted to be on the streets. They wanted to scare ordinary people. Maybe they wanted to remind us of their militarized equipment, their BEARCAT, their guns.
Maybe they wanted people to forget about the beat down their compatriots gave a man a few days ago who was lying face down on a street with his arms outstretched?
A full inquiry should take place to explain to residents of the West Side why OUR lives should have been disrupted like this if we still live in a free and normal society. Please explain Mayor Ted Gatsas why this happened. It is unacceptable to treat ordinary law abiding citizens like pawns in these police state games.
The Free State Project migration of liberty activists to New Hampshire continues to be a topic of discussion in NH media, because we’re making an impact, unlike libertarians pretty much everywhere else in the world. Most libertarian groups never or rarely get press, but liberty activists in New Hampshire get coverage frequently.
Dan Eaton, also an in-studio guest and a state rep from Stoddard called Free Staters in the state house “obstructionist” and accused them of hiding their true political affiliations. He also insulted Keene’s Robin Hooders, calling us “rude” and suggested that we are un-civil. Eaton trotted out the claim, long since proven false, that Robin Hooders “harass” the parking enforcers. Gericke let this slander slide by with no response. Overall, Gericke did well in the interview and did defend independent media when Eaton accused us of “intimidating” senators with our video cameras from the NH senate gallery.
Free State Project President Carla Gericke Keynoting Keenevention 2014
Eaton and a caller accused Free Staters of hiding their true beliefs to get elected. While some people may not be being honest in politics, no one can accuse Keene libertarians of hiding. One caller did point out correctly that Free Staters are running as republicans and democrats because the ballot access for third parties in NH is very difficult and was made that way by the very same people who are complaining about the Free Staters “hiding”.
Eaton specifically attacked Free Keene and suggested that we somehow set up the topless open carry event from several years ago, which we didn’t – we just reported on it. Eaton (or maybe it was Union Leader’s Drew Cline who was also a guest on the show) also called for the FSP to purge its rolls of all anarchists and Carla did not respond. While I personally don’t identify with the term “anarchist”, as I am a voluntarist, I am pretty sure that Carla has referred to herself as an anarchist in the past. Is Carla now a “minarchist” (a supporter of small government) or is she also hiding her true beliefs?
Exchange host Laura Knoy has been made aware in the past that Keene’s Robin Hooders would be happy to appear on her show to address the lies told about us, and she’s never taken us up on it, instead allowing the slander to continue, interview after interview. Carla, despite knowing the truth about us, sits silently rather than defend the peaceful Robin Hooders that brought the Free State Project millions of dollars in good publicity internationally. Further, Carla even labels Keene activists as “shock jocks”. Is that a term only for those of us doing talk radio here or all the controversial activists?
Last night I went to Strange Brew Tavern in Manchester for their 200th bitcoin meetup. It is the longest running consecutive bitcoin meet up in the world — going for almost 4 years now.
People talked about mining ethereum and being dash masternodes — they talked about successful strategies for encouraging businesses and individuals to take cryptocurrencies as payment — and they talked about achieving more personal freedom in New Hampshire. I was impressed by the turnout. About 2 dozen or so people. A range of all types: gay and straight, techies, real estate people, media people, old, middle aged, and young mothers and their children. The group gets the whole back room in the tavern and received excellent service the whole night.
This year’s seventh annual Concord 420 celebration on the state house steps attracted approximately 100 hardcore attendees who faced possible misdemeanor charges for possession of cannabis as they smoked in defiance of prohibition on Wednesday April 20th at 4:20pm.
Here is a list of the scumbag senators who voted to continue the insane war on cannabis in NH and continue locking peaceful cannabis users in cages:
Sen. Regina Birdsell (r)
Sen. David Boutin (r)
Sen. Sharon Carson (r)
Sen. Sam Cataldo (r)
Sen. Gary Daniels (r)
Sen. Jeanie Forrester (r)
Sen. Gerald Little (r)
Sen. Chuck Morse (r)
Sen. Russell Prescott (r)
Sen. Nancy Stiles (r)
Sen. Lou D’Allesandro (d)
Sen. Andrew Hosmer (d)
Sen. Betty Laske (d)
Sen. Donna Soucy (d)