In Concord this week, a bill that would make concealed carry of a gun legal without a license was heard by the state house criminal justice committee. It’s already passed the NH senate and if it makes it through the state house and governor it will make New Hampshire as free as its neighbor Vermont, in the area of gun freedom. The room was packed with supporters of freedom and also held a few fearmongering moms. Keene liberty activists spoke out in favor:
In a recent article, Christopher Cantwell calls out the recent major heroin ring bust in the Keene area and reveals, through simple economics, how it will likely make things worse.
Odds are, prices will go up, and junkies will have to steal and rob even more in order to fund their habit. As Cantwell points out, the dopers won’t quit just because their supplier disappears. All Keene police have done is create a business opportunity for the entrepreneur willing to take some risk. Plus, those stepping in to fill the demand in the market may provide product of questionable and even dangerous quality.
In a terrible update to an already awful story, the DEA has arrested the owners of Phat Stuff, the popular local head shop on Main Street that was raided in May of 2014. Panos and Katie Eliopoulos were arrested (allegedly in front of their kids) in February and have been charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Offer Drug Paraphernalia for Sale” and one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering”. You can read the short, three page indictment here.
The paraphernalia sales charge carries up to three years in prison and an unspecified fine and the money laundering charge carries up to twenty years in prison, an up to $500,000 fine, and an additional fine relating to the value of the property involved.
Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall that the raid nearly destroyed their business and left them penniless as the federal gangsters cleaned out their bank account and even stole their truck. Oh, and don’t forget the DEA’s theft of an entire box-truckload of store merchandise – probably $100,000 in inventory, which they’ll likely never get back, even if they’re found not guilty. The raid was done with the assistance of Keene police, who were protecting and serving their federal masters, not the people of this community. In an ideal world, the Keene police would have arrested the DEA agents and charged them with armed robbery. You can watch the 17-minute video of the raid, cut down from over four hours of raw footage here.
The indictment was issued on February 11th and the arrests appear to have occurred a week later on February 18th, according to the bail paperwork. Bail conditions for Panos (and presumably Katie, though I haven’t seen her bail paperwork) include him submitting to search anytime police want, submit to urine testing, and give up any weapons, among other conditions.
Trial is currently slated for two weeks in federal court in Concord beginning on April 21st, 2015 at 9:30am. The Eliopouloses are represented by attorney Charles Keefe. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.
With a solid veto-proof margin, the New Hampshire house of representatives overwhelmingly passed cannabis decriminalization today, 297-67, according to state rep Kyle Tasker. That’s a significant increase over 2014’s 215-92 vote on decrim. 297 votes is 38% higher than last year’s 215. A total of 74.25% of the house’s 400 members voted for the bill and 16.75% voted against. That leaves 9% who did not vote. Of those who voted, over 81% voted in favor of decrim.
If this isn’t a mandate, I don’t know what is. Now the bill moves on to the senate, where it died last time. However, it’s a new senate and a new year. With evidence of cannabis legalization’s success mounting, and now even Washington DC legalizing, politicians in NH are finding a little backbone. Sadly, they are late to the party – the other New England states have decriminalized cannabis, some more recently, but Maine as far back as the 1970s.
Maybe the overwhelming support for decrim in this house vote will transfer to the senate, or maybe not. If it passes the senate, unless governor Maggie Hassan finds her conscience, they’ll have to pass this with a 2/3rds veto-proof margin in order to stop Hassan from striking this much-needed legislation down.
In related news, last week the state house voted to add more conditions to the medical cannabis statutes. That also now goes to the senate.
On this week’s episode two of Monadnock Showdown, hosts Parker Springfield and Judy Fine confront how the system can make incidents of minor domestic violence into total nightmares.
His character seems kind so I’d have liked to have known if guest Patrick Michelson was drinking alcohol the night of the incident where after 35 years of a violence-free relationship, he threw a laundry basket and grabbed his wife by the shoulders. For this act, he ended up pleading guilty to a felony assault charge. Interestingly, Michelson says that in hindsight he wishes he’d refused the first plea and chosen not guilty. According to his story, a roommate/tenant called police and by the time the cops arrived he and his wife were sitting down and talking. He was surprised to see them show up.
Remember, you never have an obligation to talk to the police at your front door or let them inside. Here are some more tips on how to handle police encounters.
Guest Kelly Darling-Snow admits to having been both the victim and victimizer in domestic violence situations and goes on to say that she knows people whose lives have been torn apart by the system. Michelson says the state involvement in his situation was quickly “out-of-control”. His then-wife told the prosecutor she only wanted Michelson to go to therapy, not face criminal charges.
Sadly, “the state” is not compassion. It is aggressive force, and the state agents do what they want. (more…)
Last week, Keene liberty activists visited Concord’s state house legislative office building and spoke on multiple issues, including a bill, HB300, that if passed would prohibit government bureaucrats from testifying at the state house’s committees without permission from the committee chair. It would also make them wear their state ID when in the state house.
One of the worst things about the state house is that there are bureaucrats who attend nearly every committee hearing who are constantly pushing for more taxes and more power. The bill in question would be a major step in the right direction. Darryl W. Perry, Chris Cantwell, and I all spoke on the issue: