4/20: State Representatives Smoke Cannabis at NH State House with Crowd of 100+

Several longtime cannabis freedom activists at the 2017 Concord smoke-out.

Several longtime cannabis freedom activists at the 2017 Concord smoke-out.

Since 2009, on April 20th at 4:20pm people from across New Hampshire gather in front of the State House in Concord to commit mass civil disobedience by smoking, vaporizing, or otherwise consuming cannabis in public. As has happened in previous years, we were again joined by multiple state representatives including Libertarian Caleb Dyer of Pelham, NH as well as Keene’s Ward One Democrat, Joseph Stallcop, and Republican Glen Aldrich of Gilford.

Representatives Dyer and Stallcop were both featured speakers and also toked up with a crowd of over 100 people while representative Aldrich took photos, as he has done for years at the rally. Also photographing the event was Granite Haze of Mind blogger Justin Campagnone – you can check out his albums here. I had the honor of video recording the event, including all the speakers. I’ll be posting each speech to the Free Keene YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell on the YouTube channel to see the videos as they are released! Meanwhile, here’s a video with some highlights of the event to tide you over:

This year’s event began with speakers at 3pm including representatives Dyer & Stallcop, me explaining the right of Jury Nullification, and Libertarian Party of NH chairman Darryl W Perry. The overcast weather threatened rain which thankfully never materialized and the temperature was cool and pleasant with a couple dozen already in attendance at 3pm by the street, smoking cannabis and chalking messages on the pavement. As we closed in on 4:20pm (the time that cannabis is used in celebration globally) the numbers of attendees swelled to easily over 100 people.

Just a portion of the excellent crowd, photos courtesy Justin Campagnone

Just a portion of the excellent crowd, photos courtesy Justin Campagnone

Event organizer and executive director of the 420 Foundation, Shire Dude emceed (and live streamed) the event. As the crowd gathered directly in front of the state house close to 4:20, we heard from speakers including Carla Gericke of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, the executive director of the NH Cannabis Freedom Festival, Rick Naya, and medical cannabis consultant John Padellaro who told us how cannabis helped him with his inoperable brain growth. Padellaro also said, “I don’t support legalization. I support ending prohibition.” This sentiment was echoed by speakers Perry and Gericke, with Gericke also calling on New Hampshire’s new governor, Chris Sununu, to pardon all peaceful drug offenders and end funding for “Granite Hammer”. Perry and representative Dyer’s speeches focused on the current legal status and future of cannabis reform in New Hampshire while Naya reflected on the previous 420 rallies and people we’ve lost to prohibition. In his off-the-cuff speech, representative Stallcop of Keene told the attendees, “we need to stop looking at each other in terms of left or right. I see, in all honesty, there is right and there is wrong…We will stand together as one people and say that this is our decision, this is our choice.” (more…)

Liberty Lobby Week 13 Videos: Cannabis, Drones, & More

Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. Here are several full hearing videos from last week:

HB 640 is this year’s cannabis decriminalization bill, as passed by 89.8% of the state house. This is its senate committee full public hearing:

HB 215 would create a committee to study legalization of cannabis in New Hampshire. It passed the house and this is its senate committee full public hearing: (more…)

NH Bitcoiners Speak to Senate Committee About Bitcoin Protection Bill – VIDEO

Bitcoin NH License Plate

Bitcoiners Love NH

The New Hampshire house of representatives recently passed a historic Bitcoin protection bill, that if it makes it through the senate and governor will make New Hampshire the opposite of New York. New York is infamous for its “bitlicense” regulations that drove multiple bitcoin businesses out of the Empire State. In contrast, New Hampshire, if this bill passes, would become a state with explicit protection against regulating Bitcoin businesses as “money transmitters”.

Last week, HB 436 had its public hearing before the senate commerce committee and a bunch of bitcoiners from across the state came out to sign and testify in favor of the bill, which would help ensure Bitcoin businesses continue to launch in and relocate to New Hampshire. It would further solidify New Hampshire’s place in the world as a cryptocurrency hotspot.

The speakers in favor far outnumbered those speaking against, which was really only the NH banking commission, who obviously does not want to lose hold of any of their precious power.

Those who spoke were on point and did a great job communicating with the senators on the committee. Turns out that two of those senators, Andy Sanborn and chairman Daniel Innis both already own bitcoin!

Will the bill pass the senate and be signed by the governor, or will the banking bureaucrats pull out all the stops to crush it? Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the NH Bitcoin scene.

Here’s the full hearing video:

Liberty Lobby – Week 12 – Videos

Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. Here are seven full hearing videos from last week:

HB 580 would regulate fantasy sports websites operating in New Hampshire. Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I both testified against. Here’s the full hearing video:

HB 228 would allow minors to legally transport alcohol with certain family members present in-car. I testified in favor. Here’s the full hearing video: (more…)

What Happened to the NH Budget?

State Representative Caleb Dyer

Libertarian State Representative Caleb Dyer

This past Wednesday and Thursday the New Hampshire House of Representatives failed to approve either HB1 or HB2 with their committee amendments.  The failure was caused by an unexpected of coalition of Democrats and the NH House Freedom Caucus (NHHFC) in opposition.  On Wednesday both the Democrats and the House Freedom Caucus brought forth amendments to make late efforts to offer alternatives to the committee amendment that was expected to fail.  

The Eaton amendment was offered by the Democrats for HB1 to reinclude full day kindergarten and increase contributions to select funds.  This amendment failed when the House Freedom Caucus and Republican majority voted in coalition to defeat it.  The House Freedom Caucus brought the Ammon amendment which was a broad “back of the budget cut” in the amount of $200 million which would have required the office of the Governor to find $200 million to satisfy such reductions.  The Ammon amendment also put back into HB1 $219 million in federal funds that had been withheld from the budget by the Finance Committee’s amendment.  After the failure of each bill’s committee amendments and floor amendments House leadership moved to table each bill.  

There was a meeting at 2:30pm on Wednesday between delegates from the House Freedom Caucus including Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown), Rep. Ed Comeau (R-Brookfield), Rep. Victoria Sullivan (R-Manchester), Rep. Eric Schleien (R-Hudson), me (L-Pelham) and the House Majority leadership joined by Finance Committee Chair Neal Kurk (R-Weare).  In this meeting we went over a list of major General Fund appropriations including the Municipal Aid provision, the Community College System provision, and the Department of Safety appropriations which were to be targeted for reductions.  Leadership expressed concern that federal matching funds may be lost as a result of reductions to these funds.  

The delegates from the House Freedom Caucus asserted that the position of the caucus was that they would vote for a budget with no more that a 3.0% increase over the last biennium.  Despite this the delegates also asked the leadership if there was some percentage increase where the two camps could “meet in the middle” as Finance chair Kurk had previously indicated that he could, in fact, find cuts that could bring the increase down from 10.5% (in the General Fund) to 4.5% over last biennium.  This proposal had been mentioned to the House Freedom Caucus in convention by delegate John Burt and caucus leader J.R. Hoell (R-Dunbarton).  The House Majority leadership did not appear to be able to pre-emptively agree to a 4.5% above budget without seeing the specific cuts included in the final amendment.   (more…)

Liberty Lobby – Week 10 – Videos

Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and I went to the state house this week to testify on more legislation. Here are three full hearing videos from this week:

HB 372 would change definitions of resident and inhabitant. Darryl W Perry testified against this dangerous bill. Here’s the full hearing:

HB 94 is a confusing bill. It purports to protect victims of sex trafficking, but the language is about punishing johns who have sex with a consenting teen, with felony charges. I testified against it. Here’s the full hearing: (more…)