Last Tuesday the NH senate judiciary committee committee heard SB-498, which would give prosecutors the ability to not charge cannabis possession as a class A misdemeanor. However, it also increases the fine for a first time offense. It’s a mixed bill, and interestingly prosecutors argued in favor of it, where normally they are against any decrim. From their perspective, it would allow them to get more fine money as well as still give them the option to charge as a Class A. It’s not really decriminalization at all – just gives them the option to move it to Class B if they want.
I had a lot to say about it, then got into an interesting several questions with prohibitionist senator Sam Cataldo. Here’s the video:
The proposal on the table (HB 1612) at last week’s state house education committee was to lower the age for compulsory schooling to 17 from 18. I spoke in favor of the proposal, which doesn’t go far enough. Sadly, NH does not offer any form of emancipation to young people under eighteen.
Last week’s state house committee hearings featured two very different gun proposals. The first, HB 1314, is excellent. It would allow people to carry guns into colleges or any other government-funded entity. The other, HB 1657 is terrible. It would create a huge list of places where guns would not be allowed, including anywhere with a liquor license, hospitals, polling places, churches, and other clear constitutional violations of the right to property and religion.
In the case of the awful gun prohibition bill, the testimony was entirely against it, with the exception of the bill’s sponsor who spoke first. It was an avalanche of pro-weapons-freedom testimony which was well-spoken by its advocates. (This happens in NH anytime gun freedom is threatened. Self-defense supporters come out in large number to testify for gun freedom.) The bill went down in flames, 11-2 voting “inexpedient to legislate”. I don’t have full video of either hearing, but I got most of them. Here’s the video of the terrible gun ban bill hearing first:
FSP Founder Jason Sorens Speaks to Nearly 100 This Morning
Nearly one hundred liberty-loving early movers were in attendance for the press conference this morning held by the Free State Project at the Radisson in Manchester. FSP founder Jason Sorens spoke on the creation of the FSP and why the first 5,000 participants chose New Hampshire as the destination. Jason said,
“The free state project is working because it gives people hope”
That’s definitely true for me. When I moved here as an early mover for the FSP in 2006 I was pretty angry about the government. I felt very lonely in Florida, with little more than a handful of libertarians in the area. Now there are more liberty-minded people living at my intersection in Keene than there were in the entire city where I’m from.
With over 1,600 having moved across NH from all around the globe as early movers, (the official FSP move begins today) and having a major impact, it’s clear that there is hope for liberty here in the Shire. I’m not angry anymore and haven’t been for many years. I expect other libertarians who feel isolated or cornered where they live will have a similar transition when they are surrounded by people who actually care about liberty and are willing to do something about it. It’s quite encouraging to be here. Here’s the full video of the press conference:
After Jason Sorens’ speech, FSP president Carla Gericke got up to address the crowd and journalists in the room, officially announcing that the FSP has reached its goal of 20,000 liberty-minded folks signing and promising to move to New Hampshire within five years of today, Feb 3rd, 2016. It’s now been dubbed “Porcupine Day”, and happens right after Groundhog Day. (The porcupine is the mascot of the FSP.) Once here, the FSP movers are to put forth the maximum practical effort to achieve liberty in our lifetime. Carla explained to the audience what it took to get the project to completion, including a sustained, expensive ad campaign on Facebook, for which much credit was given to Vince Perfetto who is well known in the NH liberty community as the producer of the excellent documentary, “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire“. (more…)