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.