Mayoral, City Council Candidates Participate in 10th Anniversary 420 Rally in Keene’s Central Square

Mayoral Candidate Nobody and City Council Candidates Ian Freeman and Robert Call toke up at the 420.

Mayoral Candidate Nobody and City Council Candidates Ian Freeman and Robert Call toke up at the 420.

In September of 2009, liberty migrants and New Hampshire natives gathered in Keene’s Central Square to commit mass civil disobedience in violation of the state’s prohibition against cannabis. They did this heroic act despite the risk of misdemeanor charges that could have resulted at the time from the simple possession of cannabis.

The 420 rallies were historic and made local, state, national, and international headlines. They started small, with just a handful smoking cannabis in the iconic New Hampshire town common and quickly grew to upwards of 150 participants at their peak. The celebrations of cannabis freedom went on daily and lasted for weeks, despite desperate attempts by Keene police to crack down.

Once the events grew to a crowd, Keene police arrested a couple of the perceived leaders of the event in hopes of intimidating the peaceful tokers into calling it quits and going home, but the police aggression had the opposite effect. Instead of scaring away the protestors, dozens marched down to the Keene police headquarters and smoked cannabis behind the police station and later smoked up inside the lobby!

After that, the police never returned to the daily 420s and they eventually died off due to winter weather setting in. Though the rallies were revived the following Spring, we had clearly won the ground as a demilitarized zone for open cannabis use. It was a beautiful thing. Beginning in 2010, on April 20th the 420 rallies continued as a yearly event at the Concord state house steps and participants even came to include multiple state representatives.

Last weekend, the 420 rally returned to the place where it began – Keene’s Central Square. The founder of the rallies, then known as Rich Paul, now known as Nobody and running a campaign for mayor of Keene had the prior week announced a special rally to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the historic events. Held on Saturday September 28th at 4:20pm, the 10th anniversary rally was attended by locals, liberty migrants, and even included Robert Call and me, who are both candidates for city council in this year’s Keene municipal election.

Here’s a music video I made from footage of the original rallies in 2009, footage from the Concord rallies, and fresh footage and photos from last weekend’s 10th anniversary 420 rally:

In the past decade, we’ve seen some political progress in New Hampshire, including medical cannabis passing in 2012 and decriminalization of less than 3/4ths of an ounce of cannabis and 5 grams of concentrate passed in 2017. However, prohibition is not over and it continues to be a felony to grow or sell cannabis – an amazing plant that has helped countless people.

As long as prohibition exists, expect the 420 rallies and the civil disobedience to continue.

Kudos to Warehouse One for their awesome “Victimless Crime Spree” song, that was inspired by “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree”, which itself was originally inspired partially by Keene’s 420 rallies.

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  1. Just amazing! Great video. It’s been an amazing 10 years. Lets hope for this level of progress in the next 10. Maybe we’ll even see complete decriminalization (and I’m not just talking about weed either).

  2. It doesn’t appear there were too many people at this “event” Of course those freekeeners who claim to be running for office are out there showing the people of Keene they to are potheads.

  3. it *was a pretty good turn out! 🙂

  4. There weren’t too many people but they were quality people. I had fun.

  5. Boy Jacks, it’s just killing you inside to know that all those undisciplined potheads can’t be rounded up like animals and thrown into prison anymore, now isn’t it? But maybe there’s still a way you can save New Hampshire from these filthy hippies! Why not move back here and put those counseling skills of yours to work? C’mon, pookums! Things are getting entirely out of control, here! We need busybodies like you to save us from ourselves!

  6. Jacks: Are you a moron? Ohh that is right you are.

    This was well attended to the extent that anybody even knew about it and within the confines that it was a barely promoted event and only setup weeks prior to the event date. I’m not even sure you could say the event was promoted. There were no flyers printed or Facebook pages or paid advertising. It was literally word of mouth around town which was limited and mostly discovered among whoever happened to hear about it on the street. A few dozen people showing up for what in practice was a minor promotional event for a handful of libertarian candidates running for city offices.

    Considering that Nobody has some serious international publications covering his run for Mayor it’s hard for me to take you seriously. This event achieved what it was meant to achieve and not for whatever it was you thought it was for. If you want to see a real rally take a look at the yearly 420 rallies that turn out hundreds of people.

  7. Meanwhile the State of NH’s alcohol cartel used it’s forcible monopoly to increase liquor sales to over $700 million in 2018.

    The increase in booze sales should buy Police lots of new toys to “protect you” from drunk drivers and fund the overtime pay at the cattle call DUI stops.

    “if only we could get these dealers off the streets…”

  8. Okay, so I’m nitpicking the words now. Not to disparage this site or the good deeds of the writer, or Nobody though. Kudos to both!

    My .02…

    The words “political progress” used to describe the State of NH’s recent reduced punitive harm regarding cannabis strike me as kind of contextually oxymoronic.

    The double edge sword of “political progress” is it can, in the short term, reduce some harm, while in the long term help to perpetuate the greater harm via reinforcing the wrong message.

    By giving slaves fewer beatings (decrim.) the short term harm reduction is obvious. Who doesn’t like fewer beatings?

    The long term harm of State of NH granted “increased privilege” perpetuates the idea that State permission ought to be a requirement to ingest / possess some substances.
    (Yes, I’m donning Capt. Obvious garb now while figuratively urinating on the malicious “State of NH”)

    Until the default status is, all individuals control their own bodies, no State permission required, we’re all still metaphorically forced to pick cotton, maybe just not on Sundays anymore. I say piss on the cotton!

  9. kk – Again your name calling just shows your infantile demeanor. Just how many people were there? Do you have an exact number? Did you participate? How did any of this become “promotional”?

    As a voter myself, I am like many other people who vote. We like an experienced person with the right credentials. I would never vote for a person who decides to get high on a daily basis, to escape from reality. I most definitely will not vote for someone who has an extensive criminal record. Guess what, most others who will vote feel the same.

    So your words fall on deaf ears. You have a lot of growing up to do.

  10. Now, now Jacks. I’m sure you think experience and a spiffy liberal arts degrees are just the bees knees. But we both know what really gets your blood moving at the ballot box, now don’t we? It’s those promises of juicy prizes for both you and your friends, of course! And should your guy promise to mete out a little punishment to your enemies along the way? Well that’s just icing on the cake, right pookums?

  11. “kk – Again your name calling just shows your infantile demeanor. Just how many people were there? Do you have an exact number? Did you participate? How did any of this become ‘promotional’?”

    Hmm, so let me get this straight. I’m “infantile” yet calling me “infantile” isn’t “infantile”? Jacks. Your a hypocritically retarded individual who can’t see past his own selfish stupidity. Even when the obvious to everybody else is pointed out to you your mind intentionally ignores it for whatever incorrect per-percieved notions you have that are just wrong.

    “As a voter myself,”

    Congraduations! Welcome to the club. Most of us here vote too. No matter what your mother told you it doesn’t make you special.

    “I am like many other people who vote.”

    Stupid? Yea- I can agree with you on that.

    “We like an experienced person”

    Do I point out the retard in your statement???? To gain said “experienced” the voting population would have had to vote you in. Ian, Nobody, and Robert Call, to the extend one can gain experience prior to being voted in have all gone through the motions of learning about the issues, politics, and speaking in Concord.

    ” with the right credentials.”

    OK- right. So by credentials you mean you want to vote someone in who likes to rape little kids and adults alike for the pure satisfaction of knowing that at least other people are getting abused more than you.

    ” I would never vote for a person who decides to get high on a daily basis, to escape from reality. I most definitely will not vote for someone who has an extensive criminal record.

    I can’t speak for Nobody, as I’m not sure how often he smokes, but I darn well know that the other two candidates don’t get high on a daily basis. Your just pulling shit out of your ass Jacks.

    ” Guess what, most others who will vote feel the same.”

    No they don’t. If you look at the last several presidents they’ve all openly stated that they’ve smoked.

    “So your words fall on deaf ears.”

    Mostly I’m talking to the choir here. In some respects it’s no worse than having words fall on deaf ears, but it’s not like it would change anybodies mind anyway. The reality is people are fucking dumb. The only thing I can hope for when speaking to the masses as opposed to when speaking here is that those whom aren’t retarded join me in NH so we can further those whose agenda is freedom.

    “You have a lot of growing up to do.”

    For someone who regularly advocates violence I think your statement is more applicable to you. However I’m not of the opinion that those younger than I deserve any less respect. I’ve met a lot of people in my life and there are certainly 10 year olds that are more mature than you Jacks. On the other hand there are 50 and 60 years that aren’t. So I wouldn’t generally say things like “you have a lot of growing up to do” as it just devalues the opinions and experiences of those whom are young and that is nothing other than bigotry.

  12. Say kk, did you know that Jacks here has a rather sordid history of making up outrageous lies about his own professional qualifications whenever he feels the need to add a little extra weight to his opinions? Weird, huh?

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