NH House Votes For Further Cannabis Decrim and Home Grow by Veto-Proof Margin!

Cannabis

It’s a plant. Holding it should not result in jail.

Three years after cannabis possession by adults in New Hampshire was first decriminalized, there’s another bipartisan house bill in play this session that will go even further. I recently reported here on HB 1648 when NH 2020 gubernatorial candidate “Nobody” and I went to testify at the house committee hearing for the bill. Of all the speakers at the hearing, only one person spoke against it. Not even the police bothered to send a speaker to speak against the bill – it was an amazing hearing.

Now, the votes are in from the full state house, and it has passed the house with a veto-proof margin – 236 to 112! Though it was veto-proof, it was just barely so, with just over 67% of those attending today voting in favor of it. In 2017, the state house voted nearly 90% in favor of the initial cannabis decrim bill.

HB 1648 is a really good cannabis decrim bill that improves on the one passed in 2017 that made possession of under 3/4ths of an ounce of flower and under 5 grams of concentrate a violation instead of a misdemeanor. If it passes this year, HB 1648 will eliminate any penalty for people over 21 possessing those amounts. It will no longer be something police can act on at all. The bill, significantly, also allows adults to grow their own cannabis at home.

The bill is not perfect, of course, as I pointed out during my testimony in the two-hour long hearing. It still treats people under 21 like children by retaining violation-level penalties for people between 18 and 21, and also penalizes people under 18 for possession by forcing them into the juvenile system. That’s not fair or right. Also, the limits on the amounts that would be legal to possess are too low. That said, it’s a major step in the right direction and does it without creating a taxing and regulatory structure. Also, please note my summary of the bill is based on its text as-introduced. It was passed with an amendment that is currently not available to read online.

Hardcore civil disobedient activists who came out in the rain for 4/20/2019!

Hardcore civil disobedient activists who came out in the rain for 4/20/2019!

Next, the bill heads to the NH senate and its sponsors already include one democrat and one republican state senator, so hopefully that bodes well for its chances. We know that the current republican governor, Chris Sununu signed the first cannabis decrim bill in 2017 but has opposed legalization. That he opposes legalization is actually a good thing however, as all of the legalization bills so far have included regulations and taxes on cannabis. People who want freedom support ending prohibition but should not support taxing and regulating cannabis. Cannabis should be free to grow, sell, and possess without any penalty and that includes having to beg permission from the state gang to offer it to others.

While the decriminalization bill doesn’t decrim sales of cannabis, it is still a big step away from reducing the harm done to adults by the insane war on drugs and allows people over 21 to possess it without fear of police assault. Hopefully the governor will support this continued decriminalization of this amazing plant. If not, hopefully the NH senate will also pass it with a veto-proof margin. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

NH’s Top Crypto Payments Platform Suspends Bitcoin (BTC), Calling it “Worthless for Payments”

Anypay Logo

Anypay Disables BTC Payments

As Bitcoin (BTC) is once again making headlines for crossing the $10,000 price point, the world’s premiere multi-cryptocurrency, real-life payments platform Anypay has announced they are disabling BTC from their system. Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Anypay’s co-founder Steven Zeiler said in an announcement today that BTC was “worthless for payments”, now that transactions can be easily canceled.

Originally, when Bitcoin (BTC) launched in 2009, and for several years into its life, one of the major selling points that set it apart from other electronic payments like credit cards was that Bitcoin transactions were irreversible. Once the buyer hit send, there was no way for the buyer to undo it. There was no “authority” like a credit card company or bank that the buyer could contact to have them reverse the transaction. Business owners are very familiar with the concept of the dreaded “chargeback”, where a dishonest customer can use the credit card company’s ability to undo transactions to scam a merchant and receive money back AND keep the product. Chargebacks were impossible under Bitcoin (BTC) and this was a major reason why businesses wanted to accept BTC.

However, midway through its first decade, after its anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared and development was taken over by others who did not share Satoshi’s vision, the newer programmers introduced a “feature” called “Replace By Fee” or RBF. The purported reason for this was to allow a sender – after they’d already sent a transaction – to update the associated fee and help it get through the network faster. However, this also allowed them to cancel the transaction entirely, as long as the transaction had not yet received its first confirmation. This RBF “feature” broke one of the fundamental tenets of the original vision of Bitcoin – irreversible transactions.

Satoshi Nakamoto, Anonymous Creator of Bitcoin

Satoshi Nakamoto, Anonymous Creator of Bitcoin

For a while, this cancellation “feature” was only accessible through the “full node” Bitcoin Core software, which meant it was relatively tough to use in a real life payments situation. However, as shown by this video here, now more mobile wallets are incorporating the “feature”, which means that accepting Bitcoin (BTC) at point-of-sale is now highly dangerous and increases the risk of fraud. Hence, Anypay has announced they are no longer going to allow Bitcoin (BTC) payments on their platform.

In a video posted today, Zeiler announces that BTC has been disabled on the Anypay Cash Register app until further notice, as he’s had a “final revelation that it’s worthless for payments”. This, after having seen the new video that shows how easy it is now to commit fraud against real-life payment systems using BTC.

While some BTC-only fanatics will be disappointed by the news, the reality is most people don’t use BTC for payments via Anypay’s platform anyway, given BTC’s ridiculously high fees compared to other, more useful cryptos that were designed for payments like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and DASH or even Bitcoin SV (BSV), which Anypay is now supporting. Plus, when paying with BCH or DASH on Anypay at a real-life business one will usually receive 10% back instantly thanks to Anypay’s “Bitcoin Cash-Back” and “DASH-Back” programs.

I think Anypay has made the right choice here to protect merchants from potential fraud. It’s too bad the Bitcoin (BTC) programmers forced Anypay’s hand, by making BTC less useful over time. Once upon a time Bitcoin was useful for payments, as it was originally intended. Sadly, those days are long gone. Bitcoin (BTC) may still be the king crypto, but if it’s not useful for payments, is it really a currency?

Keene Solidifies Position as Global Leader in Cryptocurrency Acceptance with Three More Businesses Onboard in January!

Keene on Anypay's Hot Map

Anypaymap.com shows the most active crypto-accepting businesses in the area.

Big news from the Monadnock Crypto blog! The Keene area now has three additional local businesses that are accepting cryptocurrency for their services. All three are mobile businesses and will travel to their customers and were all added to the local Coinmap in the last month. That brings the already very high concentration of businesses accepting crypto to an all new level, keeping Keene in the top tier of cities globally that are high in crypto-acceptance-per-capita. In fact, both Forbes and Bitcoin.com have called Keene, “Crypto Mecca”.

With her new business, “EuPHOria”, the founding chef of Keene’s “Pho Keene Great”, Isabelle Rose, has struck out on her own and is now regularly meeting customers in Keene with hot Vietnamese food cooked-to-order. Another recent addition is Pure Bliss Clean, a professional cleaning service that handles home and small businesses. Also, Kenzy Dietz of “KD Prestige Detailing” recently won Monadnock Crypto’s radio giveaway contest on 92.7 Bratt FM and decided to set up Anypay Cash Register shortly thereafter. Dietz had already been introduced to cryptocurrency by someone close to her and was elated to be the winner of the $500-worth-of-crypto giveaway. When asked what her reasons were for accepting cryptocurrency at her car detailing business, Dietz said, “Cryptocurrency is the currency of the future, so I am delighted to be a local business that accepts it as payment. Not only is it easy to accept, but it’s a great way to broaden my businesses acceptance of alternatives to paying with just cash, checks, or debit. The future is coming.”

You can read the full article over on the Monadnock Crypto blog here.

Cannabis Decrim Hearing Includes “Nobody”, NH Candidate for Governor

Nobody Speaks at Cannabis Decrim Hearing 2020

Nobody Speaks at Cannabis Decrim Hearing 2020

After a decade of attending various cannabis legalization and decriminalization hearings at the Concord state house, this week’s hearing for HB-1648 was refreshing. HB 1648 is a really good cannabis decrim bill that goes even further than the one that passed in 2017 that made possession of under 3/4ths of an ounce of flower and under 5 grams of concentrate a violation instead of a misdemeanor. If it passes this year, HB 1648 will eliminate any penalty for people over 21 possessing those amounts. It will no longer be something police can act on at all.

The bill is not perfect, of course, as I point out during my testimony in the two-hour long hearing. It still treats people under 21 like children by retaining violation-level penalties for people between 18 and 21, and also penalizes people under 18 for possession by forcing them into the juvenile system. That’s not fair or right. Also, the limits on the amounts that would be legal to possess are too low. That said, it’s a major step in the right direction and does it without creating a taxing and regulatory structure.

The real shocker at the public hearing this week was the lack of any police presence. Having attended these cannabis hearings over more than a decade, this is the first time where the police not only did not speak against the bill, but weren’t even there watching. The chiefs of police association did sign the blue sheet against the bill, and were the only ones to sign against it. All other signatures were for the bill. Plus, of all the various people who spoke, there was only one who spoke against it, the woman from prohibitionist busybody group “New Futures”. All the other voices were in favor of the bill passing.

One prominent speaker for the bill was NH 2020 gubernatorial candidate “Nobody” who has announced he’ll be challenging incumbent governor Chris Sununu this year in the republican primary. Nobody’s perspective on the issue is valuable as he has been prosecuted and sent to jail in New Hampshire for selling cannabis. He has promised that if elected, he’ll pardon every non-violent drug conviction in New Hampshire history.

Nobody told the house Criminal Justice panel that rather than punishing people under eighteen by putting them into the harsh juvenile system if they are caught with cannabis, the most the state agents should do is call their parents. He said further, “The idea that kids should be subject to more criminal liability than adults kind of flies in the face of reason, when you think about it. I mean, we’re going to attach a criminal penalty to your behavior because your mind is not well enough formed yet to make decisions that have a lasting impact. Well, don’t you think it’s possible that taking criminal sanction against somebody has a lasting impact on their life? Maybe they shouldn’t be bound to that by a decision they make so young.”

Here’s the clip of just Nobody’s testimony:

Here’s the full two-hour-long hearing on HB 1648: (more…)

Vermin Supreme Wins New Hampshire LP Primary!

Vermin Supreme Defeats Other LP Presidential Candidates

Vermin Supreme Wins LPNH Primary Vote!

With nearly 60% of the vote, Vermin Supreme is victorious in a closed primary vote held by the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire! The entertaining, longtime satirical candidate has run for President of the United States under both the republican and democrat parties over the year and this time has thrown his boot in the Libertarian party’s primary ring for their 2020 nomination.

Supreme has spent a lot of time campaigning in New Hampshire, including an epic, armed pony march on Concord’s state house last month. His New Hampshire campaign manager and national chief strategist, Richard Manzo said this about his decisive win in an exclusive interview for Free Keene, “I think this is very much a proof of concept, that recruiting younger members to the LP is possible with the right messenger. I think the young people we recruited to the party tipped the scales in Vermin’s favor.”

For the last three presidential elections, the national Libertarian Party has put forward terrible presidential candidates. Bob Barr, the former republican congressman, was their embarrassing choice in 2008. The national LP’s selection in 2012 and 2016, former republican governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, was barely an improvement on Barr. These choices were bad enough because they propagate the mistaken idea that libertarians are somehow right-wing. However, if Barr or Johnson actually had embraced the non-aggression principle and were communicating it during their campaigns, I could forgive them. At least they would have been on-message. They weren’t.

The national Libertarians were abandoning their adherence to principle in favor of hoping these former republican candidates could get them more votes. I saw this happening over the years and actually resigned from the national party prior to their nomination of Barr in 2008.

Vermin Supreme for President

Vermin Supreme for President

At least the New Hampshire Libertarian Party has stuck closer to principle over the years. In 2016, NH and VT’s libertarian parties were the only ones in the whole United States to back presidential candidates who actually were worth nominating, like Darryl W Perry and John McAfee.

Today at their annual convention in Concord, the LPNH tallied up the votes that were mailed in by their membership in a closed party presidential primary. Using ranked choice voting, 44 of their 110 members cast votes in the primary, with 26 of the 44 voters choosing Vermin Supreme. That’s over 59%! It was a decisive victory.

Maybe there’s hope for the national Libertarian Party, as even the satirical Supreme is a better presidential nominee than former republicans, simply for the entertainment factor alone. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if they choose another former republican governor, this time Bill Weld, as their nominee. In 2016, Weld was given their vice-presidential nomination and went on to promote Hillary Clinton during his campaign appearances. The only time Weld ever addressed the non-aggression principle during his campaign was when I asked him about it at his appearance at Keene’s Central Square.

Good luck, Vermin. In a world where LP members appreciated good satire and had a sense of humor, you’d win nationally. Sadly, I don’t expect to see that happen. Kudos to LPNH’s members for sending a message to national with their nomination.