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.
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.”
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.
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.
Last Friday, future president of the United States Vermin Supreme and his supporters donned ponies, guns, signs, and masks to march on Concord New Hampshire’s state house on the final day to file to be in the Libertarian NH presidential primary for 2020.
Harrington then got up in Waid’s face and demanded ID to which Waid declined, correctly stating he has no obligation to provide the angry cop with ID. Harrington then arrested Waid, and charged him with the police’s favorite catch-all of “disorderly conduct”. I caught the entire thing on video, which you can see here. The “disorderly conduct” charge was a “Class A”, which carries up to a year of jail time. Later in the mail, the police sent an additional “violation” for crossing the street outside of a crosswalk.
Now, two years later, the people calling themselves the “City of Manchester” have cut a check to Waid for $15,000 of taxpayers’ money for Harrington’s obviously illegal arrest. For the first time since his arrest, the video from Chris’ camera that was confiscated is now available for you to see. I’ve augmented it with a little of my camera’s view for perspective:
After hiring attorney Seth Hipple, both charges against Waid were dropped – further proof the police knew they had no case and the charges were brought as an excuse to harass a police accountability activist and get him away from the DUI checkpoint on the night in question. Waid, through attorney Hipple, sent the City of Manchester a letter with his intention to file a lawsuit against them and Harrington in Federal court. In the letter, Hipple included his proposed lawsuit where he cited federal code title 42 section 1983, deprivation of rights.
Over the last several days the video and story about Keene High’s “school resource officer” Joshua English attacking and tackling a student for allegedly vaping in the school’s bathroom, has gone viral. However, there’s more to the story than cop-attacks-teen, though this incident alone is bad enough. In case you haven’t heard about this incident, according to other students the young man who was viciously attacked by English was vaping in the bathroom and English confronted him. The student heroically refused to identify himself to the armed, intimidating, uniformed man and walked out of the bathroom. Moments later, English bursted out of the bathroom and tackled the peaceful student, subduing him with a shocking level of force.
Thankfully, another brave student pulled out their phone upon hearing a commotion from inside the bathroom and captured the entire tackling on video:
Understandably many are outraged at the officer’s use of force over a simple vaping incident, but that’s not really what caused English to fly into a violent rage. The young victim’s real crime was disobedience. The youth had the gall to act as though he were a free man, walking away from a threatening, potentially violent anti-nicotine nuisance and attempting to go about his day. English has his “authority” to worry about and can’t possibly be seen by others as someone who one could just walk away from without consequence, so he used violence to dominate the young man in front of a crowd of people.
Keene Police have been making headlines nationwide for proclaiming that English was fully within police guidelines for his use of force against the “subject” – yes, that’s actually how they refer to the rest of us non-gang members. Keene police chief Steve Russo exonerated English in a recent release, saying his agent had not violated any department guidelines or state statutes, but Russo said further that English was worried the young man was a potential trespasser, claiming to the Union Leader, “At that point, he didn’t even know he was a student”.
Keene Police Officer Joshua English
Perhaps English needs to have his memory tested. While it would certainly be hard to remember previously seeing one random male in a school with over one thousand students, how could English forget that he’d written the same young man a ticket for “possessing tobacco products” two weeks prior? The student’s father showed the proof of this claim to WHDH-TV in Boston.
While Keene Police are trying to make English look like a hero protecting the school from a potential intruder, the reality is much different. In KPD’s official release, they claim the Keene Police and the school district are, “committed to maintaining the safety and security of the students…which may regrettably include when necessary, the use of force to secure that safety.” There were no allegations the young victim was doing anything violent. He was allegedly vaping in the bathroom. No one was threatened by the young man. The only dangerous, violent threat in Keene High School that day was Keene Police’s Joshua English. Who is he?
Don’t expect the mainstream media to do a modicum of digging about English. Otherwise you might have already discovered English shot a man to death in Keene back in 2010. Free Keene blogger and former police officer Brad Jardis covered the story here when English was found to be within the state’s use-of-force guidelines in the shooting incident. In that case, the man who was shot by English was holding a knife to a woman’s throat, so our blogger Jardis agreed with the shooting as necessary. However, is it really the best decision to assign one of the only officers at KPD who has violently taken another human being’s life the duty of being the high school’s cop? (more…)
Nobody also scored his first mainstream media endorsements for his gubernatorial run. Remillard told Nobody during the interview that Sununu had been in the radio station cluster the same day, but that he wouldn’t interview with The Teddy Show, because they aren’t cool enough. She then said to Nobody, “I think you can take him.”
Nobody tokes at the Concord state house 420 – AP Photo
Immediately after, when speaking of the political class, Nobody declared, “If you’re not a member of George Carlin’s ‘club’, then you’re nobody to them, because they’re the kids who run everything.” McKay then endorsed Nobody, saying, “Alright, you just got my vote for knowing and liking George Carlin”. Nobody then praised Carlin as one of his formative influences.
Moments later, when discussing ending the war on cannabis, McKay said to Nobody, “Jeez, I think I’ve found a candidate here”.