HB 1349 is a bill that would decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms sponsored by Amherst Representative Tony Labranche. The bill had its first hearing in the Criminal Justice committee on January 11th, but while all the other bills heard that day got voted on, HB 1349 had a new hearing date scheduled. That means you have another chance to go and show your support for the bill on Thursday, January 20, 2022 in the Legislative Office Building in Concord at 9am. Alternatively, if you can’t make it you can email the committee and tell them to vote Ought To Pass.
The bill is very interesting because it is modeled word for word after the bill that decriminalized marijuana in New Hampshire. What argument does a member of this committee have against this bill? Psilocybin mushrooms are even safer for people and society than marijuana, according to Dr. David Nutt, former chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the UK.
I spoke at the hearing on January 11th and so did 4 others. The only person who spoke against this bill was a police lieutenant. How typical. The only person who didn’t want to see Granite Staters gain more freedom was a person who personally profits from the war on drugs.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court already decided that psilocybin use was constitutionally protected if you’re using it for religious practice or to worship god. My spiritual beliefs include worshiping the god in myself by allowing myself the ability to ascend beyond what and who I am now. Psilocybin is a great tool to do that and more people experiencing this medicine would help heal our community which is in part damaged by the war on drugs.
Dried Psilocybin Mushrooms, photo from Northspore.com
Thanks to the efforts of activist group Decriminalize Nature, cities across the United States have decriminalized the possession of mushrooms containing psilocybin. From Oakland, CA to nearby Northampton, MA, city councils have voted unanimously to direct law enforcement to essentially ignore people who possess psychedelic mushrooms. Plus, the entire state of Oregon legalized shrooms via a ballot initiative in 2020.
Thus far, however, no state has yet decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms via the legislative process. Perhaps New Hampshire will be the first with HB 1349, a bill that proposes to make the possession of up to 12 grams of psilocybin mushrooms a mere violation with a $100 fine, instead of a felony.
It’s easy to be skeptical that such a change can happen here in New Hampshire, given the state was slow to decriminalize cannabis, but finally did in 2017. However, the tide is shifting on the issue of psilocybin mushrooms. The reason that city councils are voting unanimously to decriminalize shrooms is because they really do help a lot of people with serious mental problems like PTSD and depression. The studies on this are numerous and growing. It is hard for city councilors to deny retired military veterans who testify that psilocybin has cured them of PTSD, or people with terminal diseases who will testify that psilocybin has helped them be at ease with death. Plus, it has long been known that psilocybin mushrooms are safe to use, even compared with cannabis.
Drug Harm to Society and the User
As I pointed out in my testimony in front of the state house Criminal Justice committee on Wednesday, the most relevant thing they should consider is that the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in December of 2020 that using psilocybin mushrooms for religious reasons is legal in New Hampshire. Jeremy Mack was arrested for possession of psilocybin mushrooms and convicted in Superior Court. He appealed, arguing it was his right, as a member of the Oklevueha Native American Church to use psilocybin as part of his religion.
In a UNANIMOUS decision, the NH supremes overturned Mack’s conviction, pointing out that the New Hampshire constitution has stronger religious freedom protections than the United States constitution. While the US constitution protects the right to religion, the NH constitution protects your right to worship God how you choose:
Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship. -Article 5, NH Constitution Bill of Rights
Given this amazing court decision, the religious use of psilocybin mushrooms is already fully legal in New Hampshire. Now the legislature should catch up and stop the police from even arresting psilocybin users at all, by passing HB 1349. I am optimistic for its chances. At the hearing on Wednesday, the only person who spoke against the bill was a drug warrior from the NH State Police, who trotted out the usual scare tactics of “DANGER” and “THE CHILDREN”. Though by pointing out that his kids told him shrooms are available for sale in their school, he inadvertently admits the abject failure of his precious War on Drugs.
The point of the Chronic Carols was to protest the insane war on drugs and do it in a creative and fun way, as singing is much more likely to bring people together or get people to listen to new ideas than say, chanting. Chanting can come across as mindless and angry whereas singing is harmonious. Singing is a virtually unassailable activity as a protest and the American civil rights movement had a lot of success with song, as did the “Singing Revolution” in Estonia.
Fast forward to the present situation where the war on drugs has lightened up a little – at least on cannabis – but now the war is coming against people who just want to breath free, associate with others, hug, or smile at another person. The madness of prohibition has changed into an insane medical authoritarian state. If there was ever a time for the Shire Choir to come back, it’s now.
Actually, the Shire Choir has already come back this year. It was when we visited the NH Attorney General’s house on Thanksgiving and performed the original Chronic Carols, since the war on drugs the AG is behind is still harming innocent, peaceful drug users and dealers. It was fun, but it was clear we needed some current material that could be sung in more places.
Thankfully, Captain Kickass – a longtime professional parody writer who happens to live in Keene – stepped up and cranked out four “COVID Carols” in just a matter of days. The tunes parodied include “Do you hear what I hear?”, which has become “Do you fear what I fear?”, “Merry Little Christmas” is now “Sterile Little Christmas”, “Joy to the World” as “Close down the World”, and “Little Drummer Boy” replaced by “Little Lockdown Boy”. Johnson Rice provided some talented graphic design to put the Captain’s creative lyrics to classic Christmas carols onto a dual-sided color songsheet that you can easily print out and share. Though we have the Shire Choir here in New Hampshire, these songs are intended for the entire world. You can form your own choir and sing anywhere this COVID madness and tyranny has struck.
Don’t let yourself be silenced by the state or social pressure. Sing loud, proud, and hopefully in unison with others. Download and print your own “COVID Carols” songsheet PDF now! Please do share it anywhere you like. It’s our gift to you that hopefully will brighten your spirits on what is an otherwise depressing year and holiday season. It’s darkest before the light – don’t lose hope and please make it your New Year’s resolution to join the liberty migration to New Hampshire in 2021!
Liberty-loving protestors descended on the home of NH Attorney General Gordon MacDonald – 128 Dickey Hill Rd in Deering, NH – on Thanksgiving Day to express their outrage that the state gang is threatening peaceful business owners. Local businesses across New Hampshire are being issued fines as high as $2,000 for violating the “emergency orders” of “HIS EXCELLENCY” governor Chris Sununu.
A hundred protestors went to Sununu’s house last weekend, but the protest at MacDonald’s house was organized in secret. As a result, police were not waiting on-site as they were at Sununu’s. However, it didn’t take long for the cops to be called by MacDonald’s attorney wife, Jennifer A Eber.
To the credit of Hillsboro police, they were respectful and on their best behavior. One of them even laughed at a joke that Nobody cracked and was generally quite friendly. Though he did try to get us to move our cars from the side of the road, he backed down when we pointed out we knew what an easement was.
Eber was not happy, demanding we be removed from “her property”. The attorney couple owns three large wooded lots across the street from their home, so Eber mistakenly believed that would protect them from such a protest. However, she didn’t realize the very same state gang that puts food on her table also has rules for “public ways” that allow us to engage in protests just like this. Apparently she doesn’t like it when people bring the destructive consequences of her husband’s actions home for her to experience.
As long as her husband keeps ruining peaceful people’s lives, and invading their businesses and homes with his bureaucracy, threats, and fines, she can expect we’ll continue to remind her about it. Here’s the video from yesterday’s protest:
It was cold and raining lightly in the beginning. We stayed for over an hour before the rain got quite heavy. Since the CDC has now told people they shouldn’t do caroling, we decided to bring back the Shire Choir and sang a few “Chronic Carols” before packing up and heading to a nearby activist Thanksgiving.
Kudos to the ACLU-NH for playing fair and inviting all the ballot-qualified candidates for governor of New Hampshire to their online series focusing on civil liberties. The New Hampshire ACLU chapter has long been a strong advocate of various freedoms and Libertarian for governor Darryl W Perry did a great job in the hour-long discussion. They covered ending the war on drugs, police reform, and various other issues.