Psilocybin Mushroom Decriminalization Bill to Have Second Hearing

Liberty Cap Mushrooms

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.

The bill: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/lsr_search/billText.aspx?id=1711&type=4

If would like to contact the committee hearing this bill use this email: HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us

The Most Important Date Of The Decade Is Upon Us: A Hearing On New Hampshire Independence Is Here

The BIGGEST most important date (Jan 20th) of the decade for freedom may just be upon us so mark your calendar and come support the New Hampshire independence rally & public hearing this Thursday ! Don’t be the reason we’re stuck without options- freedom loving people unite- lets create a home and free place to live and give our kids a bastion of hope for the future.

If New Hampshire voters say yes to independence it will separate New Hampshire from the US empire and immediately halt the abuse by Washington DC. What we can accomplish by ourselves will be far greater than anything we can accomplish under the threat of Washington politicians. Independence will offer New Hampshire citizens many things- everything from a reduced tax burden and economic growth to reducing the staggering amount of regulatory barriers placed on New Hampshire businesses. Unhappy with forced vaccination? We can fix that! If we’re independent the feds can’t dictate what should be a matter between us and our doctors. Don’t like Washington’s gun regulations? We can go farther at eliminating arguably unconstitutional restrictions. Unhappy about our schools? Without DC bribing our politicians to pass laws we otherwise wouldn’t and they can’t pass directly we can fix our schools.

When all else fails, what is the plan New Hampshire? 71% (78% at its height) of Union Leader readers said YES to a vote on independence! Now we need to get the legislators to put it on the ballot so the voters can actually decide to declare independence from Washington DC. This New Hampshire constitutional amendment will do just that.

For those not aware New Hampshire’s constitution pre-dates that of the United States and should we choose to do so we can leave the union and divorce DC. We can lead the US just as our forefathers did before us during the Revolutionary War. Just as they declared independence from Great Britain we too can declare independence from the new empire.

However unlike that insurrection this isn’t a declaration of war. This is a means of declaration via proper legal channels- and that’s something even the US courts have acknowledged. Where some would lead you to believe that independence is illegal or that it’s impossible the truth is that even the courts have ruled that the procedure rather than the declaration itself has in prior instances been improper.

Let’s keep our options open and support CACR 32 by joining together with democrats, conservatives, and other independent voters this Thursday Jan 20th, 2022:

Address: 33 N State Street, Concord, New Hampshire
Time: Rally starts at 2:00 pm, press conference @ 3:00, and the public hearing is at 3:30 Room LB 206.

Can’t make it? See our directions below for how you can testify electronically.

For more details read the latest article by Liberty Block:

Breaking: NH Exit Legislation Assigned House Committee & Hearing

Want to express support for the constitutional amendment on New Hampshire independence? Here is how to testify (in other words inform the committee on your thoughts) electronically on what you think of this important legislation.

Can’t Make It? Here is how to testify electronically via email

Step 1: Open the link here http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/remotetestimony/default.aspx?mc_cid=0cc3e8800e&mc_eid=6d8bda0b1a

Step 2: Select January 20th on the calendar shown

Step 3: Under Select the Committee find House State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs

Step 4: Under Choose the Bill find 3:30 pm – CACR32

Step 5: Under I am select A Member of the Public

Step 6: Under I’m Representing leave Myself

Step 7: Select the bubble I Support this Bill

Step 8: Click Continue

Step 9: Enter your First and Last name, Town, State, and an email address.

Step 10: Click the Continue button

Step 11: Check the box that says “By clicking this checkbox, you agree that the information you have provided is truthful to the best of your knowledge.”

Step 12: Click the Continue button

You’ve now registered your support for giving voters of New Hampshire the opportunity to vote for independence from Washington DC.

The next thing to do is send the Committee your thoughts and comments in why they should support democracy and give the people the chance to vote on this very important constitutional amendment.

Please email written testimony to: HouseState-FederalRelationsandVeteransAffairs@leg.state.nh.us

It’s currently unclear if the hearing will be live streamed by the state itself or not, as nothing is shown under scheduled live streams as I write this, but this may change, and we will certainly be posting a video of the hearing afterward on just what happened so stay tuned in to Free Keene for updates. Here is a link to the live streams just in case you are able to watch it live via the state’s cameras:

https://www.youtube.com/c/NHHouseofRepresentativesCommitteeStreaming/videos?view=2&live_view=502

Will NH be first to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms via the state legislature?

Dried Psilocybin Mushrooms

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 Chart

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.

Here’s the full hearing video:

If you live in New Hampshire and want to help this bill get passed, please reach out to the Criminal Justice committee via this group email: HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us and ask them to pass HB 1349.

Free Software: Something Most Libertarians & Socialists Agree On? Or Almost

On Tuesday a democrat in New Hampshire’s house introduced a bill in support of free software. The House Bill (HB) 1273 would be a step forward for software freedom. It proposes to help protect the user freedom of New Hampshire residents in a number of important ways.

  • Prohibits the state government from requiring residents to use proprietary software, whether in remote court appearances, tax filings, standardized test-taking, coursework in public schools, or matters relating to any state benefits
  • Forbid employers from using non-compete clauses to prevent their employees from contributing to free software
  • Prevents state agencies from mandating the use of non-free JavaScript
  • Prohibits NH law enforcement from participating in the investigation or prosecution of copyright claims brought by proprietary software developers against free software developers
  • Forms a state commission to promote the use of free software in state agencies

Now much of the legislation is a bit wishy-washy with no real teeth, but there are some parts that in theory if passed could have a beneficial impact on our freedom. Other parts could be a little more problematic for those who are libertarian and do not believe in the use of violence to achieve social and political objectives (outside that of a defensive nature anyway). Fortunately most of the bill is tailored toward government and is more defensive in nature than not. Some not so great parts would likely also not have much real world impact.

One part in particular should get libertarians everywhere excited. While it probably was not intended by the legislator proposing the bill, a democrat, it would none-the-less be an amazing step forward in reducing the harm of violent thugs in government. The bill would ensure that users have the right to access the source code for any device utilized in the creation of evidence. This would in effect result in evidence being thrown out whereby the government could not produce the source code to the device that created it. Evidence from such devices as radar guns would no longer be valid in court for all practical purposes. The reason for this is that the suppliers of such devices will not release such source code and thereby prosecutors won’t be able to comply with the law. Before the socialists get upset by this though it’s something everyone should be concerned about. It’s already well known that these devices are full of bugs and this would likely result in evidence being invalidated everywhere if the code were released- not just in NH- and so the device manufacturers would never want to do this short of significant improvements to the code. The solution is to pass this in more states and force manufacturers hand-else let this stand as a means of eliminating a law that should not be in that there is no party that can actually show injury.

To have any real chance of seeing this pass the legislation would likely need to be significantly trimmed. Some parts are problematic such as the forbidding of employers from using non-compete clauses to prevent their employees from contributing to free software for instance. This would likely be unpopular with many state legislators who otherwise support software freedom while also supporting ones right to negotiate a contract free of government interference. Maybe there is a way to put this into law that were more freedom-focused, like letting such terms be unenforceable via law, but either way much of the legislature isn’t going to want to interfere in the private affairs of employee-employer relations either way. I suspect this is likely to have little impact in either case given non-compete clauses within the free software world are already taboo and many of us (myself included) would not sign (or require it) such in an employment contract.

One interesting aspect of the bill is that it would prohibit NH law enforcement from partaking in investigation or prosecution of copyright claims against free software developers. While I can in good conscious support this and would go farther to argue for the elimination of copyright it’s unclear to me where this is currently an issue. Maybe it’s connected to the breaking of digital restrictions such as would be the case with something like DeCSS. A free software program that breaks encryption on commercial DVDs. This falls under copyright law and might be prosecuted by state agencies although that said it’s normally a federal offense. State law enforcement can generally however prosecute federal crimes as I understand it or otherwise partake in federal investigation and prosecution thereof. Of which is more common I do believe with civil asset forfeiture cases.

In spite of some of the issues with the legislation a small contingent of libertarians showed up to more or less in support the legislation as well as others from the free software community. One Jon “maddog” Hall, the Board Chair for the Linux Professional Institute, for instance came out and spoke in favor of the legislation.

Jon “maddog” Hall is the Board Chair for the Linux Professional Institute

The main theme surrounding the hearing seemed to be that of software security and the cost of implementation. New Hampshire’s head of IT for instance also spoke from what appeared to be a purchased lobbyist point-of-view. Declaring more or less that it would be of significant burden and cost to transition to free software (while saying they’re already using free software humorously). The opposing side of course pointed out the truth in that there is always a cost to migrate from one release of a program to another, but it’s not significantly different from that of migrating to free software. Not to mention that while free software isn’t about price, but the liberty, security, and control, this twisting and confusing of the bill was quite disingenuous. The long term costs are reduced as no license agreements need be acquired. Commercial support is generally available too despite the head of IT trying to confuse the reps by comparing commercial software to free software. These are for all intensive purposes one and the same. You can acquire commercial support from Redhat for instance for free software and even much of Microsoft’s own code is based on free software. This bill was about libre, not gratis where libre means freedom, and gratis means price.

While the head of NH IT argued against free software on the basis of features, commercial support, and security the reality is these are more often than not mute points given features can be added to free software unlike the proprietary software he favored. Security bugs can be fixed not at the whim of a particular company, but that of either, you, the community, or the commercial entity you contract with for said free software (example: Redhat). Yes- you can buy free software and many companies do. Just because something is libre doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t pay for its development/support. And unlike proprietary software free software can be seen, read, and audited by third parties with or without the consent of the company producing it (once released). These are the things that ensure security- not anti-virus software or proprietary software vendors of which the former is a kin to putting up a fence and expecting it to stop ants from coming onto your property. The head of IT didn’t stop there- even implying that free software was insecure through association with Bitcoin. While not said outright during the hearing he referenced recent socially engineered attacks on municipalities. Somewhat recently there were reports of municipalities being ‘hacked’- which were in reality social engineering attacks primarily involving the traditional banking system. It was only after the attacks occurred and the money paid by employees of the municipalities to criminals overseas that said money was utilized to purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. If there is a flaw- it’s not the software- and it’s certainly not the result of it being libre.

Video Of The Hearing On House Bill (HB) 1273

More “Picketing” Trial Video, All Defendants Found Not Guilty!

As we reported here at Free Keene last year, nine peaceful activists were ticketed for violating the unconstitutional ordinance against “picketing” outside the NH governor’s house in Newfields, New Hampshire. All but one of the nine have fought the bullshit charge.

Last month, the first “not guilty” verdict came in the case of Frank “Footloose” Staples. Now, five more of the “Newfields Nine” have also been found not guilty. Libertarian attorney Seth Hipple filed a motion to dismiss where he argued the Newfields picketing ordinance is unconstitutional, but the robed woman ignored those arguments when finding the defendants not guilty, which means the illegal ordinance remains in place.

Here are the videos from the trials of five of the Newfields Nine, both trial dates combined into one video:

Footloose on Trial for “Picketing”, “Disorderly Conduct” @ NH Governor’s House

Footloose Arrested at Sununu's House

Footloose Arrested at Sununu’s House

Activist Frank “Footloose” Staples, the founder of Absolute Defiance, has been persecuted by the state gang for his peaceful actions near NH “governor” Chris Sununu’s house at 71 Hemlock Ct in Newfields roughly a year ago. Footloose led a series of protests in the park across the street from the Sununu home over unconstitutional executive orders like the statewide mask mandate and other restrictions on business.

Whenever the state gang can identify the leader of a protest, they are inevitably targeted for attack and now Footloose has been arrested and ticketed multiple times. First, he was ticketed for attempting to hold a peaceful candlelight vigil near Sununu’s house, along with eight other people, aka “The Newfields Nine”. The police called this a violation of the town’s “picketing” ordinance, which was written specifically to protect Sununu from that dreaded free speech.

Just over a month later, he was arrested for “disorderly conduct” at a Shire Choir caroling event near Sununu’s house. All he was doing in the incident was speaking. According to police, he spoke too loudly.

In November, he was put on trial for the “picketing” and “disorderly” charges. I was there to record the full trials. The robed woman in Brentwood district court took the cases “under advisement” and ruled nearly two months later. She found Footloose not guilty of “picketing”, but conveniently didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the ordinance. She found him guilty of “disorderly conduct”, a Class B misdemeanor. He plans to appeal, but the next step is sentencing on April 7th at 9am. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

First up, the “disorderly conduct” trial:

Here’s the “picketing” trial: (more…)