Only Two City Councilors Voted Against Expanding Nicotine Prohibition in Keene

Keene City Council Voting for Prohibition - Photo by Vincent Freeman

Keene City Council Voting for Prohibition – Photo by Vincent Freeman

It’s an early step of the ugly political process that may ultimately expand nicotine prohibition up to age 21 in Keene, New Hampshire. As sadly expected, the full city council voted 12-2 last night to order city staff to write up a new ordinance prohibiting the sale and possession of nicotine-related products for under 21s within the arbitrary geographic area known as Keene.

Several councilors spoke with the majority using the spectre of children using nicotine and how dangerous and addictive the chemical is to justify voting in favor of moving ahead with writing the ban, ignoring all the historic evidence of the failure of prohibition. One councilor, Mitch Greenwald, even voted with the majority despite bizarrely acknowledging in his remarks that prohibition hasn’t worked.

Prohibition is a tactic based on aggressive force against peaceful people that has created terrible unintended consequences each time in history it’s been tried. This time won’t be any different. The council will push legal sales outside the city limits and encourage police to harass even more young people than ever before. Tickets will be written just like they are constantly for underage alcohol possession. The tickets will obediently be paid, and the person who got caught will try to be more careful and not be discovered in the future. Oh, and black market sales to 18-20 year olds will expand in Keene.

You can watch the whole, ugly council discussion and vote here:

It was refreshing to see a couple of politicians stand up against the insanity, including both of Ward 4’s councilors, Margaret Rice and Bob Sutherland who not only voted against crafting the ban, but spoke against it. Rice eloquently said, in her speech to the council:

“It’s not my role to tell somebody what they can and cannot do with their own body, provided that they’re not harming anybody else.” (more…)

Libertarian Transgender Sheriff Candidate Featured in Union Leader Article

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

Aria DiMezzo made history recently by becoming the first-ever candidate for Sheriff in the United States. Now, she’s making major news with the top newspaper in New Hampshire featuring her in an article about the opinions of the three candidates for Sheriff in Cheshire County.

Not only does the UL’s Damien Fisher feature a quote from Aria at the end of the article, the feature’s photo is of Aria.

It’s going to be an interesting election. Finally, the people of Cheshire County actually have a pro-liberty choice for Sheriff.

You can read the coverage from the Union Leader here. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

After Public Hearing, Keene Councilors Vote 3-1 For Nicotine Prohibition for Under 21s

Photo of the audience at the start of the meeting.

Photo of the audience at the start of the meeting.

Last night a committee of four Keene city councilors met to hear from the people on an awful proposal by a group of busybodies to prohibit the sale and possession of nicotine-related products by people under the age of 21 in Keene.

At least, that’s the summary of the proposal the city clerk had prepared for the council and was plastered at the top of the comment cards available in the room. But wait, was that actually their proposal?

Kate McNally, program manager for “Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities”, despite being the person who started this awful political process spoke first and explained that her group was NOT asking the city to prohibit the use of nicotine, just the sale. She seems to realize that criminalizing possession would allow police to target young people for harassment and spoke against that clearly. In a perfect example of how you don’t control the government once you set it in motion, the majority of the committee voted 3-1 to ask city staff to write up an ordinance that would prohibit both sale AND possession of nicotine by people under 21 in Keene. That includes tobacco and all vaporizing products like vape pens and nicotine juice.

Congrats, Ms. McNally – you started this hoping to control just the merchants and you got more than you bargained for. The ban hammer is going to swing much farther and harder than even you wanted.

The council members ignored the pleas of various people including downtown merchants, industry associations, and individuals. No amount of logic and persuasion worked. The history and continued failure of prohibition meant nothing to them. It didn’t matter that the lady from Keene Middle School admitted the failure of nicotine prohibition on their campus. Despite the fact that it’s ALREADY illegal for them to buy and possess, even middle schoolers are using nicotine.

Here’s the full hearing including all testimony minus a quick battery change:

Though the owner of Monadnock Vapor, Daniel Cavallero, pointed out they’d just be creating a black market, the councilors still believe in the failed, authoritarian, sick dream of prohibition and voted to move ahead with drafting the ordinance. Next, the full city council will vote on the committee’s recommendation at next week’s Thursday meeting. Presuming that happens, city staff will draft a prohibition ordinance which will then receive a public hearing in front of the same committee.

Only one councilor, Bob Sutherland, heroically voted against the proposal. He also asked some good questions of McNally toward the end of the hearing. Sadly, he’s the only councilor on the committee who has his sanity.

Live free or die, unless you’re in Keene. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this madness.

Keene Dentist, Vape Shop, Indian Restaurant, & Hair Salon Now Accepting Bitcoin & DASH!

Dr. Drower Dentistry Now Accepts Cryptocurrency

Dr. Drower Dentistry Now Accepts Cryptocurrency

Longtime readers here know that Keene and Portsmouth New Hampshire are two hotspots in the world of cryptocurrency. The Western and Easternmost cities in New Hampshire are living proof that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or DASH can be used successfully at retail, with multiple downtown local mom-n-pop businesses accepting crypto at point-of-sale. Though real life crypto usage is not all about delicious handmade pizza, BBQ, Indian food, burgers, or alcoholic beverages that you can buy with crypto in downtown Keene, it’s also about products AND services.

Keene’s newest vape shop, Lineage Vapors recently opened in the Center at Keene on Gilbo Ave and is accepting both Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH. While Corner News has been selling vaporizers and accessories for years (and accepting crypto for longer than anyone in Keene), Lineage Vapors is a full-on vape-only shop and worth checking out. That makes Lineage Vapors the third business in the Center at Keene that accepts crypto. Little Zoe’s Pizza was first and was recently joined by Curry Indian Restaurant who serves excellent Indian and Pakistani cuisine seven-days-a-week for both Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH. Not only is the food great, it’s also nice to know that cryptocurrency helps local merchants by keeping more money in their pockets and therefore in the local economy but can also easily be sent internationally if needed, for next to no cost. This can surely help families like the Alis who run Curry Indian send money to relatives worldwide, bypassing the expensive, slow, old money methods of remittances like Western Union and the big banks.

Keene Defeats Major Cities in Per-Capita Businesses Accepting Crypto

Keene Defeats Major Cities in Per-Capita Businesses Accepting Crypto

In addition to food, convenience items and vaping, and even auto repair (all available for crypto in Keene), you can add dentistry to the list with Dr. Drower Dentistry receiving coverage in the Keene Sentinel for accepting cryptocurrency. In his press release announcing the welcoming of cryptocurrency-paying patients, Dr. Sean P. Drower said, “For digital coin to become useful in everyday life people need to be able to use it as currency, for something besides speculative investing.” Kudos to Dr. Drower for helping lead the way into the future of money.

Dr. Drower Dentistry, Curry Indian, and Lineage Vapors are all part of the DASH-Back program active now in Keene, where customers get an instant rebate in DASH whenever they spend DASH in Keene and at other New Hampshire merchants. DASH-Back is really cool and only happening in New Hampshire, thanks to Portsmouth-founded Anypay.global, the merchant point-of-sale crypto processor.

Also joining DASH-Back in Keene is longtime crypto-friendly Main St. hair salon, Moda Suo. Proprietor Nicholas Sansone was one of the original Bitcoin-accepting downtown businesses, however their original merchant provider, Coinbase, just wasn’t built for retail. So this week Moda Suo upgraded to the Anypay Point-of-Sale system, enabling DASH-Back for any customers who pay with DASH.

The Keene Crypto Network Meetup Group at Hot Hogs

The Keene Crypto Network Meetup Group at Hot Hogs

One of the really cool things about living in a place with a high concentration of crypto-accepting merchants is there’s a business-to-business crypto economy already developing. Business owners who are accepting crypto are finding ways to spend it with other crypto-accepting Monadnock businesses. For instance, one local business owner is currently ordering a shed from Route 101 Local Goods with her crypto she’s been saving up. Multiple local businesses have purchased advertising in the Monadnock Portal Map with cryptocurrency. Even radio ads are now available for crypto in Keene thanks to the sales manager at classic rocker 101.9 The Peak and sports radio 93.5 WEEY.

Plus, the local cryptocurrency Meetup group recently surpassed over 100 members and the group regularly attracts crypto-newbies to its real-life meetups held every eight days.

It’s really an exciting time of expansion for cryptocurrency in one of the top global hotspots, Keene, NH. According to Coinmap.org, Keene already handily beats major cities like San Francisco and New York when ranked per capita for crypto-accepting merchants. It’s only going to get better as more liberty-friendly cryptocurrency advocates move to New Hampshire as part of the NH freedom migration and add their economic strength to the area! Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest news on the developing crypto scene across New Hampshire.

Though Physically Caged, Ademo Freeman Remains Mentally Free

As many readers of FreeKeene.com are aware, Ademo Freeman’s physical body is now caged. His crime? Well, there is none, as ‘crime’ implies a violation of the law. Ademo did not do that — he did not cause harm to another person. He is, however, guilty of violating legalese — the arbitrary, convoluted dictates penned by some busy bodies and enforced by an unthinking chain of their colleagues.

As Ian Freeman wrote here on FreeKeene.com over 16 months ago:

Cop Block founder and Free Keene blogger Ademo Freeman has been arrested while driving in Lebanon, Ohio by Ohio State Police. Despite Ademo not consenting to a search, trooper Jeffrey Martin claimed that because he allegedly smelled the odor of cannabis, that he had probable cause to search.

After that road pirate interaction, in which over 20 pounds of cannabis were discovered in the vehicle Ademo was driving, he was threatened with the prospect of spending decades caged. After weighing his options, on April 10th of this year, Ademo took a plea deal. The ‘distribution’ charge hanging over his head was tossed and he pled guilty to possessing cannabis. He’s due to be free(r) on November 27th of this year.

(more…)

NH Libertarian Camping Festival “Forkfest 2018”: Recap, Photos, Tentative Dates for 2019

Darryl W Perry interviews Porcfest head organizer Rodger Paxton in the LRN.FM Tent at Forkfest 2018

Darryl W Perry interviews Porcfest head organizer Rodger Paxton in the LRN.FM Tent at Forkfest 2018

Forkfest 2018 was a success! From those I spoke with on the subject, we had way more attendees than last year (which was the first year of the new, decentralized libertarian camping festival). Numbers were noticeably heavier on the first day this year and we hit an estimated over 100 by Saturday. 150 more arrived Sunday for Jay Noone’s wedding and many stayed until the final day, Monday, which included parties thrown by Darryl W Perry and the now annual final night bash at Jim and Chris Babb’s campsite.

The attendees were much more geographically diverse with attendees from across the United States and even from as far away as Lithuania!

Of course, since Forkfest is decentralized and has no organizers or tickets, we really have only estimates of attendance based on observing the state of the campground. That said, it was clearly up maybe three times more than last year, and that’s if you don’t factor in the 150 wedding attendees.

The weather was excellent until the very last day when we were hit with a pounding storm during Free Talk Live‘s recording. Like last year, we broadcast from the event every day from one of the RV sites. Initially it was the opening night hangout for the hardcore campers who showed up for the always-least-populated first day of Thursday.

Rich Paul leads the traditional 4:20 celebration at Forkfest 2018.

Rich Paul leads the traditional 4:20 celebration at Forkfest 2018.

Friday a group of us hit the US Border Patrol internal checkpoint on which I blogged and posted video from yesterday here.

On Saturday, we gathered at the LRN.FM broadcast tent for 4:20 with Rich Paul performing his invocation over the PA system. Much cannabis was smoked and a good time had by all.

Sunday was Jay and Shalon Noone’s beautiful wedding and reception, attended by a good portion of the entire park. You can see photos from the wedding as well as the LRN.FM tent broadcasts on my Google Photos album here.

Monday included the parties I mentioned above and many vendors arriving for the Porcupine Freedom Festival which is the long-running, centrally-organized, ticketed libertarian festival that begins at the end of Forkfest.

Speaking of vendors, with the exception of a couple of heroic breakfast vendors, food vending was largely a missed opportunity. Many Forkfest attendees had to acquire their own food throughout a good portion of the festival. Luckily, the restaurant at the just-down-the-street Cabot Inn, “The Olde Bostonian Tavern & Grill” had recently started taking cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH! Some of us ate there on multiple evenings!

Shalon and Jay Noone, shortly after getting married - the first ever at Forkfest.

Shalon and Jay Noone, shortly after getting married – the first ever at Forkfest.

Word has definitely gotten around about Forkfest and many attendees were only planning on staying for Forkfest rather than staying all the way through the Porcupine Freedom Festival (Porcfest). Attendees I spoke with seemed to appreciate the fact that no one was in charge, the decentralization, and the freedom found at Forkfest as a result. (Porcfest, as an organized, board-directed festival, has acquired a number of undesirable rules and vendor fees that has turned many away over the years.)

As with last year, this year’s festival had different names, depending on whom you asked. Whether Forkfest, Somaliafest, or Banned Camp, it’s intended to be the five days prior to the start of the Porcupine Freedom Festival. Forkfest is five full days of no rules (beyond what Rogers Campground already has, and they are pretty hands-off) and just good liberty-oriented company at a beautiful site located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Each attendee decides what to do, bring, or create for others.

Pencil in Forkfest on your calendar for 2019 from June 13th until the 18th. Those are tentative dates, based on what Porcfest organizer Rodger Paxton said about Porcfest 2019’s likely dates of 6/18-23. For the latest info and to plan for next year with other attendees, please join the unofficial Forkfest forum and Telegram chat, which you can find via the unofficial website at Forkfest.party. You can also RSVP via the Forkfest 2019 entry on Liberty.menu. Given we only promoted this year’s event for three months prior and we’ll be promoting 2019 for a full year, it should be even bigger next year! See you in 2019!