Friday, February 20, 2015

Stealing Is A Crime, Isn't It?

Taking property from those whom you have not convicted of any crime -- and as I understand it, are, in fact, therefore innocent until proven guilty -- is stealing. Even -- perhaps especially -- when government does it. "Equitable sharing" is equitable only among the thieves.

Last year's bill to restrict such actions (just a little, since it has no effect on the feds) has been retooled, and today, 2/19/2015, the NH House Judiciary Committee hears testimony on HB636, "relative to forfeiture of property" -- civil asset forfeiture.

This Just In: Criminals Don't Care About 'Constitutional Carry'

The NH Senate version, SB116, 'Constitutional carry,' had its hearing on 1/29/2015. Now the House takes a look at its own. HB582, "repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver," before the Criminal Justice Committee, 2/19/2015. Only about an hour and a half of it, though, since, having started about an hour and a half late, your humble chronicler had to depart early to catch HB636, "," which shall follow anon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NH Decrim. Again.

NH. The lone recalcitrant New England authoritarian holdout. HB618, "relative to penalties for the possession of marijuana and relative to the cultivation of marijuana plants," before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/17/2015. Again.

And the stumbling block - - again -- is most likely to be our "liberal" governor  (second such in a row). And this is just for 'decrim', not 'legalization' -- which is what a free society would do (since, y'know, the only lawfully delegated 'prohibition' authority was repealed quite some time ago, as acknowledgement of the profoundly expensive mistake that it was). Might wanna just start getting on her now about it...

But first, the preceding press conference.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Getting A Handle On Police Militarization

So far, NH local governments have consistently demonstrated arrogant disinterest in what the NH citizenry thinks of their acquisition of surplus military equipment supplied to police departments by, well, by the military. Time to take it up the chain.

HB407, "prohibiting the state and political subdivisions from acquiring military-equipped vehicles or equipment which are not readily available in an open national commercial market," before the NH House Municipal and County Government Committee, 2/5 and 2/10/2015.

Friday, January 30, 2015

What If The Second Amendment Meant What It Said?

What if government weren't ever actually intended to be its (2A's) interpreter, its (government's) own arbiter, to decide the limits of its own authority, let alone with regard to an expressly acknowledged uninfringeable natural right?

Public hearing on SB116, "repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver." before the NH Senate Judiciary Committee, 1/29/2015. Some mighty fine testifyin'...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pay No Attention To Those Facts Behind The Curtain...!

Yes, that's the position taken by your servants in the NH Dept of Safety. And that defiantly head-in-the-sand attitude was really the only articulable objection to the subject of HB150, "establishing a study committee on the legalization of marijuana," when it was heard by the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 1/20/2015. Should we study it? No, gathering more information is just too dangerous to risk. Seriously: 'we don't want to know, and you shouldn't know either, employer,' is the argument to which they're reduced. "LA-LA-LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU...!!!"

Fine. You're fired...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weare PD Turmoil Continues - Voters Forgiving

Open Forum Meeting with [Weare, NH] Board of Selectmen - Public Welcome
On Wednesday, November 19th at 7 PM at the Weare Town Hall, the Board of Selectmen will be holding an open forum meeting. It will be an informational Q & A to discuss police matters and any other matters you may have regarding the Town. There has been a lot of news about our Town, let's get together and talk about it. Come share your concerns. Question your elected officials. Hope to see you there. Thank you.
Rah. Rah. Rah...

What's all this about? Ohhh, you've got some catching up to do...


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When Is A Work Session Not A Work Session?

When it turns out it's a session to discuss scheduling work sessions. This is the billed-as interim study work session of the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 9/17/2014, addressing:
  • HB1550, "permitting the audio and video recording of a public official while in the course of his or her official duties," (10/8)
  • HB1204-FN, "relative to perjury by a law enforcement officer," (nope -- or...?)
  • HB1607-FN, "relative to limited driving privileges after revocation for certain financial obligations," (10/7)
  • HB1575-FN-A, "requiring state police to wear a camera when interacting with the public," (10/1)
  • HB1485-FN, "relative to vulnerable users of highways, (10/7)
  • HB1566-FN, relative to warrant requirements," (10/1)
  • HB645-FN, "relative to an extended term of imprisonment for persons with 2 prior convictions," (uh-uh)
  • HB1580-FN, "repealing mandatory minimum sentences" (10/8)
The work product was if and when they'll actually have work sessions (parenthetically appended to the above bills that made the cut, if you're interested). But as the Chair reminds the assemblage, pretty much all that can come of a bill consigned to "interim study" (over the interim in which an election is held) is a recommendation from the Committee that, well, somebody next session should sponsor such a bill. Wonderful. Although, a representative so inclined and paying attention can certainly glean some idea of what aspects might or might not win the Committee's coveted "Ought To Pass" recommendation. 'Course, the Committee might well have an entirely different make-up following the intervening election, so...

So utterly banal and pointless, I almost wasn't going to bother posting until Rep. Vaillancourt and Chair Pantelakos favored us with some of their trademarked, delightfully combative repartee near the end. After several reps in attendance specifically inquired as to my plans, I decided I couldn't just keep it to myself. And it is mercifully short. Comparatively...

A few historical notes to enhance your viewing pleasure:
  • "Recording of a public official while in the course of his or her official duties" is, at this point, settled law in NH. You're welcome -- not remotely that I did it alone, of course...
  • While even the notion of just state police SWAT teams wearing cameras was laughed out of its committee hearing just 2 and a half years ago, the zeitgeist has clearly shifted, particularly following the law enforcer horror show that has been Ferguson, MO. And driven in part by the previous note, Weare PD, at least, is now wearing chest cameras.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weare Police Apologize for 1A and A8 Violations

You read that right, faithful reader. "Regret and apologize." And that's the US Constitution's 1st Amendment 'free-speech' protections and the NH Constitution's Part 1st (the state Bill of Rights equivalent) Article 8 'government accountability' mandates (as well as Article 22 'free speech,' of course), particularly, exercise of which on the fateful night of 7/10/2010 eventually earned your humble chronicler, over 7 months later on 2/22/2011, service of a belated but by then presumably quite carefully considered -- yet still profoundly misguided -- felony 'wiretapping' warrant.
These violations were in addition to their demonstrated serial contempt (and, in fact, uniquely demonstrated, WPD being the only NH police department ever to not eventually, wisely, in a nominally Article-8-'the-boss-has-given-us-our-orders' self-preservation sort of way, drop such charges for recording an employee cop) for NH statute RSA 570-A:1's clear definition of "oral communication." This state law stipulates prevailing circumstances justifying an expectation of privacy first before audio (the only type even at issue) recording can be considered "illegal". You say, officer, that you can't be overheard on a public street -- to say nothing of while coercing a non-voluntary conversation, on highly suspect pretext, as a public servant? I don't think so.

And I really did try to explain all this to them that night. Had they listened -- or hell, just subsequently taken the time to research it, themselves, in the convenience of their lair in the ensuing 7 months -- they could have saved us all a lot of time and aggravation, the taxpayers yet another liability insurance premium increase, and WPD considerable -- additional, I mean -- embarrassment and ultimately (finally) compelled public contrition. 'Course, by then they were "in for a penny" anyway, as the saying goes, with 2 if not 3 other 'wiretapping' cases simmering away already. Then they hit me with a felony charge, which in the booking room I also explained wasn't possible, since the recorder (me) was a party to the conversation. And eventually, while I sat waiting for the bail commissioner, a small voice (earlier that evening, the lead officer on the warrant service) from behind the desk was inspired to offer -- as a result of doing actual research, one might suppose (he's gone now, btw) -- "Y'know? I think you're right..." Hmm. But yeah, the charges were carefully considered, alright...

And other aspects, most notably the Article 15 right to produce potentially exculpatory evidence -- which ya can't "produce" if ya can't "produce," if ya know what I mean -- particularly when dealing with rogue servants with a legal monopoly on force (and a state-sanctioned license to kill, we've since learned, along with historically conveniently unreliable recording equipment of their own) and on top of it all, despite it all, somehow, long-established government permission to lie.

But the courts have all agreed that WPD should have already known they were acting illegally by arresting citizens recording their servants -- before I helpfully tried to explain it to them, detained against my will (and the law, for that matter) on the public roadside of a public thoroughfare. So again, no special some-pigs-are-more-equal-than-others "qualified immunity" (at least not on this particular issue anymore, in this jurisdiction, anyway...). Bottom line, if you're arrested in NH for recording cops, call a lawyer. No-brainer. (And no great surprise, I have an excellent experienced suggestion for ya...)

So, following yet another popular and well-deserved eventual defeat (and rapid settlement) in the legally related 'Gericke' case most recently before the US First Circuit Court of Appeals mere weeks ago (links to much relevant media -- along with the documenting of far too many other less-than-shining, occasionally surreally-malevolent-circus-like departmental moments, certainly not least of which being the tangential 2010~11 shakedown/perpetual stakeout/prosecution of a small business owner and subsequent settlement, or last year's infamous holy-shit-where-did-that-come-from "Murder by Unsupervised Sleepy Cops at a Donut Shoppe [followed by complicit AG dereliction]" and another subsequent quiet settlement thereof [are ya detecting a pattern here?] -- can be found interspersed here) -- anyway, following 'Gericke' (which was WPD's second 'wiretapping' civil settlement to that point), the ever-hapless Weare PD here once again played 'Washington Generals' to their frequent adversaries -- my champions on the field of high-stakes juridical combat -- the Law Offices of Martin & Hipple's 'Harlem Globetrotters'.

Yet all along, they and their (also -- and far too often and easily) tax-funded legal representation insisted on disdainfully maintaining their defiant denial of the ever-growing clarity of their situation's stark reality. Always petulantly (yet somehow still self-assuredly) behind the curve. Kicking and screaming and digging their hole. And it certainly did cost them. Repeatedly -- and, it should have been, entirely predictably. It all really could be terribly amusing if they weren't so terribly dangerous to life and liberty and town budgets...

Sidebar, your honor: One might posit that in the Grand Scheme, all this might not be all that important on its own, in isolation. I'd still object, but... An "alternative timeline," a "thought experiment" -- and a call to action -- that I think should be considered here, too, is that had the stunning exposures of 'Hodgdon' and 'Chatel' (even a cop/lawyer they attempted to destroy) and 'Gericke' and 'Kostric' and 'Alleman' (and...) all somehow been able to have run their collective legal course and exerted their collective influence only a year sooner, had activists (reluctant or otherwise) intent on reform somehow compelled from the grassroots up the long-necessary fundamental change (that very clearly was never going to be driven from anywhere else, anywhere with a metaphorical sceptre and fancy hat, any government entity actually stepping up and accepting responsibility, anywhere with effective jurisdiction and control and something remotely resembling an ethical code or even earnest fiducial concern for the ever-mounting tax impact), succeeded in compelling that real change in the Weare police department just a measly year sooner than they (hopefully) did, then Alex Cora DeJesus might very well still be alive today instead of having been murdered in a lunatic clusterfuck of contemptuous, incompetent, unsupervised (and ultimately unaccountable) cowboy police-state authoritarianism. In fact, the new chief, despite the "Thin Blue Line" traditionally separating employer and habitually insular and recalcitrant employee (so props for that), has invoked the "c" word. That's right, corruption.

Don't let this shit slide, people. Hold "troublesome servant and fearful master" government (excellent advice, disputed provenance or not) accountable and tightly tethered. Always. That's your responsibility if a free society is to be retained. If ya give 'em an inch, suddenly they think they're a ruler. They work for you, gorram it. Aim to "misbehave". Somebody's life could depend on it, after all -- could depend on you. Take a stand. Never forget, never dismiss, never underestimate the tangible cost of complacence and inaction.You, too, can compel positive change. Hell, someday soon we might even be able to stop the BEARCATs...
"We are not powerless. We have tremendous potential for good or ill. How we choose to use that power is up to us; but first we must choose to use it. We're told every day, 'You can't change the world.' But the world is changing every day. Only question is...who's doing it? You or somebody else?"
-J. Michael Straczynski-

Anyway, leaving us here, finally, 7/15/2014, four grueling years later. The historically defiantly non-responsive Weare PD (and presumably the town that allegedly supervised them, ostensibly kept them on a leash, and continues to pay the cost for them), collective hat in hand, is publicly sorry that they (or what's left of 'em at this point, anyway), with much consideration, put me through an unlawful arrest for lawfully recording them (after they willfully and with nefarious intent, and already much history, stalked me for 3 miles [notably, from the aforementioned strong-armed-but-ultimately-vindicated small business] and then filed a false police report about it -- but hey, who'd be made at all nervous by that...?) and a malicious prosecution (well, the courts only allowed them to get as far as a pre-trial defense motion before summarily kicking it, but you get the drift).

Apologize. With a formal letter. From the Weare police department. Yes. I don't know what it may have cost during settlement negotiations in terms of potential maximum monetary damages, but it was my (perhaps unrealistic) objective from the beginning. And my attorneys got it. And it was so worth it... (Although, formal "free speech violation" apologies from police chiefs might just be becoming a "thing"...)

Oh yeah, and $35K is nice, too, particularly given that my property taxes will likely be going up -- again -- to pay "my fair share" of so very much restitution for all WPD's arrogant transgressions against its employers, AKA humanity, and humanity's inalienable rights. And with it, too, WPD might just discover that they're helping to fund some more "projects" they'd probably still rather not be associated with...

And again, a profoundly heartfelt "thank you" to the Free State Project community, as well, for rallying to my financial and emotional support, desperately needed for me to wage this small, but I believe significant, and now finally successful fight against today's aggressively metastasizing police/"security" state. And thank you, Carla, for (being forced to) taking point in the 1st Circuit so I didn't have to. ;-) Hey, you got this kind of community where you live now, dear reader...?

So here's the letter of regret and apology, originally received via PDF'd fax on 6/25/2014 during final negotiations, 15 days shy of 4 years since the start of this oppressive odyssey -- again, one for which, as a Weare taxpayer, I've been "privileged" to fund both sides. Given the department's apparent cultural transformation (so far), I believe it was worth it. "No admission of wrong-doing" standard boilerplate? Ri-i-ight...

Although, the courts said that this, specifically, wasn't "new case law." That this was already established law. That's why we're here, after all, isn't it? "New law," unfathomably granting the protection of "qualified immunity," was expressly not the problem in this case. 'Feel-good aspirations going forward' are fine, but not keeping up with old established law was what got them in so much trouble. They clearly need continuing ed on the influence of old case law, too, seems to me.

Or, hell, maybe screw the ever-mounting self-serving conveniently-servant-government-interpreted court-decreed "precedents," and just review the actual, authorizing Constitution(s) and some "Andy Griffith Show" reruns -- you know, from back before the "War On People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™ and the "Perpetual Global War on Tactics" somehow eradicated the (supposedly binding) enumerated powers and the Bill of Rights, and rendered us all prisoners of our own ostensibly servant government.

I was recently approached at a local charity event by one of the principals in this particular adventure in the free state, to assure me that the change in his department is real and permanent. Only time will tell, of course, but I still want to see less "enforcement" and more "keeping the peace." As the new chief, himself, put his perception of what the people want (and what took them so long, anyway?)...
Even the unit’s longtime motto, “Maintaining Unity in the Community,” was overhauled. It now reads: “Preserving the Peace.”
“That’s what our community wants us to do,” Velleca said. “They want us to understand, ‘Look, it’s peaceful here. Try and keep it that way. Don’t disrupt it. We’ll call you when we need you, and when we need you, please be professional and intelligent and know your job. But until then, let us be.’”
Good advice. But for whatever apparent deliberate change may have been implemented so far -- and given the above-related ignominy, where the hell else could they be at this point without sparking a sequel to the Pine Tree Riot (celebrated by the town's own historical society)? -- we're not quite there yet, young fella. Always out on the prowl, looking to start trouble, rather than just quietly sitting on your hands waiting for that call for assistance. From my perspective on the opposite side of the police radio scanner, "Sheriff Taylor" is still just an aspirational objective. Why can't police departments be more like fire departments? Weare's 2015 Town Meeting sure should be interesting...

Anyway, take it away, Martin & Hipple. Following, victories first in my criminal case (a 'Golden Oldie' from 11/4/2011 -- and is it just me, or does Seth look a little like Malcolm Reynolds...?), and then (eventually, as soon as my attorneys return from their well-deserved 'victory lap') in my freshly settled civil case (hey, ya knew there'd be video here eventually, right?)...


Addendum. "It could be worse." I hear that occasionally, usually voiced with at least mild exasperation -- "What's wrong with you? Be happy you're not in a gulag...!" The suggestion, apparently, being that incessantly compounding rights violations by ostensibly servant government are trivial and inevitable, and we simply shouldn't poke the deadly and conscience-free dragon.

I concede that I'm not in an actual gulag (yet -- although how far off is the "effective" border fence, which necessarily works both ways? And the metaphorical "border fence" of the capriciously pulled passport, or the secret "no-fly" list clearly already exist -- 'cuz obviously people need government's gracious permission to exercise their inalienable rights. Or "extraordinary rendition." Or the NDAA. And what of the fundamental right to travel, enjoyed by "all men," according to this government's charter, and protected by this government wherever it enjoys lawful jurisdiction -- and outside of which it's acting criminally, anyway). Is that then necessarily cause for rejoicing, or even mere complacence? I don't live in North Korea or Cuba -- or even New Jersey, for that matter -- and that should be good enough for anyone? What would the Framers think? And even if the US were "the freest country in the world," that's damning with faint praise, anyway, as far as I'm concerned. Only the "best" of an entirely bad lot.

But "it" -- by which I'm referring particularly to our strained (even one-sided, the wrong, the unauthorized, the unlawful way) relationship with our increasingly recalcitrant overlords (a condition that, refreshingly, seems to escape the notice of fewer every day) -- didn't used to be this bad, now did it? And not all that far back, either (relatively speaking, of course). By rights (see what I did there?), there should have been another secessionist revolution (like the one we all just ostensibly celebrated on Independence Day, right?) long ago, but it got this bad because too many Stockholm Syndrome sufferers have always protested, at their least conspicuously sycophantic, "Hey, it could be worse."

Sure. And following utterance of that phrase, it will always get worse. And mostly for future generations, sadly, who conveniently have no say in the matter and, also conveniently, will never have a nettlesome memory of "how it used to be" hampering their resigned compliance -- particularly if they're fed their history by self-serving government schools, lionizing oath-breakers like--. Well, this post has prattled on long enough already.

Anyway, at the very least, "it" will get worse because it's perceived as a challenge. But more likely because it's perceived as a gift-wrapped, silver-plattered opportunity by self-authorized thieves of other people's "life, liberty and property." Worse because the depths of the people's tolerance, inexplicably, has yet to be plumbed. Worse until some semblance of effective resistance is met.

It could also always be better, however. Hell, that's the direction the activists united by the FSP are all about charting. Toward better. But 'better' won't happen as long as too many are satisfied with it simply not being worse -- which, since empirically they aren't at their tolerance limit yet, it will be tomorrow. Worse. Continually, until their limit is found -- at least. Guaranteed.
"The natural tendency of things, it seems, is for government to grow and for liberty to retreat."
-Thomas Jefferson-
Me, I'm aiming for better. I'm agitating for better (not as effectively as some, but hey, we do what we can, right?). But that must start with simply not being resigned to 'not worse (yet).' "Show up," and demand better, as your birthright.

Just for the record, though, in this particular odyssey, starting at this particular midnight, I was actually making a verifiably coordinated effort to avoid this particular challenge -- just like the naysayers would want me to do. Just trying to get home uneventfully. Yes, granted, following a marvelous (entirely peaceful) rally that certainly attracted (further heightened) infelicitous unlawful attention. Is that, too, illegal now?

But "worse" was relentlessly intent (in a violent-latchkey-teenager-with-too-much-idle-time-on-his-hands sort of way) on testing my tolerance limit, regardless. It hunted for me (well, for someone leaving that particular parking lot -- I was just the ultimately-illconsidered-prey-of-opportunity), and it stalked me with the objective of intimidating me, and it violated the law as well as my inalienable rights. Great job "protecting and serving," that. Fortunately, like that mouse flipping off the diving hawk, righteously indignant self-defense just took over, and I did what I could.

And justice has now finally been served. Cold as a "Live Free or Die" winter...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"We're Not Studying This..."

"The intent of the 'interim study' is not to study anything." That trenchant legislative assessment is regarding the current prospects for HB1622, the proposed 'home-grow' option for NH medical marijuana pain patients (the patient, obedient or just apprehensive ones, anyway) while they uncomfortably yet dutifully wait for the state's (unauthorized) self-delegated monopoly on distribution of said plant to finally come on-line. Oh thank you, barbaric overlords!

And truer words have rarely been spoken, Senator Kelly. "Interim study" is merely a mechanism to avoid accountability, to quietly yet still gracelessly kill the bill, to continue to put off the issue until it's entirely pointless -- at the cost of others' suffering, of course. But there will, indeed, be no further "study" involved if the committee has its way. This is purely about intransigent delay.

And Senator Gilmour, "clearly" you don't want to "get people the relief and help that they need." You're voting against such a "getting" right now! If patients could grow their own while still-and-forever waiting on the State's incessant foot-dragging, it most certainly would "accomplish that in a way that's gonna work." I betcha some of them are even doing it right now without your "permission." I realize that you may not have noticed your imperious stonewalling, but I assure you that I certainly have.

Patients in pain aren't "asking" you, their ostensible servant, for your "help" -- for anything other than to get the hell out of their way, to "allow" them the basic human right of ownership and control over their own failing bodies again in this "free" (HAH!) society, so that they can manage their own painful suffering, so that they can nominally improve their own quality of life, thankyouverymuch. What about people who are in pain TODAY, Senator? What about them? What do you say to them? Right now? "Sorry, my hands are tied"? You've tied them all by yourself. Find a principle.

But Senator Gilmour, your entirely conscious choice here today, yet again, is to refuse, to ignore their pain, to retain your unlawful, unauthorized (and whence -- or more specifically, from whom -- does authority emanate in this Constitutional Republic, anyway? do you know? do you care?) control over their painful lives, to simply tell them to suck it up and deal with it until you're satisfied. They can have relief when you say they can have relief, and not a moment sooner. But we're all still so terribly hopeful the bureaucracy can find a way to ever so beneficently "permit" them to lessen their suffering some time in the near future -- hey, maybe next session. Maybe even before they die...

And the result of 'interim study,' Senator Reagan, will be that people are still needlessly in pain in the interim -- because of the NH Senate (yet again) and an infuriatingly general disregard for the rule of Constitutional law, and the limits on interference in people's lives that's intended to be imposed on the government thus authorized.

And Senator -- hell, Committee Chair -- Stiles, if Matt Simon is correct (and I certainly wouldn't bet against his analysis), then you're clearly voting on rules over others' lives that you don't even comprehend (not that, in government, you're remotely unique in that, horrifyingly sad to say). Take ownership. Be proud.

Conveniently missing here is the increasingly-accomplished-suckup-to-power-and-only-marginally-good-'game-talker' (listen to him just at this bill's own public Senate hearing if you've doubts) Senator Sanborn -- formerly mine, and good riddance, really -- who makes his well-timed entrance just after I shut off the camera. Oopsie... Find a principle.

Honestly, I could not have more contempt for these people if they paid me to do so -- the problem, of course, is that they really could not care less if I paid them to do so. Yet somehow we continue to enable them to control our peaceful lives. Does that seem right to you...?

From the NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy:
Dear Friends,

Last week was an irritating week in the New Hampshire Senate. We were patiently waiting for HB 1625, the House-approved decriminalization bill, to be scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate. Unfortunately, Senate President Chuck Morse decided to prevent this bill from even receiving a hearing in the Senate this year.

Morse was able to do this under Senate rules because a somewhat similar bill was rejected by the Senate last year. However, it’s still a very questionable decision, and Morse should be criticized for thwarting the will of the House and the will of over 60% of voters who support this sensible reform.

We haven’t heard the last of this issue. HB 1625 is dead, but since it passed the House, House rules allow the House to attach decriminalization language to any bill that has passed the Senate. This possibility was mentioned in the Union Leader Sunday.

The only bill that is currently being considered by the Senate is HB 1622, which would allow qualifying patients to cultivate two mature plants until a dispensary opens within 30 miles of their residence.

This very limited home cultivation bill must pass or patients will continue to suffer needlessly. Many patients simply can’t afford to wait another year and a half or more for a dispensary to open. Please call and email your senator today.


Here's another commentary on the fate of that other bill, HB1625, "relative to penalties for possession of marijuana in the amount of one ounce or less and the cultivation of marijuana plants" -- that's "decrim" -- House hearing video for which can be found here.

Here's the thing. The NH House has a similar rule that it cannot accept a bill in the second year of the 2-year legislative session if a substantially similar bill was rejected by the House in the first year. Gotta wait until after the turnover presumably imposed by the intervening election. However, if that similar bill passed in the first year -- and therefore necessarily continued on to the Senate -- it can be reintroduced in the second year. Happens fairly frequently. 'Course, for that procedure to be of any purpose, the first bill must have gone on to consideration and subsequent failure in the Senate that first year (or been vetoed, which isn't as common as Senate crushings, in my experience -- the Senate generally enjoys protecting the Executive Branch, for some reason, and delivering the death blow itself).

But what about similar bills from the other body? Well, just this year, as it happens, the House rejected its own casino gambling bill HB1633, yet having already passed the Senate, substantially similar Senate casino gambling bill SB366 had its public House hearing earlier this month (and in fact should also be getting 'Exec'd' today). So it would seem that the House will still look at a similar bill sent over from the Senate.

But why would the House bother revisiting a topic all those times in second years if Senate president Morse' outlandish objection that the Senate extends no such similar "courtesy" were remotely typical? What would be the point of having such a rule if such a bill were necessarily always doomed as procedurally DOA in the Senate in a second year? No, a stillborn HB1625 (a general track on which HB1622 now also rides) is entirely about the Senate not having to go on the record in an election year on a bill the public, its employers, clearly wants, but it arrogantly doesn't.

Here's a thought for you, dear voter: take the Senate's actions here as being its opinion entirely on the record when you visit your friendly neighborhood polling place later this year. But do get yer popcorn ready for the Committee of Conference over whatever pet Senate bill "decrim" gets tacked on to by the House...

Anyway, herewith, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee Executive Session on HB1622, "permitting qualifying patients and registered caregivers to cultivate cannabis for therapeutic use," 4/22/2014. See the House committee's 2/20/2014 Executive Session here, and the Senate committee's 4/8/2014 public hearing here.