Friday, February 22, 2013

Medicinal MJ on the Island of NH: The Final (Defensive) Assault?

No doubt about it: the authoritarians and protectionists in the state already landlocked by successful medical pot are scared shitless.

Last session's medicinal marijuana legislative hearings were, aside from the usual hysterical suspects, surprisingly uneventful and productive. SB409 was then passed by the GOP-dominated NH House and Senate, vetoed by a Democratic (which really ought to be in quotes, shouldn't it?) governor, then overridden by that GOP House, only to fall tantalizingly short of a similar override in the GOP Senate.

This year's HB573-FN, submitted to a Democratic House, however, here before the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, 2/21/2013, appears to have reinvigorated the Forces of Force. How many were "on the clock," being paid by you, harried taxpayer, to self-servingly lobby your other servants to continue infringing your liberty, your self-ownership, your authority over even your own body? Whom does the Legislative Branch serve, faithful reader: the Executive Branch and crony lobbyists all with vested financial interests and delusions of superior judgment and the delegated authority to impose it, or the people?

We'll start, though, with testimony first by pain patient Clayton Holton and former NH state representative (and former bill sponsor) Evalyn Merrick, then by (briefly) a standard-issue Executive Branch thug, an exasperated citizen (AKA, the recalcitrant thug's unwilling employer), and a couple lobbyists for people in pain -- most of whom couldn't afford to be here to testify in opposition to their own belligerent servants.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

'Pot Fest' Confronts 'Justice'

Will justice prevail? Selected testimony from the brace of marijuana bills heard by the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/14/2013.

First, Rich Paul testifies regarding the unalienable right to pursue happiness and HB492, "relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana." Then Rep. Mark Warden introduces HB337, "legalizing marijuana and cannabis." Following, a couple new arrivals (to my knowledge) -- and very welcome, indeed -- to NH liberty activism join Rich Paul again in also addressing HB337. Finally, Marijuana Policy Project Legislative Analyst Matt Simon and NH Common Sense Executive Director Kirk McNeil speak during the hearing on HB621, "decriminalizing possession of less than one ounce of marijuana," but reference all 3 bills. See more of these hearings here.

Rich Paul

Rep. Mark Warden

Select Testimony

Matt Simon and Kirk McNeil

Friday, February 15, 2013

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

What a lovely day to coo. Or to start a coup... Hemp was last month, and medical marijuana is still to come, but HB492, "relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana," HB337, "legalizing marijuana and cannabis," HB621, "decriminalizing possession of less than one ounce of marijuana," all have their initial public hearings before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee on Valentine's day, 2/14/2013. Can ya feel the love?

First, though, we'll lead off with a little historical compilation, because FSP-spawned NH political activism has historical context now, don'tchaknow. Peter Morency, president of the "NH Chiefs of Police Association" at the time, and Ian Freeman, representing "NH Organized Crime," separately but unitedly advocate for the preservation of the status of certain inanimate substances as arbitrarily "illegal," and for the continuation of the tragic, destructive and entirely preventable phenomenon of "prohibition-related crime," before the same committee back in January of 2008 on HB1623-FN (the entirety of which hearing can be relived here). The former for cushy monopoly job security (as in this clip he wistfully waxes nostalgic over the "good-times" Capone-era alcohol prohibition responsible for such "common good" benefits to society as the incident referred to in this post's title) -- and the sheer power-trip, of course -- and the latter as continued "force-monopoly" protectionism for his organization's prevailing government-enabled black-market business model. Then Ian testifies again for the same organization, before the same committee, on this day, in opposition to HB492. Sadly, the new House majority is also a humorless majority, evidently, and subtle satire is lost on them, however incisive: this time the Chair seems confused by Ian's employment of Mark Twain-style analysis. So Ian subsequently takes a shot at them out of character for HB337.

The difference between Peter and Ian (similarly testifying in opposition), of course, is that Peter is deadly serious. Peter, you represented the chiefs' vested self-interest (on the taxpayers' dime) so earnestly, so proudly and so well. Where have you gone? Ahh. Expanding your empire, I see...

It's profoundly sad that NH has had so many opportunities to lead on this issue -- substantively thwarted in recent years by an ostensibly liberal governor, ironically enough -- and yet finds herself playing catch-up as other states successfully rediscover their 10th Amendment prerogatives, reassert their sovereignty over an increasingly rogue yet intentionally limited general government, put their servants back in their place, and stop persecuting peaceful people for the temerity of assuming that they actually own their own bodies, that they're not the property of the state. It's long past time for servant bureaucrats to lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.

And by the way, just to finally say it in print (although I did inquire of the Senate almost a year ago, at the very end of that hearing), there is absolutely no excuse for the people's employees to be lobbying, in their official capacity, against the people's wishes. None. Take off the badge or the uniform or the fancy hat, and you have just as much right to an opinion as anybody else. But as a public servant, your duty is to follow the public's orders, not to undermine them. We say "jump," you say "how high?" You aren't paid to contradict us. We tell you what is nece...!

If you, faithful reader, also believe your representatives should be preferentially listening to and accommodating you rather than your other servants, if you believe that the Legislative Branch is supposed to represent and be accountable to the people and not to the Executive Branch, tell them.

One more thing. Since it's an astonishingly indignant complaint we hear oppressively often in your committee room, Committee Chair Pantelakos, if you will promise that your government will start accepting its subservient role and consistently respecting and defending the "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" self-ownership of peaceful people, as is its intent, I promise we'll quit wasting our time by obliging you to "put up with" us, and we can all go do something more productive and enjoyable. Otherwise, you reap what you sow. Deal?

By your government's own faithless actions, you have compelled, you have necessitated our presence, our resistance, our hovering oversight of you -- and inventive tactics in the never-ending effort to actually get through to you. Get used to it, or convince us you don't require our supervision anymore. Your choice.


On with the show. Primary videos will appear in this post as they're uploaded over the next day or so. Six hours edited, for your sanity, to only the pro-(all)-rights speakers (though HB621 is complete). I may isolate other testimony in a future post...

Cops & Robbers

HB492, 'tax & regulate'

HB337, 'legalize'

HB621, 'decrim'