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.


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