There's incrementalism and legitimate (preferably temporary) tactical compromise in the fight to regain individual liberty, and there's abject capitulation to authoritarianism. Essentially bargaining to retain merely the status quo. In this case, an unauthorized, immoral and ridiculously expensive in both blood and treasure -- to say nothing of simply empirically appallingly failed in its stated mission -- status quo, that satisfies nothing but "Big Pharma" and the police and prison unions, accomplishes nothing but to protect their profits, at your wallet's and your liberty's expense. Guess which is on display here?
When the 2 chambers (House and Senate) of NH's Legislative Branch -- the General Court -- pass differing versions of the same bill, and the 2 chambers can't agree on one of them, they can approve what's known as a Committee of Conference, where "leadership"-selected delegates from the 2 bodies meet to try to hammer out a compromise version that will be satisfactory to their peers.
This is such a Committee of Conference, 5/24/2016, regarding this session's edition of NH's mind-numbingly unremitting marijuana "decrim" dance. Not "legalization," mind you, which nevertheless sports approval of almost two thirds of the electorate. No, merely lessening the penalties -- supported by more than 70% (how's that for "representative government"?) -- that servant-government-with-no-lawfully-delegated-prohibition-authority-to-begin-with can rain down on your head for the defiant temerity of preferring a (safer) drug that it DOESN'T sell on the side of the highway. (You can find the Senate hearing on the House's original and typically overwhelmingly-passed 2016 'decrim' bill here.)
What we come away with, in startlingly record time, is a "compromise" that they won't, in fact, increase fines, as the Senate contingent magnanimously agrees not to get even tougher on peaceful people harming no one. The House's "actual decrim" version was never even proposed; that body's contingent certainly made no effort to make the proceedings at all uncomfortable for the Senate's devout prohibitionists. Busy day, busy day...
This Kabuki is preceded by (most of -- oopsie) a news conference directed by Marijuana Policy Project's New England Political Director Matt Simon that itself lasts about 10 times longer and is, as is sadly to be expected, far more informative, rational and fact-rich than the Committee's clearly preordained "deliberations".
This election season, make your directions clear to those who would presume to "represent" you. The Carsons and Forresters and Hosmers and Hassans and assorted other authoritarians and blind prohibitionists of this world who purport to own you need to be sent off to find less harmful things to do.
- No end to pot prohibition arrests in NH this session | New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Legislature takes step "sideways" on marijuana penalties - Marijuana Policy Project