Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The One Where the Commission Announces Its Findings Before the Hearing

For the predetermined deliberations of this lopsided simpatico NH Commission to Study the Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana (and here's the Senate hearing on the House bill to establish it) is what the NH House Criminal Justice Committee insists it must wait. But rest assured, citizen, your unauthorized overlords are unbiased. Uh-huh. They "represent" you, too...

Can this really be surprising, though, when the hand-picked membership is overwhelmingly comprised of unrepentant on-the-record -- even vestedly self-interested -- drug warriors? Oh, the prohibitionist/authoritarian echo chamber. Thank you, late-commission-addition attorney Paul "How the hell did he get in here?!?" Twomey, for injecting a shudder of jarring objectivity and honesty into the juggernaut.

The titular revelation barely 4 minutes into this "impartial" commission's only second non-"organizational" meeting, 11/27/2017 -- the announcement that the Chair is already intending to speak in House session against this year's "marijuana legalization" bill, HB656 (the Criminal Justice Committee's equally tediously predictable Executive Session for which can be seen here), and his request for the commission's consent for him to speak on behalf of the whole group at that time -- and then Mr. Twomey's desperately needed subsequent objection to said presumptuous, disingenuous, "really, who needs a horse anyway when we got this here dandy pre-ordained cart?" Committee Chair's request round out the first 6 minutes.

If you'd just prefer to skip over all the essentially "the feds might get mad!" and "we have to protect voluntary commercial partners from themselves!" -- and, of course, the ever-popular catch-all, "REGULATE ALL THE THINGS!" -- bullshit that comes next, Marijuana Policy Project's New England Political Director Matt Simon -- who isn't on this commission, bringing some deficient balance, right next to the devoutly prohibitionist private-sector advocacy group New Futures, because...? -- starts at about 59:00, providing some rational facts regarding the recent history and current regional state of "The War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™.

(Some unfortunate audio difficulties in the middle as my mic battery slowly expired without notice, somewhat ameliorated in post, but it clears up with a mic swap just after 1:24:00.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fiat Prohibition and the Defiant Tenacity of the State

The NH House Criminal Justice Committee addresses a pair of prohibition-antagonistic bills in Executive Session, 11/14/2017. HB287 and HB656 -- dealing with what you're "allowed" to do with your body and what you're "allowed" to put in your body, respectively -- thus get their official committee recommendations to the full body, which will likely vote on them next week. Get those cards and letters flowing, people...


Friday, November 3, 2017

NH House Speaker Candidates Forum

Hey, what are the odds the GOP-majority NH House can elect an actual Republican Speaker this time...?

NH House Freedom Caucus
Contact: info@nhhfc.org
For Immediate Release
October 26, 2017


New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus Announces Committed Speaker Candidates, Panelists for November 2nd Forum

Concord – The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus (NHHFC) will host a forum for candidates for Speaker of the House on next Thursday, November 2nd, after the House veto session. Currently, seven candidates for Speaker have confirmed for the event, which will be moderated by Rep. Len Turcotte (R-Barrington), with a panel of policy experts.

The confirmed speaker candidates are (in alphabetical order):
  • Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry)
  • Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown)
  • Deputy Speaker Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)
  • Rep. Jim McConnell (R-Swanzey)
  • Rep. Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford)
  • Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord)
  • Rep. Steven Smith (R-Charlestown)
The confirmed panelists for the event will be:
  • Andrew Cline, Interim President, Josiah Barlett Center
  • Andy Crews, President, AutoFair
  • Michelle Levell, Director, School Choice for New Hampshire
  • Ed Naile, Chairman, Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers

"The coming election for Speaker will have a significant impact on the state’s future, so it is critical to hear where the candidates stand on important issues facing the state. We’re thrilled to have such great participation and such a distinguished panel to help both House members and the public understand the vision of each candidate. Every candidate will get their chance to convince their colleagues to support them and the opportunity to earn their vote. This should be a very exciting forum," added Rep. Turcotte.

The New Hampshire House Freedom Caucus is a grassroots organization consisting of legislators and private citizens, who believe in personal liberty and the traditional conservative "Yankee" values that made New Hampshire a great place to live.

Follow @NHFreedomCaucus


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

'It's OK. We've Done It Before...'

And, apparently, gotten away with it...

SB66, "including a fetus in the definition of 'another' for purposes of certain criminal offenses," having been retained (to what purpose, anyway?) in the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, is somehow quickly resurrected for amendments and a final committee recommendation in Executive Session without benefit of public notice (even in the current House Calendar) or further publicly accessible hearings or meetings. The justification seems to be "oh, we've always done it that way." Mildly contentious procedural debate ensues, to be followed, with one exception, by party-line votes. The drama begins around the 8:00 minute mark, following some, umm, House-keeping chores, which include...

Tangentially but of considerable note, and having no "work product" to warrant a separate post, the bill for which your humble chronicler primarily had attended this day's festivities in the first place, HB656, "relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana" -- House hearing here, Senate hearing for their own version, SB233, here -- and expecting what the House Calendar dubbed a "work session", was instead simply assigned to a subcommittee without much fanfare, for work over the summer. Inquiring of the Chair when it became apparent the committee was done for the day, he volunteered that he believed that chances of passage are good.

No surprise, really, given that the House has passed "legalization" before (the first US legislative body to have done so, in fact). But he seemed to be signaling an even more significant result this time -- which itself should also not be surprising, given that NH (the "Live Free or Die" State) is soon to be surrounded by compatriot governments that finally acknowledge the utter failure of the utterly unauthorized "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"You Can't Grow It, But You Can Buy It"

"It's no crime to import hemp products; it's only a crime to create them." We leave those icky farming profits to crass free countries.

Hey, it's prohibition. You somehow expected reason...?

The NH Senate Judiciary Committee considers yet even still again the concept of ending in NH the criminalization (only of the cultivation) of remarkably versatile production materials, with testimony regarding HB151, "relative to industrial hemp as a controlled substance," 5/2/2017.

One more time: pollen from hemp ruins your marijuana crop. <drops the mic> You'd think the prohibitionist state would be all over this tactic, wouldn't ya? Except that there are all those cronies to protect in the chemical and paper and pharmaceutical industries. Plus, y'know, civil asset forfeiture, of course -- but then that doesn't even require the plant to be hemp, so...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

On Official Acknowledgement of the Right of Jury Nullification

Herewith, testimony before the NH Senate Judiciary Committee on HB133, "relative to a jury's determination as to the applicability of law." 4/25/2017. The question of whether juries have the rightful authority, regardless of the State's preferences, to judge not only the facts of a case, but the offended statute at issue -- jury nullification -- was settled (again) in NH in 2012, with the eventual gubernatorial signature on 2011's HB146, which at least restored the right of the defense to present to the jury the possibility of it exercising its collective conscience. The intention of this bill is to settle whether servant government, itself, needs to outwardly come to terms with that established fact.

But first by request, the isolated testimony of NH Liberty Alliance Political Director, the Honorable Dan McGuire.

And, of perhaps most note here, some of the historical (even official judicial) recognition (that the self-interested Attorney General and police prosecutor and Judicial Branch attorney in attendance this day, you will surely note, nevertheless choose conveniently to ignore) of the jury's clear and necessarily rightful authority to judge both fact and law. The People run this shop, and the juries that by design represent and run interference for them -- "12 good men and true," and not the government they hire, not their servants -- are the final arbiters of the society that they want.

"We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused, is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic of passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision."
-U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Maryland-
Source: US vs Moylan, 417 F 2d 1002, 1006 (1969)

"It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. Both objects are lawfully within your power of decision."
-Chief Justice John Jay-
Georgia v. Brailsford, 1794

"The judge cannot direct a verdict it is true, and the jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth of both law and facts."
-Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes-
(1841-1935) US Supreme Court Justice, also known as "The Great Dissenter"Horning v. District of Columbia, 1920

"I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."
-Thomas Jefferson-
to Thomas Paine, 1789. ME 7:408, Papers 15:269

"If a juror accepts as the law that which the judge states then that juror has accepted the exercise of absolute authority of a government employee and has surrendered a power and right that once was the citizen's safeguard of liberty, -- For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in the memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time."
-George Sutherland-
(1862-1942) U. S. Supreme Court JusticeSource: 2 ELLIOTS DEBATES, 94, BANCROFT, HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTION, p.267, 1788

"If a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's natural god-given unalienable or constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law."
-Harlan F. Stone-
12th Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court

"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided."
-Harlan F. Stone-
12th Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court
Source: 1941

"For more than six hundred years -- that is, since the Magna Carta in 1215 -- there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust, oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating or resisting the execution of such laws."
-Lysander Spooner-
(1808-1887) Political theorist, activist, abolitionist
Source: AN ESSAY ON THE TRIAL BY JURY p. 11 (1852)

"The pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of it's prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge."
-U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia-
Source: US v. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139, (1972)

"To render the magistrate a judge of truth, and engage his authority in the suppression of opinions, shews an inattention to the nature and designs of political liberty."
-Robert Hall-
Source: An Apology for the Liberty of the Press, 1793

"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts."
-Samuel Chase-
(1741-1811) Signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Source: 1796

"... Jury nullification is the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge and contrary to the evidence."
-State v. Hokanson, 140 N.H. at 721B906-
cited and reiterated in State of NH v Sanchez, 2005

"It is clear in our criminal justice system that the jury has the power to nullify -- that is, the power to acquit or to convict on reduced charges despite overwhelming evidence against the defendant. ... In a criminal trial, the court cannot direct a verdict of guilty, no matter how strong the evidence. In addition, if the jury acquits, double jeopardy bars the prosecution from appealing the verdict or seeking retrial. Similarly, if the jury convicts the defendant of a less serious offense than the one charged, the prosecution cannot again try the defendant on the more serious charge. This result occurs regardless of whether the jury consciously rejects the law, embraces a merciful attitude, or is simply confused concerning the law or facts. Thus, nullification -- with or without authority, intended or not -- is part of our system."
-Anne Bowen Poulin-
Professor of Law, Villanova School of Law
Source: Article: The Jury: The Criminal Justice System's Different Voice, 62 U. CIN. L. REV. 1377, 1399 (1994)

"The power of nullification plays an important role in the criminal justice system. ... Because an accused criminal is restricted in the defenses he or she can raise, the law recognizes only certain defenses and justification, and correspondingly, limited evidence. The jury's power to nullify provides an accommodation between the rigidity of the law and the need to hear and respond to positions that do not fit legal pigeonholes, such as claims of spousal abuse before the battered-spouse syndrome received acceptance. Jury nullification permits the jury to respond to a position that does not have the status of a legally recognized defense. The power to nullify guarantees that the jury is free to speak as the conscience of the community."
-Anne Bowen Poulin-
Professor of Law, Villanova School of Law
Source: Article: The Jury: The Criminal Justice System's Different Voice, 62 U. CIN. L. REV. 1377, 1400 (1994)

"But, sir, the people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal of arms. An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law; and any man may be justified in his resistance. Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his fellow-citizens can convict him; they are his jury, and if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him; and innocent they certainly will pronounce him, if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation."
-Theophilus Parsons-
Source: in the Massachusetts Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, January 23, 1788, in "Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution," Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.2 p.94 (Philadelphia, 1836)

"The Jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."
-John Jay-
(1745-1829) first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, First President of the united States after the American Revolution - preceding George Washington, one of three men most responsible for the US Constitution1789

"Why do we love this trial by jury? Because it prevents the hand of oppression from cutting you off ... This gives me comfort -- that, as long as I have existence, my neighbors will protect me."
-Patrick Henry-
(1736-1799) US Founding Father
Source: 3 J. Elliot, The Debates In The Several States Conventions On The Adoption Of The Federal Constitution 545, 546 (1901)

"Jury lawlessness is the greatest corrective of law in its actual administration. The will of the state at large imposed on a reluctant community, the will of a majority imposed on a vigorous and determined minority, find the same obstacle in the local jury that formerly confronted kings and ministers."
-U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia-
Source: U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113, 1130 at note 32 (1972)

"From now onwards the jury enters on a new phase of its history, and for the next three centuries it will exercise its power of veto on the use of the criminal law against political offenders who have succeeded in obtaining popular sympathy."
-U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit-
Source: U.S. v. Wilson, 629 F.2d 439, 443 (1980)

"The drafters of the Constitution clearly intended [the right of trial by jury] to protect the accused from oppression by the Government. Singer v. United States, 380 U.S. 24, 31, 85 S. Ct. 783, 788, 13 L. Ed. 2d 630 (1965). ... Part of this protection is embodied in the concept of jury nullification: 'In criminal cases, a jury is entitled to acquit the defendant because it has no sympathy for the government's position.' United States v. Wilson, 629 F.2d 439, 443 (6th Cir. 1980). The Founding Fathers knew that, absent jury nullification, judicial tyranny not only was a possibility, but was a reality in the colonial experience. Although we may view ourselves as living in more civilized times, there is obviously no reason to believe the need for this protection has been eliminated. Judicial and prosecutorial excesses still occur, and Congress is not yet an infallible body incapable of making tyrannical laws."
-Judge Thomas Wiseman-
Source: U.S. v. Datcher, 830 F. Supp. 411, 413 (M.D. Tenn., 1993) case dismissed Sept. 1, 1994, 6th Cir. Ct. Of Appeals, Case No. 3:92-00054 certiorari denied U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 94-8767, May 15, 1995

"The jury possesses a general veto power and may acquit when it has no sympathy for the Government's case, no matter how overwhelming the evidence of guilt. A jury acquittal is final and unreviewable; a judge may not direct a jury to convict or vacate an acquittal, nor may a prosecutor appeal an acquittal on grounds of judicial error or erroneous jury determination."
-Lieutenant Commander Robert E. Korroch-
Source: Lieutenant Commander Robert E. Korroch and Major Michael J. Davidson, (LTC Korroch serves with the U.S. Coast Guard; B.S., U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1981); J.D., Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary 1988) (Maj. Davidson serves with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, Litigation Division), in Jury Nullification: A Call for Justice or an Invitation to Anarchy?, 139 MIL. L. REV. 131 (1993)

"Jurors should acquit, even against the judge's instruction ... if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong."
-Andrew Hamilton-
(c.1676-1741) Scottish lawyer in colonial America
Source: August 4, 1735, advice to jurors to acquit against the judge's instructions in the seditious libel trial of John Peter Zenger; Rex. V. Zenger, How. St. Tr. 17:675 (1735)

"[That] the Jury may determine the law and the fact of the case, has been supported by every English judge, except Chief Justice Jeffries .... And to their credit be it spoken that the Juries have always been right on fundamental questions of liberty and popular right."
-Georgia Supreme Court-
Source: Keener v. The State, 18 Ga. 194, 231 (1855)

"[T]he Jury have not only the power, but the right, to pass upon the law as well as the facts..."
-Georgia Supreme Court-
Source: Keener v. The State, 18 Ga. 194, 231 (1855)

"In 'A jury's duty' (11/8) by Mike Romano, John Junker asserts that juries have the right to nullify laws in principle but should not use this right in practice. Would he then be willing to give up the rights of free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom to organize a labor union, abolition of slavery in the North, and the repeal of alcohol prohibition -- all of which were given to us by juries who put the principle of nullification into practice? Without jury nullification no systematic veto exists for the people and tyranny ensues."
-Patricia Michl Sumner-
Source: November 29, 1995, Necessary nullification, letter to the Seattle Weekly

"If a jury have not the right to judge between the government and those who disobey its laws, the government is absolute, and the people, legally speaking, are slaves."
-Lysander Spooner-
(1808-1887) Political theorist, activist, abolitionist

"Jury lawlessness is the greatest corrective of law in its actual administration."
-Roscoe Pound-
Legal scholar1910

"[The] purpose of a jury is to . . . make available the common sense judgment of the community as a hedge against the overzealous or mistaken prosecutor and in preference to the professional or perhaps over conditioned or biased response of a judge."
-U.S. Supreme Court-
Source: Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522, 530 (1975)

"My own view rests on the premise that nullification can and should serve an important function in the criminal process ... The doctrine permits the jury to bear on the criminal process a sense of fairness and particularized justice ... The drafters of legal rules cannot anticipate and take account of every case where a defendant's conduct is 'unlawful' but not blameworthy, any more than they can draw a bold line to mark the boundary between an accident and negligence. It is the jury -- as spokesmen for the community's sense of values -- that must explore that subtle and elusive boundary. ... I do not see any reason to assume that jurors will make rampantly abusive use of their power. Trust in the jury is, after all, one of the cornerstones of our entire criminal jurisprudence, and if that trust is without foundation we must reexamine a great deal more than just the nullification doctrine."
-Chief Judge David L. Bazelon-
U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
Source: U.S. V. Dougherty, 473 F. 2D 1113, 1141-42 (Dissent) (1972)

"If the question relates to any point of public liberty, or if it be one of those in which the judges may be suspected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both law and fact. If they be mistaken, a decision against right, which is casual only, is less dangerous to the State, and less afflicting to the loser, than one which makes part of a regular and uniform system."
-Thomas Jefferson-

"Since it was first recognized in [the] Magna Carta, trial by jury has been a prized shield against oppression ...."
-U.S. Supreme Court-
Source: Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 84 (1942)

"Nullification is not a 'defense' recognized by law, but rather a mechanism that permits a jury, as community conscience, to disregard the strict requirements of law where it finds that those requirements cannot justly be applied in a particular case."
-David L. Bazelon-
(1909-1993) Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Source: U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F. 2d 1113, 42 (dissent) (1972)

"Therefore, the jury have the power of deciding an issue upon a general verdict. And, if they have, is it not an absurdity to suppose that the law would oblige them to find a verdict according to the direction of the court, against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience? ... [I]s a juror to give his verdict generally, according to [the judge's] direction, or even to find the fact specially, and submit the law to the court? Every man, of any feeling or conscience, will answer, no. It is not only his right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."
-John Adams-
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
Source: Diary entry February 12, 1771, reprinted in The Works of John Adams, 254-255 (C. Adams ed. 1850)

"Jury Nullification encourages participation in the judicial process, which in turn furthers the legitimization of the legal system. Jury Nullification also serves to inject community values and standards into the administration of our laws. Ordinary citizens are given the chance to infuse community values into the judicial process in the interests of fairness and justice and at the same time provide a signal to lawmakers that they have drifted too far from the Democratic will... History is replete with examples that Jury Nullification serves as a corrective 'veto' power of the people over both legislative and judicial rigidity and tyranny."
-Justice William C. Goodle-
Washington Supreme Court

"The right of juries to decide questions of law was widely accepted in the colonies, especially in criminal cases. Prior to 1850, the judge and jury were viewed as partners in many jurisdictions. The jury could decide questions of both law and fact, and the judge helped guide the decision-making process by comments on the witnesses and the evidence. Legal theory and political philosophy emphasized the importance of the Jury in divining natural law, which was thought to be a better source for decision than the 'authority of black letter maxim.' Since natural law was accessible to lay people, it was held to be the duty of each juror to determine for himself whether a particular rule of law embodied the principles of the higher natural law. Indeed, it was argued that the United States Constitution embodied a codification of natural rights so that 'the reliance by the jury on a higher law was usually viewed as a constitutional judgment.'"
-Kane & Miller Friedenthal-
Source: Civil Procedure, p 476-77, chapter 11, Jury Trial; 2 The Judge Jury Relationship (West Publishing Company 1985)

"Jury nullification is a doctrine based on the concept that 'jurors have the inherent right to set aside the instructions of the judge and to reach a verdict of acquittal based upon their own consciences, and the defendant has the right to be so instructed.' Though jury nullification may seem like a shocking proposal today, it is by no means a new idea. In fact, jury nullification was first espoused nearly three and one half centuries ago."
-M. Kristine Creagan-
Source: Jury Nullification: Assessing Recent Legislative Developments, 43 CASE W. RES. 1101(1993) quoting Alan W. Scheflin, Jury Nullification: The Right to Say No, 45 CAL. L. REV. 168 (1972)

"It is left, therefore, to the juries, if they think the permanent judges are under any bias whatever in any cause, to take on themselves to judge the law as well as the fact. They never exercise this power but when they suspect partiality in the judges, and by the exercise of this power they have been the firmest bulwarks of English liberty."
-Thomas Jefferson-
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source: Letter to Abbe Arnoux, Paris, July 19, 1789

Thursday, April 13, 2017

2017 Pine Tree Riot Celebration

What? Where? The Pine Tree Riot? One of the first acts of rebellion by the American colonists? Yeah, you know Weare. The second annual Pine Tree Riot Celebration, Weare, NH, 4/12/2017...

"Join Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire in commemorating one of the earliest organized acts of American resistance against British tyranny as we celebrate the 245th anniversary of the Pine tree riot which occurred in 1772 in Weare, New Hampshire. Long a symbol of centralized government overreach, the Pine Tree Riot was a testament to the spirit of independence, freedom, and the New Hampshire way of life. Therefore, it is fitting that the celebration of the anniversary of the spark of the American Revolution takes place during the same week as the day Americans are forced to hand over their hard earned money to an overgrown federal government. Today, both the State and Federal government make a habit of increasing the burden on taxpayers by continually growing Washington based programs without any expectation of accountability. This year's tax day we have an incredible opportunity to roll back those burdens, both the federal and NH State legislature are considering reforms on taxes. It is up to WE the people, to ensure those in elected office live up to their promises of lifting the weight of government from the backs of the taxpayers."

Sarah Scott
Field Director
Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire

History & Press

Let's raise a very appropriate tankard this day to the very able Ebenezer!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Let's Study Ending Prohibition...!

No, no, no. We might learn things that conflict with our religion. We might finally have to face them. And that could lead to ceding our ill-gotten authoritah. Maybe even to dancing. That simply won't do...

HB215, "establishing a commission to study the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana," Senate Judiciary Committee, 4/11/2017.

Rep. Almy in her testimony refers to this hearing from 2014, where, as Committee Chair, she had invited state bureaucrats to complain about how they'd be negatively impacted were their employers (that's you, taxpayer) to actually get their way and the servants end the dangerous, expensive -- in blood, treasure and liberty -- and unauthorized marijuana prohibition.

My commentary in part on that hearing, while it focused on actually doing something good rather than just talking about it more, still perfectly applies:
"Following an historic passage (the first affirmation by a state legislative body, as other successful legalization efforts have been by referenda) by the NH House on 1/15/2014, HB492, "relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana," confronts its second House committee (the first having been Criminal Justice, so very long ago), Ways and Means, where the State explains why it believes ending prohibition is economically scary and endangers its oppressive Byzantine house of regulatory cards -- an abode enabled and constructed entirely by prohibition, 1/30/2014. And besides, feds. So... Hey, sometimes the Constitution and the nettlesome limits it intended to impose just have to take a back seat, y'know...?"
But yeah, this wouldn't turn into yet another stacked deck, or anything (like when the "citizen representative" seat on the medical marijuana commission was somehow filled with a cop). No, not at all...

Are You Sufficiently Exasperated Yet?

Your humble chronicler certainly knows that he is. Herewith, testimony on HB640, "relative to the penalties for possession of marijuana," before the NH Senate Judiciary Committee, 4/11/2017. "Decrim." Still. Holy hell...

And finally just for the record, if it's somehow possible I haven't said this before, Senators Bradley and Gannon and Chief Crate (who, you might find interesting -- and representing the NH Chiefs of Police Association -- more than merely suggests, at about the 50:15 mark, that if he disagrees with a law -- if THIS law passes -- he, your servant the enforcer, will disobey it -- is this an example of that "discretion" they claim they don't have, right up until they really want it...?), I could not care less about what law enforcement is "prepared to accept" if you paid me handsomely to do so. In a free society, I don't have to. They work for me. If they don't like my instructions, they can find alternate employment -- and preferably something less mind-numbingly authoritarian, more peaceful. You, servant legislators can do likewise. Honor your oaths, protect my liberty, don't overstep the authority I've expressly delegated to you -- like, say, by imposing by force prohibitions the lawful authority for which is nowhere to be found.

Society is rapidly moving beyond the horrifically failed experiment known as prohibition. Catch up or be gone. That's the only decision you have to make.

And for the permanent record ('cuz I have to put this somewhere) -- goes to character, yer honor...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

An Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come...?

"Inevitable," even? Could it be? The last time we visited this rodeo, back in 2014, the NH House became the first legislative body in the country to pass marijuana legalization via HB492. This year, this day, 2/21/2017, hard on the heels of the House repeating that action a few weeks ago with the similarly themed HB656, the Senate Judiciary Committee finally gets around to actually considering its own version, and chills to a similarly tranquil SB233, "relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana and establishing a committee to study the legalization of marijuana."

One cop and one predictably deeply authoritarian/prohibitionist organization in opposition. The unmitigated "mistake," Lt John Encarnacao, always reliably recalcitrant Commander of the NH Dept of Safety's Narcotics Unit, is in the incessantly unsupportable conviction (see what I did there?) that prohibition ever works. Ever. Even that one time when it was foolishly and expensively (in blood, treasure and liberty) actually lawfully authorized... to meddlesome paternalistic hammer-wielding people like you.

Your employers -- that's the taxpayers, since you seem a might fuzzy on that point -- have had enough, and have given you your instructions. End the "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™. Why are we still talking about this? Why are you here, under the official auspices of the "servant State," lobbying our other servants to continue the destruction against our wishes -- and, without a lick of contrition, even on our dime, it really must be noted, unlike Cheshire County Department of Corrections Superintendent Van Wickler who, equally reliably, took time off to be here this day to talk reason?

You know what to do, people, House and Senate...


Saturday, February 4, 2017

"Legalization" Gets A Surprisingly Positive Hearing

'Course, to be fair, some of the Live Free Or Die State's New England neighbors have lit up a bit of a political blaze since the last time the NH state legislature visited this issue, what with MA and ME effectively ending (at least at the state level) "The War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™. And in addition to the continued stat that about two-thirds of voters want it, there's perhaps an air of inevitability and resignation finally entering the (selectively) unaltered consciousness of the prohibitionists.

Here, the NH House Criminal Justice Committee receives testimony on HB656, "relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana," 2/1/2017. The NH House, of course, was the first legislative body in the country to pass cannabis legalization, so there's no excuse it can't do it again. Let your Representatives know you've got their backs.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Only Opposition to 'Decrim' is the Church...?

That's right. Even the ever-reliably prohibitionist nanny-staters at New Futures publicly and explicitly take no position on harming peaceful people a little less (to be fair, on a bill to which they admittedly can find no objection, so not all that great a stretch...).

On the other hand, the new last-gasp champion taking up the sword for the prohibitionist crusade is evidently the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, it seems. Is persec--... sorry, prosecuting the "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™, and imprisoning people who haven't harmed anyone -- and stealing your money to fund it, remember -- what passes for Christian charity these days? Is criminal justice reform now against religious teachings?

The NH House Criminal Justice Committee hears testimony on HB640, "relative to the penalties for possession of marijuana," 2/1/2017. Seems extremely hopeful -- hell, it's taken long enough -- but do consider giving your Representatives a push in the right direction. Then on to the Senate...


NH Constitutional Carry Appears Right On Target

SB12, "repealing the licensing requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver" appears to have acquired the governor's-desk target down-range. Herewith, the NH House Criminal Justice Committee hearing, 2/1/2017, followed immediately by its Executive Session, resulting in a speedy 12-8 'Ought To Pass" recommendation. Never a bad idea to share your thoughts with your Representatives, certainly, before it hits the House floor...