KSC Professor Introduces Bill in N.H. House 

  KSC Professor Introduces Bill in N.H. House 

Posted by CN Staff on January 31, 2007 at 17:42:54 PT
By Craig Lyons 
Source: Equinox 

New Hampshire -- At 10:15 p.m. on Friday, Chuck Weed was told to be ready by the phone for his interview on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes" show. The interview was only a part of the national media interest in the bill Weed, professor of political science and New Hampshire state legislator, introduced to decriminalize marijuana in New Hampshire known as HB 92.
The week before Weed was interviewed on "Hannity and Colmes," MSNBC's "Countdown" with Keith Olbermann named him the third worst person in the world for introducing the bill."This is not about the merits of the proposed legislation, there are pros and cons," said Olbermann on the program. "It's about the wisdom of this particular state legislator authoring the legalized pot bill rather than having somebody else introduce it."Weed said he believes the first he heard of the broadcast was a student e-mailing him the clip available on YouTube and congratulating him."I guess it's quite an honor to be the bronze medalist," Weed said."I see Olbermann when he does his commentaries and I think he's fantastic. So I was trying to figure out in what context it comes up," added Weed. "I eventually saw it and I think it's satire."Weed said he has no problem with satire and he believes the best news comes from Comedy Central."Although, I'm torn by the triviality and the comedy that associates itself with this bill just because it happens to be sponsored by me," said Weed. "I think it's a pretty serious bill."The media coverage gave more attention to the name of the legislator rather than the content of the legislation. Olbermann, in the clip, smirked while introducing one of the bill's sponsors before throwing his hands up in disbelief."My problem is, with all of these people, that they wanted to laugh about the name Weed," said Weed. "I don't care, they're not my constituents." The bill pending before his constituents and colleagues in the New Hampshire House of Representatives would decriminalize marijuana and remove penalties for possession, according to the text of the bill.The bill has been turned over to a subcommittee for further review, according to Bill Knowles, chairman of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and state representative from Dover. Many of the arguments raised during the interviews are those raised by the members of the House, according to Weed. In the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee hearings, the arguments were made for lowering worker productivity, causing accidents, causing deaths and marijuana being a gateway drug.However, Weed said he believes all those accusations can be challenged."Not one marijuana death in the last 10 years as far as I can tell," added Weed. "I'm not sure you can say those things about alcohol or cigarettes."Weed cites the Netherlands for showing most of these claims to be false. In terms of marijuana as a gateway drug, Weed said in the Netherlands marijuana can be bought and smoked in coffee shops. According to Weed, there is much lower hard drug use in the country, but about the same use of marijuana as the United States."Why? Is that maybe that's because professional criminals sell marijuana and they also sell other drugs?" asked Weed. "So, that if you want to buy something from the same crooks, you can easily in this country." According to Weed, the reports that come out of the committee are what the representatives on the floor will go with when voting. Weed said the bill is in need of changes before being passed."I'm absolutely certain it needs to be substantially altered," said Weed. "If they [N.H. legislators] wish to make it better by saying 'Okay, if you're in possession of four ounces or less than there's no criminal punishment.'" Knowles said the bill, as it currently reads, is just a step too far in decriminalizing marijuana entirely. "Currently, we're not going to amend it," added Knowles.Weed said amendments such as decriminalizing possession in small amounts rather than decriminalizing entirely for both possession and transportation would be helpful."I'm not sure that's what they want to do," said Weed. "They just don't want it to be decriminalized at all. So they'll use any way to avoid it and one way is to not amend it at all."Although Weed said he doesn't see the bill passing, he said legislation for the decriminalization of marijuana on the state level is the way to change federal drug policy."I feel it doesn't have much of a chance," said Knowles. "But it depends what the subcommittee comes back with.""I just want people to be able to do it [smoke marijuana] without fear and without conviction because I think convictions destroy people's lives," said Weed.Complete Title: KSC Professor Introduces Bill in N.H. House Decriminalizing Marijuana UseNH citizens in support of HB 92, decriminalizing marijuana in the state of NH: Equinox, The (NH Edu)Author: Craig LyonsPublished: February 1, 2007Copyright: 2007 The EquinoxContact: equinox keene.eduWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Common Sense Marijuana Policy Free, Get High in N.H.? Would Make Pot Legal in State Would Allow Marijuana Sales 

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Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 01, 2007 at 06:32:11 PT
Thank you. That is how we all can make this happen.
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Comment #10 posted by Wayne on February 01, 2007 at 05:03:42 PT
Re: FoM #5
Looks like Pete already did. And he's not happy...
Drug WarRant
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Comment #9 posted by HempWorld on January 31, 2007 at 23:31:46 PT
Mr. Weed and New Hempshire...
Oh my, is this coincidence?
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 31, 2007 at 20:41:43 PT
My Thoughts
Maybe it won't be any state. Maybe it will be the next President of the United States changing the law. Now that's a big dream but it gives me something to hang on to.Hope you're welcome.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on January 31, 2007 at 19:49:11 PT
Which ever state it is...
they will have the honor of being the first state to start to right this terrible wrong of cannabis prohibition.If they can do it right...history will recognize and honor them forever as being the first to step out of this quagmire and lead the whole nation, and hopefully, the world to a better place than it is now.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 31, 2007 at 19:44:46 PT
Molly Ivins
I'll miss her. I liked her writing.Thanks for the article, FoM. I've been wondering everyday how Weed's bill was doing.Is this or is this not the first time a flat legalization bill has been brought to any state congress?Maybe his name got the bill a little more attention than it would have if Mr. Smith had authored it. Maybe. Except the laughing about a serious situation, I can't see how it would hurt it's chances with any sane or logical mind...but then...we're not exactly up against really sane or logical minds with prohibitionists. I don't think his name will hurt the bill with the sane legislator and the insane ones wouldn't have voted for it anyway.It sure would do our country and the world good if this bill passes. GCW. TEXAS! TEXAS! TEXAS! Texas will be the first to come to it's senses and legalize cannabis.:0)Yeah. Riiight. We're so known for being a such a progressive state.*sigh*
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 31, 2007 at 19:24:40 PT
It's a very interesting article. Now a writer needs to do an article and tie the two together. 
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Comment #4 posted by freewillks on January 31, 2007 at 19:18:33 PT
OT: "Smokable" pain drugs promise faster acti
I thought you could not smoke medicine?
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 31, 2007 at 18:59:26 PT

Well let's see. Since the Democratic National Convention will be in Colorado maybe your state will be first. I feel good vibrations.Thank you Mayan. She had a long hard battle with cancer and now she doesn't have pain. R.I.P Molly Irvins.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on January 31, 2007 at 18:24:16 PT

Weed for Weed.
If Weed were in Colorado, I would vote for Weed.New Hampshire gets into the competition to be 1st.They join many other states in that competition to be 1st.I've stated a potential to hasten the end of cannabis prohibition by putting it into the context of a race to see who legalizes 1st.I hope Colorado wins, but lets have a fair game and have fun.It's a race!Who do You think will win?
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on January 31, 2007 at 18:10:31 PT

Molly Ivins, R.I.P.
Synidcated columnist Molly Ivins dies at 62:
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