March 21, 2010

Two People Arrested at Pro-Marijuana Rally in New Hampshire

March 21, 2010

Two protesters were arrested Saturday in Nashua, New Hampshire at a marijuana rally (click here for original story). According to news reports out of New Hampshire, about 50 people gathered in downtown Nashua at 4:20 p.m. for a public protest against marijuana prohibition. However, not all of the protesters were legit; some of them were undercover NARCS. One of the protesters was arrested by the cops for simple marijuana possession. When the police put the suspect in the back of a patrol car, another protester laid down in front of the patrol car so it couldn’t leave! He was also arrested (disorderly conduct).

After the second man was arrested, the crowd became unruly. “It was pretty calm at first when the two undercover agents arrested this man, it wasn’t until they got out of the car and called for backup that everyone came in,” said one protester, Sam Dodson. After more officers arrived as backup, the protestors decided to march all the way to the police station. After an unspecified amount of time, they disbursed.

I remember when I was a teenager I participated in a pro-marijuana rally in Salem, Oregon with some of my classmates. We had heard from some old schoolers in Eugene that every year, on the State Capital steps in Salem at 4:20 p.m., people gathered to smoke pot in public and hold a ‘peaceful protest.’ I was totally skeptical until I got there, and saw about 300 people smoking down on the capitol steps in plain view of dozens of state police officers. It was crazy, because the cops didn’t even do anything!

I was later told that a guy applied for a ‘peaceful protest permit,’ decades ago, and that as long as he renewed his permit the event was allowed to go on. As long as the protesters were peaceful, and only consumed marijuana in the designated area on the capitol steps, there would be no arrests from 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. I went from 1998 to 2002, and had such a great time. However, I went this last year to see if it was still going on, and there were only state police there (no protestors). I got the balls up to ask one of the cops what the deal was and he told me that the original permit was not renewed. So sad! Could you imagine if rallies like the one I attended, and the one in New Hampshire, were held regularly across the nation, multiple times a week? A lot of martyrs would get arrested, but I’d imagine the attention would result in a constructive conversation about marijuana prohibition at the federal level!


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