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Thursday, October 8, 2009

NH Compassion Newsletter: "4:20 Rallies" No, "Operation Veto Override" Yes, Updated 10.9.2009 With Matt Simon's Response

I have respect for Matt Simon and the work he has done in New Hampshire but I'm not quite sure how I feel about this email below and his posts on facebook.

Matt Simon posts on facebook, "Great work, morons!" in response to this news story and specifically calls out "Travis Eden and Bill Domenico, for starters".

On the one hand, he makes some points that are worth considering but then on the other hand, shouldn't we welcome any actions that rally our majority base of support?

I'm of the opinion that we have the majority and that there is no longer a need to pander to the reefer mad or even the non smokers that Mr. Simon seems to be concerned about.

I'm left wondering if this is really more about MPP's continued attack of anything that isn't led by their charge. Does MPP fund NH Compassion? I'm pretty sure that's the case. Was Mr. Simon directed to send this message out from MPP headquarters? It wouldn't surprise me considering past actions by MPP reps.

I've noticed over and over again that MPP takes issue with any and all that don't tow the MPP line.

The same sort of dust up occurred in Boston last Sept. 2008, when MPP reps tried to pay off MassCann/NORML to not have the 2008 Freedom Rally, claiming the Rally would be a media circus and could hurt the MA decrim ballot initiative. Did the Rally hurt the initiative? No, in fact it seemed to help bring more public awareness of it. MassCann/NORML refused to cancel and the ballot initiative passed easily with 65% of the vote. So yes, I've seen this before and it does seem like a repeat, deja vu.

In a recent Wall Street Journal story, an MPP rep said 2010, may be the wrong time (for a group not funded by MPP) to run a legalization ballot initiative in California. The MPP rationale on that? Because 2010 isn't a Presidential election year which means lower turnout and less younger voters. Yet, MPP often runs initiatives in non Presidential elections.

How do you feel about this? Do you agree with Mr. Simon or do you think the 420 protests in New Hampshire help get more folks active?

Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, there has been a rash of pro-marijuana rallies in NH. The purpose of these rallies cannot be to help pass a decriminalization or legalization bill through the legislature, because there is no such bill being considered in 2009. As a matter of fact, most of the people promoting these rallies don't even believe in changing laws through the legislature (as if there is another way to change the laws?).

I want to make it absolutely clear that NH Common Sense does not in any way support or advocate for the public use of marijuana in New Hampshire. If people wish to reform marijuana laws, we encourage them to choose methods that will not alienate the local population or help to confirm anti-marijuana stereotypes in the minds of non-users. I strongly believe that if you want to convince people they should legalize marijuana, the least effective way you can go about it is by smoking marijuana and celebrating recreational marijuana use on the side of a city street where children may be present. That reform "philosophy" only results in a backlash from society, and it will never be compatible with the strategy, tactics, or goals of this organization. (There is an "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the page, for those who prefer to join the anarchists on the street.)

If you are tempted to attend these rallies despite my contention that they are counterproductive to efforts in the legislature, please also know that several patients involved with the HB 648 effort have very strongly expressed that they wish the rallies would stop... at least until after Oct. 28, when the legislature will make its final decision on whether seriously ill NH patients should have safe, legal access to marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

Operation Veto Override

If you'd like to help override Gov. Lynch's veto and pass the medical marijuana bill, this is your chance! We need able-bodied volunteers who can spare a couple of hours (or more!) to place some fancy doorhangers on the doorknobs of voters in a key Manchester Senate district. You will not need to talk to people, just deliver the literature and move on to the next house on your list.

Senator Betsi DeVries is the only Democrat in the state Senate who voted against HB 648, and her vote is crucial in overriding Governor Lynch's veto. She needs to hear from her constituents in Manchester Wards 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, plus the town of Litchfield, and the purpose of this exercise is to get her constituents to contact her en masse in support of the bill.

We will meet at 12:00 noon in the parking lot of The Sports Authority (rarely a busy lot) at 1051 South Willow St., and we will leave by 12:15, so please be on time. Stop by, grab a list, and get some free exercise while helping earn support for reform in a key Senate district!

RSVP by email or at the Facebook Event Page.

Thanks!

Matt

--
Matt Simon
Executive Director
NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy
NHCompassion.org
Matt@NHCompassion.org
(603) 391-7450

"If (marijuana) were unknown, and bio-prospectors were suddenly to find it in some remote mountain crevice, its discovery would no doubt be hailed as a medical breakthrough. Scientists would praise its potential for treating everything from pain to cancer, and marvel at its rich pharmacopoeia — many of whose chemicals mimic vital molecules in the human body." — The Economist, "Reefer Madness, Marijuana Is Medically Useful Whether Politicians Like It or Not," April 29, 2006


I'll close with the words of Ian Freeman of the Free Talk Live Radio Program responding to Matt's post on facebook.

"I really do appreciate you for everything you've done, up until you went off your rocker and decided to torch multiple bridges. For that, I forgive you.

I've met Travis and Bill, and neither of them are morons. I'm sad to see you (Matt) turn against your own supporters just because they disagree on one issue. Despite you calling me an asshole and blaming me personally for the 4:20 events (when I had zero to do with organizing them), I'm still allowing you to appear on a podcast interview with Mark to be released tomorrow night. I have agreed to not appear in the interview, so listeners can hear what transpires on 10/9's podcast of Free Talk Live. It might be a good time for a public apology. Up-to-you though. You're the only one who can put out the bridge fires you started."

I think both parties need to take a step back and agree to disagree. And yes consider making an apology. You can still disagree and make an apology, Matt. If you really want to stop the protests, it's actually a good way to move folks that way.


Updated: Matt Simon responds to comments I left on that facebook thread. I have to apologize for jumping in publicly without checking in with Matt. Ideally I should have done that first. See Mike Cann does f*** up some times folks!

Here's what Matt had to say and I can't really fault him for being frustrated. He's that close to over riding the veto and I can understand his concerns and why it is critical. Two votes...

Matt Simon writes:

"Any coverage is good coverage in my opinion." Mike, we've got a crucial vote in three weeks on a bill we've been working on for 10 months, and we need to pick up two votes Oct. 28 in order to override the Governor's veto. When patients asked these people to chill out for a few weeks until after their vote, these people reacted like the childish little anarchists they are.
I do have a bit of context for calling Travis a moron, which would be this message he sent me: "Medical Marijuana is f***ing bullshit and I really hope your bill fails." This guy just moved to New Hampshire, but he's already sure it's a waste of time to work through the legislature.
These are my "friends." Ian had everything to do with promoting this, and true to form, he wants to take zero responsibility.

6 comments:

  1. Here's what Matt had to say and I can't really fault him for being frustrated. He's that close to over riding the veto and I can understand his concerns and why it is critical. Two votes...

    Matt Simon writes:

    <blockquote>"Any coverage is good coverage in my opinion." Mike, we've got a crucial vote in three weeks on a bill we've been working on for 10 months, and we need to pick up two votes Oct. 28 in order to override the Governor's veto. When patients asked these people to chill out for a few weeks until after their vote, these people reacted like the childish little anarchists they are.
    I do have a bit of context for calling Travis a moron, which would be this message he sent me: "Medical Marijuana is f***ing bullshit and I really hope your bill fails." This guy just moved to New Hampshire, but he's already sure it's a waste of time to work through the legislature.
    These are my "friends." Ian had everything to do with promoting this, and true to form, he wants to take zero responsibility.</blockquote>

    ReplyDelete
  2. Matt Simon was a better activist, before he began collecting paychecks for it.

    MLK would disagree--you do have to break unjust laws, in public, to make the point they are wrong.  Sit in the front of the bus, drink at the prohibited fountain, stand up for yourself.

    It is all a question of what protestors are willing to lose.  Matt apparently has decided his job as an activist is more important that the principles of his activism.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know you are no fan of MPP but he's moved a bill through to the Governor's veto. Paycheck or not that is progress.

    ReplyDelete
  4. <span>I share the same opinion that we now enjoy Majority and should not go on catering to the right wingers anymore. Why the hell are we even pursuing Medical Marijuana anymore when the people and polls are calling for Legalization? Lets not get wimpy and complacent just because some of our comrades are kicking back in these Med MJ states smoking some good kush they got at their local dispensary saying "slow down, whats the big rush, be nice, this takes time"....That's BS.  To me their is no greater crime against democracy then jailing individuals against the will of the Majority. That's just plain old Democracy 101.</span>

    ReplyDelete
  5. I, along with a friend, started the 420 Demonstrations.

    Ian was not consulted, nor was anybody else.  Ian was not even the first journalist to know of us:  that distinction goes to Melanie Plenda, of the Union Leader, who wondered why there were thirty people in the park, and asked us.

    That's not to say that Ian hasn't done impotant work on this, including promoting it on Free Talk Live, but don't forget that most of the people who attend these rallies are locals -- not free staters -- and had never heard of Free Talk Live when they went to their first rally.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rich, thanks for leaving a message. Are the protests still ongoing? I can see both sides of it. With the weather starting to get colder I have a feeling they probably won't be going on much longer? I think starting them back up next spring isn't a bad idea....

    ReplyDelete

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