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New Hampshire Senator Threatens Constituent For Supporting Marijuana Decriminalization


andy sanborn marijuana new hampshireCourtesy of The Joint Blog

We received this conversation from a reader, who was “shocked” at how a senator in New Hampshire responded when he contacted him to support cannabis decriminalization.

Below is the conservation.

E-mail sent to Senator Andy Sanborn by constituent Michael Maly:

Dear Senator Sanborn,

As I am sure you are aware, the issue of marijuana prohibition has been a widely debated issue in American politics. The tide seems to be shifting and states around the nation are passing decriminalization bills and some are even approving full recreational legalization. Uncharacteristically, New Hampshire seems to be behind the pack when it comes to this issue specifically. In New Hampshire, those arrested with even small quantities of marijuana face harsh criminal penalties that can ruin their lives by disqualifying them from jobs and other things including federal student aid. As of right now, criminals convicted of serious crimes like rape and murder and technically eligible for federal student aid without restrictions but those found guilty of possession of small amounts of marijuana and disqualified for federal student aid for one year after their first offence. The penalties simply don’t fit the crime. New Hampshire’s state motto is Live Free or Die, known for turning down bills for seat belt regulations and some of the most lenient gun laws in the nation, New Hampshire is known for putting the freedom of it’s citizens first even if it means jeopardizing their safety.

In the case of this issue, public safety does not have to be jeopardized. Decriminalization would give offenders a ticket similar to those given for minor traffic violations. This would eliminate the life altering repercussions that can come with a criminal offence. Legalization would give users the freedom to use the substance but with restrictions that could prevent children from obtaining it and restrictions on the use of substance while operating a motor vehicle. Right now, the criminalization of the substance is only benefiting those distributing it on the black market. Even with some of the most strict marijuana laws in the nation, a recent survey puts New Hampshire at number four in the nation for marijuana use per capita. It is clear the war against marijuana use has failed. It is time to stop ruining people’s lives and pumping money into the black market and start regulating a substance that is far less addictive and harmful than alcohol and tobacco. Your job is to represent the people of NH not your personal beliefs, it’s time to listen to the people.

Thank you,
Michael Maly

This was the response sent to Michael, from Senator Sanborn:

Thanks for your email and thoughts, although I may ask that you consider that last sentence. I’m guessing you don’t know much about me, my values and what I have been working on in the legislature. Frankly, your suggestion that I do not listen shows ignorance and I find it insulting. There sure is one way to insure a legislator votes against your wishes and that is to insult them………….. I’m thinking if I call the [organization you received a scholarship from]and ask their opinion on legalization, they may have a different opinion (not to mention may be asking you for their scholarship money back…). 

I may suggest you first take the time to actually read the legislation, understand it and it’s total ramifications before you comment on it as the bulk of your argument is not considered in it and it makes you look like nothing more than a college freshman who just wants to get high at any cost. Thanks, Senator Andy Sanborn.

“I was obviously shocked at the response”, Michael tells us. “He even went as far as to threaten to call an organization who I had received a scholarship from last year.”

When we asked Michael how the senator knew about his scholarship, he tells us that; “He must have looked me up. It was recently and it was in the newspapers, so I assume that’s how he figured it out.”

Those in New Hampshire who believe that Senator Sanborn should take the issue of cannabis law reform more seriously, and should show more respect to his constituents, can contact him through e-mail at andy.sanborn@leg.state.nh.us, or by phone at 603-271-2609.

Source: TheJointBlog.Com


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  1. Ya know…. an “insult” would’ve been if he’d have called him “Pizza Face”, “ZIT KIT” etc… Now THAT would’ve been a true insult!

  2. If you think the pro’s have botched it, look at the tea party representatives in Congress. The best they can do is nothing at all. Pot holes don’t get filled without governance, the trash doesn’t get picked up, the water can’t be drunk, the air can’t be breathed. Believe it or not, real governance works. It is difficult and it takes tremendous competence and patience. Just look at the difference at how legalization is playing out in Colorado (perfectly) and Washington.

  3. Alexander Portelli on

    Don’t do the progressives. They’re just as bad. They’ve totally ruined my home state of New York. The only difference with them is progressives believe they know so much that they shouldn’t even be accessible to their constituents need it distract them.

  4. Senator Andy Sanborn is the “Chris Cristy” of NH politics… just another blowhard who has no business being in politics. Maybe NH residents should start electing more progressive politicians

  5. Anthony Cincotti on

    Could he be charged (or litigated against) with something along the lines of suppressing civil rights under the color of authority by threatening the author with financial repercussions for exercising his freedom of speech and his right to address his concerns to his representative? IANAL, but if there isn’t some legal action that can be taken against this type of behavior by a public official there sure should be.

  6. I call his response as being off base as well because institutions of higher learning are always interested in people who will promote the facts and share new ideas, regardless of their popularity, while politicians are typically not concerned with scientific fact and are more driven by self-righteous hype and by those who are filling their pockets for re-election.


  8. Considering what a botch the degreed, so-called professionals have made of the laws and regulations of this State and Country, I’d rather have nothing but amateurs doing the work. That was the original intent of the Founders of this country.

  9. Michael Abracham on

    Minor point: Edit like rape and murder (and) are technically eligible for federal student aid without restrictions but those found guilty of possession of small amounts of marijuana (and) are disqualified for fed

  10. Glad you think Andy is a decent guy. Of course politicians can’t and don’t have to agree with everyone they represent.

    But politicians have a special responsibility to treat people with whom they disagree with courtesy. That’s their job, they work for us. He failed at that, badly, and acted like a bully or a scolding know-it-all, take your pick. Both are completely unacceptable.

    Also disagree about “amateurs”. Amateurs ALWAYS take the lead, or NOTHING changes. If the “Professionals” want to take on this fight (leading from behind), then they are more than welcome to do so. But we amateurs are still watching.

  11. Sandy, how long did it take you to “draw” that? And did you come up with it all by yourself?
    Because it really is an amazing piece of blogger art. :)

  12. I’m pro legalization, live in NH and Senator Sandborn is my Senator. I’ve dealt with him on a number of occasion’s and he has been extremely helpful, responsive, respectful and efficient. We differ greatly on our views on legalization, but we can have a courteous debate on the issue, and I know considers the views of others before he makes a final vote.
    Please do not let the hard work of those who are working within the system to change the laws, to be tainted by petty personal attacks on others. How about inviting Andy to lunch or for a beer after work , sitting down and talking with him about your concerns. Email is easily deleted and forgotten. A man to man talk is remembered and reflected on .

    I agree with Andy on the tone of the email. I’m a 60 year old grower and daily toker. i don’t want amateurs taking the lead in this battle.

  13. One of the most shocking things I learned when I began to get involved in small government politics was that the people who are running for office feel absolutely no duty or responsibility to represent the people who elect them.

    The commonly held belief of elected politicians is that they are there to promote their personal views, and not the views of their constituents. They rationalize this view, I believe, by saying to themselves that since that person voted for them, then that person must agree with their views on things.

    It was a bit of a shock to discover that everyone in office holds this view. However, it does explain the behavior of politicians in general, being low integrity and rather more interested in being reelected, then being representatives.

    All that being said, it seems it’s time to find a representative whose views are more in alignment with the citizens of New Hampshire. Perhaps you all should consider a recall vote on Mr. Sanborn and replace him with a more “representative” representative.

  14. When I lived in Texas, briefly, I listened to KQED and KPFA Internet radio, they are both good sources for news.

  15. I have read about 2nd Amendment and tea party protests which encourage people to bring their guns.
    The only thing missing, is you, “fucking pissed”, passing around the bowl of weed.

  16. Any chance you have verification that it was sent through the Senator’s email address? (i.e. screenshots?). I would like to believe this is true as much as anyone and also believe it deserves more media attention if proven to be true. But, the real question is, can it be verified? As of right now, it’s only hearsay based on something one person said.

  17. Now, methinks that I misread your first post. (One of the hazards of the internet.) Cheers mate!

  18. I agree, I didn’t find the letter to the Senator to be insulting, and I *did* find the Senator’s reply to be uncivil and insulting.

  19. Now, I’m going to guess that it is also the Senator that doesn’t understand the definition of insult…
    (In other words, the voter did not use insults, it was the Senator who choose to do so.)

  20. Police officers will move to states where there are jobs, where prohibition still lingers in some shape or form.
    Cannabis lovers will move to states where prohibition is history.
    So, which state would you wanna live in, during or after this migration? (Yeah, me too.)

  21. Suggesting that his job is to represent the voice of the people without regard to his own opinion is not a threat. Suggesting we’ll vote out a particular politician should NEVER be considered a “THREAT” in America. TO Where, the heck have we come?

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