Is David Orde Really A Criminal?

from NHInsider.com and the Nashua Telegraph:

David Orde, the friendly farmer who runs Lull Farm in Hollis, faces possible felony charges for growing 16 marijuana plants at his house.  When confronted by police, he responded with a flinty New Hampshire-style defiance that has resonated with sympathizers across the state: "Yes, I’m not going to hang my head in shame; I smoke a little pot," the investigating detective reported him saying.

Under New Hampshire law, if Orde is found guilty of "manufacturing" marijuana, he could face up to 7 years incarceration or a fine of up to $100,000.

This might seem more than a little excessive, especially to the growing number of New Hampshire citizens who have considered the evidence and concluded that marijuana is actually a less harmful substance than alcohol.  For contrast, consider that at the Milford Labor Day parade, Governor John Lynch posed for photographs in front of Teamsters' Union truck carrying approximately 28 barrels of rye whiskey.  In fact, the video is right here.

That's a lot of hooch Governor John Lynch was standing in front of, and the stuff is a whole lot stronger than Budweiser.  Both can actually kill you if you swallow them fast enough.  And yet, we know that illegal liquor tends to be far more dangerous than the legal drug these Teamsters were toting, even before we factor in all the black market violence that expensive, unenforceable prohibitions inevitably create. 

So the point is not to criticize Governor Lynch for posing with men who are transporting enough whiskey to poison hundreds of New Hampshire citizens.  Responsible adults should certainly be trusted to enjoy the stuff without harming others.  What matters here is the hypocrisy that occurs when peaceful, productive citizens like David Orde are charged with felonies for cultivating a substance they have found to be more enjoyable and less harmful than booze. 

In New Hampshire, the state government monopolizes the liquor trade and simultaneously turns small-scale botanists into felons.  What message does this send to children?  That vices which fill the state's coffers will be promoted, and all others punished with incarceration?  This is a fundamental hypocrisy which cannot be sustained.

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