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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


About Author

Johnny Green


  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?

  22. Suggesting we may vote against a particular politician should NEVER be interpreted as a “THREAT” in America. We have the right to use our voices.. this sort of response from a politician is tantamount to communist ideals.

  23. Dear Andy.

    I’m shocked at your extortive response to your constituent and my fellow, New Hampshire citizen.

    We, the people, make our laws, change our laws and vote you in or vote you out. Government is ‘Of the People, By the People and For the People.’ It is not for Government to decide what is right and what is wrong. It is for the people to decide.

    When/if you look at the lies that were thrust upon us in the 1950’s with regard to the so-called “dangers of marijuana”, it doesn’t take long to realize that the grassroots (no pun intended) efforts behind legalization/decriminalization of marijuana, only make sense.

    I urge ( not threaten) you to look closely at the argument for legalization. We were systematically lied to, YOU AND I, both.

    I’m certain that with close and open inspection, you will find that these antiquated fears of Marijuana are on the wrong side of history.

    Robb Fox.

  24. Good! Hope it gets picked up by a bigger news outlet too. Move it on up! Expose this bully.

  25. The letter writer was not treating the Senator like a punching bag. He may have admonished the Senator in the final part of the letter, but he by no means insulted him. How is the letter writer’s fault that the Senator responded like a junior high school bully? This isn’t some absolute monarchy with Noblesse Oblige laws.

  26. Having said that, I still stand by point that the Senator should either grow thick skin or get out of politics which I’m sure you probably agree.

  27. After reading the “legislation” referred to by the senator, it’s clear the letter’s author was not addressing any legislation at all, and this senator not only totally missed the points made, but rather chose to be offended. That shows a lack of knowledge and integrity, focus. Very immature. Oh yeah…that’s a dumb ass bully.

  28. The Senator responded:

    He explained: “My e-mail was not a suggestion that I could or would work to revoke any scholarship, only to highlight that those involved with awarding him those funds may have made a different decision had he expressed similar pro-marijuana legalization efforts to them when applying.”


  29. Sandy Crittenden on

    Hey Senator! –
    ……………………- *” – “::*’
    ………………„-^*” : : „” : : : :: *„
    …………..„-* : : :„„–/ : : : : : : : ‘
    …………./ : : „-* . .| : : : : : : : : ‘|
    …………/ : „-* . . . | : : : : : : : : |
    …………„-* . . . . .| : : : : : : : :’|
    …………/ . . . . . . ‘| : : : : : : : :|
    ………./ . . . . . . . .’ : : : : : : : |
    ……../ . . . . . . . . . . : : : : : : :|
    ……./ . . . . . . . . . . . ‘ : : : : : /
    ……/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . *-„„„„-*’
    ….’/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ‘|
    …/ . . . . . . . ./ . . . . . . .|
    ../ . . . . . . . .’/ . . . . . . .’|
    ./ . . . . . . . . / . . . . . . .’|
    ‘/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .’|
    ‘| . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|
    ‘| . . . . . . „_^- „ . . . . .’|
    ‘| . . . . . . . . .’ . ./ ‘/ . |
    | . . . . . . . . . . .” / . ‘|
    | . . . . . . . . . . / .’/ . . .|
    | . . . . . . .| . . / ./ ./ . .|
    ‘| . . . . . . . . .’ . ./ ‘/ . |
    | . . . . . . . . . . .” / . ‘|
    | . . . . . . . . . . / .’/ . . .|
    | . . . . . . .| . . / ./ ./ . .|
    ‘| . . . . . . . . .’ . ./ ‘/ . |
    | . . . . . . . . . . .” / . ‘|
    | . . . . . . . . . . / .’/ . . .|
    | . . . . . . .| . . / ./ ./ . .|
    ‘| . . . . . . . . .’ . ./ ‘/ . |

  30. I don’t understand why your note is in reply to my comment – I wasn’t intending to suggest the letter writer was insolent. My apologies to Mr. Maly if my comment implied I found him insolent.

  31. Quite possibly I don’t, but I don’t see how that would matter since it was the Senator who said “There sure is one way to insure a legislator votes against your wishes and that is to insult them” … so, whatever an insult is, the Senator is the guy saying that using one is certain to manipulate him.

  32. Dumb stoner here, not willing to sew my mouth shut. And since I’ve been a punching bag for politicians, like throughout my whole life, then it seems only fair that they learn what that feels like.

  33. Drug Possession Laws on

    This deserves media attention. A State Senator cannot threaten a citizen for expressing a perfectly reasonable attention.
    It is worth trying to get the local media to cover it. @UnionLeader @WMUR9 @ConMonitorNews should be on this.
    Let’s get this kid in contact with a reporter.

  34. the insult was and is a fact that many reps overlook. Thus is why we as a nation are in the state of chaos we are submerged. It’s time to send these assholes home. Not one or one side. All of them. “We should change politicians as often as we change diapers and for the same reasons.”

  35. Mr. Sanborn is an elected official. Sanborn’s disrespect of his constituent is the insulting part of this exchange. Seems to me that this is fodder for an opponent to use in the next re-election campaign, to unseat Sanborn. He is obviously not representing the majority of his constituency.

  36. The guy had a GREAT argument and statement of fact regarding Cannabis. Then in his last sentence he insulted the guy and the whole argument was lost. Therefore the Senator NEVER addressed any of his concerns. He just addressed the insult. Please be careful when writing these people. You’ll catch more flies with Honey than you will with Vinegar! I’m sometimes just as guilty of that. But seriously, THINK before you write!

    Closer Smoker… GREAT E-MAIL!

  37. He is absolutely right. People need to learn how to deal with people. Especially politicians, they are not your punching bag just because they are your elected official. It’s called throwing wood into the fire… the most counter productive way of handling any interpersonal conflict. Weed should be legal, but dumb stoners need their mouths sown shut while the people with social awareness can get this countries legalization on. BTW he said he was insulted, if you piss someone off, don’t cry when you get the back lash. SMH

  38. Politicians despise the electorate and have a sense of extreme denigration when they have to campaign to get elected.

  39. Typical. Use the authority you’ve been through election to threaten a concerned constituent presenting a cogent argument against your position versus providing an explanation of that position.

  40. The states that go legal will have plenty of tax revenue to hire and retain law enforcement and actually increase public payrolls. The irony is the states that continue prohibition will have to cut the police force due to shrinking budgets.

  41. living in north Carolina, a state where your not allowed to vote, seems like a good idea. just gotta find a leader for the group. which might be the easy part.

  42. fucking pissed on

    I think people should form groups like 50 people everyone of them should have a gun. and a bowl of weed. all should start to smoke in a park and when the cops show up they see 50 people waving guns signaling the cops to stay the fuck out of peoples lives.
    if only I had enough people willing to do this with me.
    it would be a peaceful yet powerful protest!

  43. Colorado is raking in the cash. Money is going to be the decision maker here to go legal. It’s going to be a huge economic boom for those states ahead of the times. The others left behind in poverty.

  44. I live in a republican bubble, where every radio station is a liberal/democrat bash fest. And the only democrat media you can find is on cable TV. You could say I live on the front lines of the legalization war. I can tell you that bashing “republicans” will not win you any of their votes. I can say this with 100 % certainty.
    The guy that wrote this letter did not bash a political party. He bashed an ideal, an idea, and used facts and statistics to back up his argument. Yet, the politician hit back with insults and threats. Gandhi would have been so proud of the letter writers resounding victory. And, I am sure he won some “republican” votes.

  45. Daniel Larusso on

    When re election time comes I wonder if he will have the same tone. I believe that when people see the outcome of Colorado and Washington’s programs that the majority of Americans will support the legalization, and your senator will most likely toot a different song that day.

  46. I think a more pressing question is how the hell this Senator knew the author had a scholarship to begin with? Not only that but to stifle the author’s first amendment by threatening to call the organization once again shows how corrupt politicians are. The Senator is a SERVANT to the people, NOT the other way around. This Senator is no different than the f*cking mafia and the way they used to extort people and their opinions.

  47. In North Carolina we cant even vote. Im trying to be an obedient citizen but with the law conflicting with my lifestyle it is pressure that cause stress which leads to anger. I don’t what to be angry.
    Decriminalization is the dumbest fucking idea ever invented. If I were truly heard I would vote for FULL LEGALIZATION.

  48. Decriminalization is a sneaky way to prolong criminalization. Selling and growing is still a felony. Without a legal way to buy, it’s drug war business as usual.

  49. in·sure
    arrange for compensation in the event of damage to or loss of (property), or injury to or the death of (someone), in exchange for regular advance payments to a company or government agency.
    “the table should be insured for $2,500”

    secure or protect someone against (a possible contingency).
    “by appeasing Celia they might insure themselves against further misfortune”

  50. The letter writer was in no way being insolent. If the butt hurt Senator is that thin skinned, then he has no business being in politics.

  51. So, the “sure way” to get this Senator to vote a given way on an issue it to espouse the opposite and then insult him? Cool, now you NH-ers know how to course-correct him! Did he learn this sophisticated tactic in 4th grade or something? I suppose he had time to study politics while he was missing the teaching on its vs. it’s :)

  52. same here. it would be better to see this on the news than that stupid story about the teacher with the pot brownies. my god how did that story soak up all the talk about pot.

  53. If I ever get arrested or a ticket for weed im using this article as a defense to show the judge how much the leaders of our county are rich over powered assholes. They constantly dictate peoples lives and when they hear something they don’t like they turn to dirty boxing.
    Im not an American anymore, im a human………………………im smoking a bowl

  54. Unlike some who have responded here, I am opposed to violence as a means to an end. The best thing we can collectively do to improve our country exponentially is to use our vote — and rally others to use theirs — to ERADICATE REPUBLICAN VERMIN like this ignorant, so-called “legislator” and those like him who do little but rise each day eager to suckle at the teat of propaganda and offend the citizens of this great country with every moronic phrase they utter.

  55. Here’s his twitter account.


    Why not ask him about his history of suspect business practices? Like how his business went bankrupt in 2005 owing over $600,000 to his creditors, but somehow he found the cash to open a sports bar the following year, paying over $100,000 in cash on *just* the televisions.

    The sports bar is still open — we know, because he was delinquent on the business taxes he owed last year. That’s probably why he’s one of New Hampshire’s favorite Tea Party “activists.” An activist who voted to allow NH businesses to charge consumers 300% interest rates (he’s so for-the-people, right?). This jerk cut funding for local schools and higher education and supports stripping consumer rights with ludicrous tort reform. He’s just another Koch Brother puppet.

    Word around the campfire is that Sanborn barely got elected after switching districts. My guess is that’s going to be the end of his little story, if he’s threatening scholarships of people he disagrees with.

  56. I love when they tell you to go over it again….. Like they have no idea about anything but to to tell you that

  57. Bang on man…. I hope people like this are punished when prohibition ends. They actively harm society.

  58. I just forwarded this to Rachel Maddow, I hope she takes the slimy prick Senator to task.

  59. I hope this makes it to the main stream press, or at very least, the local newspapers and news shows in New Hampshire. This man has no business representing anyone.

  60. Senator Sanborn (a Republican and Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee) has made absurd comments before. His comparison of Obamacare to a plane crash in San Francisco drew national attention. The good people of New Hampshire need to get this guy out of office.

  61. And these are the cocks that lead our country….. Men like this should be shot, as he is obviously a self indulged hypocrite.

  62. hurr durr lets continue to spend millions hunting down people who do something safer than alcohol

    ****ing retards, i swear

  63. Here is the email I wrote to the senator:
    Please do your due diligence

    Senator Sanborn,

    I am not a resident of your fine state. I am, however, a concerned citizen of the United States of America. I have read how either you or a hired worker from your office had responded to a concerned citizen who wrote a well thought out letter to you asking for you to support the ending of cannabis prohibition. The response from your office is not one becoming of a elected representative. There is a major shift in the perceptions of cannabis and any harms it may have. Numerous recent polls have shown a major uptick in cannabis policy acceptance, a clear majority now believe it needs to be legalized. I know you are not ready to accept this leap yet, but at least do your due diligence and research both the pros and cons. Look at the medical research being done in Israel. Discover how, when brought to the American Congress in 1937 by Harry S. Anslinger in his successful attempt to prohibit cannabis, the number one question asked by congressmen was “What is this stuff?”

    IF you do your research, you will find how, over 75+ years of history, cannabis prohibition was brought upon us by out of work government bureaucrats looking for a new cause, and greedy corporate interests that wanted nothing more than to quash competition to keep their inferior product profitable. It is being lobbied for by those who profit greatly now by its continued prohibition. For profit prisons, court mandated rehab and testing, the list goes on how profits are being made on human misery. Our own federal, state and local law enforcement have committed the “justified” killing of your own people over the simple possession of a plant. We have spent TRILLIONS of dollars trying to reach a quixotic unobtainable goal of being drug free.


    Deaths DIRECTLY attributed to consumption of:

    Tobacco: 440,000+ per annum

    Alcohol: 130,000+ per annum

    Aspirin: 1000+ per annum

    Peanuts: approx. 100 per annum

    Deaths directly attributed to cannabis consumption in ALL of human history? Zero, none, nada, you will not find a single case.

    Please do your due diligence

    My Name


    Washington State

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