Search Results for: Roger Tilton

Roger Tilton’s Clarion Call To New Hampshire: “Let’s Be Tenth!”

By Roger Tilton

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Four years ago, I ran for state senate in the “First in the Nation Primary” state of New Hampshire on the theme: “Let’s be ‘Third in the Nation’ to legalize adult-use cannabis.” I lost. And so did New Hampshire. Since that election, every jurisdiction neighboring New Hampshire (save the Atlantic Ocean) has legalized adult-use cannabis: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Canada.

My slogan as I seek election again this cycle: “Let’s be tenth!” Not really. New Hampshire’s legislative branch, called the General Court, consists of a 400-member House of Representatives and 24 Senators. All 424 of them get paid $200 per biennium, or a hundred bucks a year. Who can afford to run for office in New Hampshire? Certainly not the working class: maybe, retired people? Wealthy people? People who control their own schedule? And what do those three groups have in common? (Other than they’re from the Greatest Generation, the oldest demographic group still alive, and those who still vehemently, and overwhelmingly, have missed the truth about cannabis.)

Roger Tilton at MJBA

I’ll let you ponder that question for a moment. And combine your answer with the silliest political gambit I’ve come across: a “pledge.” A pledge that started just after the midpoint of the last century; a pledge to not propose, support or vote for any additional taxes. This silly pledge dates back to the Eisenhower Administration, according to NHPR, and according to figures from usgovernmentspending.com, the New Hampshire state budget reached $169 million in fiscal year 1957. Today the NH state budget is nearly $6 billion a year. Progress and time necessitate new ways to collect revenue and provide services. Period.

Now, back to the pledge: guess what it leads to? We know, we’ve seen it now for decades: bad government, and the passing of responsibility for funding government to local jurisdictions in hundreds of small New Hampshire towns—like the one where I live. Property taxes have doubled in just the past few years. New Hampshire now trails only New Jersey in highest property taxes in the country. What hasn’t doubled in New Hampshire recently? Income. Some employers still get away with paying workers—and I use the term loosely, more like indentured servants—$7.25 an hour! Because that’s the federal minimum, and you know, in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, we don’t have laws requiring a minimum wage. And that means if you’re making $7.25 an hour, your employer would pay you less—if he or she could. Think about that: if employers in New Hampshire could pay you what the state pays its legislators, they would.

So local property taxes go up and services get gutted, while new revenue sources aren’t considered. What kind of government ‘Of the people, By the people, For the people’ is that? Screwed. I take some solace that the state of New Hampshire is not just out-of-touch on cannabis, the state of New Hampshire is out-of-touch on so much more. Which makes the motto seem more like ‘Live Free Of State Government Or Die (or Just Go Away)’.

For work, I act as an agent for legal cannabis companies seeking investor dollars. In that role, I’ve talked with 646 (and counting) legal cannabis companies and personally visited 94 of those in five different states. None of these companies is in New Hampshire, because our elderly, too-well-off legislature is stuck in Reefer Madness.

Last month I attended the National Cannabis Industry Association Business Summit and Expo in San Jose, which attracted +7,000 people and featured exhibits from nearly 500 legal cannabis companies. Now I’ve heard of the so-called Northeast or New England snobbery, but c’mon: Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts have seen the future, and it is legal cannabis.

Four years ago, I told voters in New Hampshire that we could take a leadership position in the legal cannabis industry. Yet our Governors, then Democrats, pooh-poohed the idea. Why? Heads in the sand and the inability to reason, to see trends, to read, to educate themselves. It’s too easy, as one candidate for County Prosecutor said, “It’s a (federal) schedule one narcotic.” Oh yeah? Well, that’s as antiquated an argument as is “Reefer Madness,” or the faux ‘War on Drugs.’

As I walked the exhibition floor in San Jose and talked with more than a hundred of those exhibitors, I felt sad for New Hampshire: so old and out of touch. Yet hopeful too, that a youngster like me (at 58!) can lead with passion on this issue and others—and convince New Hampshire voters to take part: Vote! Vote and you can have liberal policies that actually work and help people, and don’t tax those who can least afford it. In this divisive political climate, I urge you to stand with me! From the rooftops shout: liberal policies work! Liberal politics work! Legalized cannabis works! And on that last point, check out the success stories in Washington and Colorado: two states with five full years of adult-use cannabis legalization. Look at Massachusetts, retail adult-use stores slowly, and legally, coming on line. Look at California, where I was last month with 7,500 other business people making connections, signing contracts, and growing the industry.

I’m running this year to make New Hampshire tenth, or with the goings on in the legislatures in Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland, and with voters in Michigan: maybe fourteenth. I’m also running to implore voters born after Nixon resigned to get involved, learn the issues in your area, and vote both smart, and responsibly. Vote! (Oh, and please: send a few bucks, help me win: www.secure.actblue.com/donate/tilton2018)


Roger Tilton worked for major Wall Street wirehouses and a boutique broker-dealer for 28 years; then on 4/20 2016, he founded Seattle-based Access Worldgroup LLC., where he has confidentially combined investors with investments in the legal cannabis industry. Check him out at www.acwg.co or www.accessRoger.com

Taking The High Road: Roger Tilton’s Notes On Democracy

by Roger Tilton

In “Notes on Democracy,” H. L. Mencken wrote:  “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

You’d think our 240-year-old experiment with democracy hit a rough patch this past Tuesday, or as we learned after “establishing ‘democracy’ in Iraq,” that you don’t always get the democracy you want.  Oddly fitting I guess is that the President Elect ended his racist, xenophobic rallies with the Rolling Stones’ song “You Don’t Always Get What You Want.”

I say praise democracy and all of its shortcomings.  We, the American voting public, had a chance to make history by electing a female president.  Instead, for the first time in generations we had a racist on the presidential ballot, a racist who also happens to be a misogynist.  The adage that if we elect a woman after an African-American man, we’re “losing our country” appealed (according to exit polls) to 53% of white women!  That candidacy also appealed to white supremacists.  And enough pluralities of voters (wins by one point or less in five crucial “battleground” states) pushed this candidate to an Electoral College victory.

Though more of us voted for the supremely qualified woman, she lost the job to the supremely unqualified man (sound familiar?).  Through it all, our democracy worked.  The political pros on both sides targeted the swing states to win the Electoral College vote  The “voter suppression” campaign won out over the “ground game, the get out the vote” campaign.  We all played by the rules and democracy prevailed.  Now even though this year’s Republican candidate won the election, he received about 1.5 million votes less than the losing Republican candidate four years ago.  Voters did not turn out, and that too, is our democratic right.

It is also our democratic right to make or change laws.  And voters in eight states did just that regarding cannabis:  Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California voted to join Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska in repealing marijuana prohibition; Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas approved medical marijuana laws; and Montana expanded its medical marijuana program.  The results mean that once all these new laws are implemented, more than a quarter of Americans aged 21+ can walk into a store and buy weed just like they go into a store and buy beer!  And more than 60% of Americans will have access to medical marijuana!

Now that’s democracy I can believe in!

Editor’s note:  Mr. Tilton, a longtime, strong and loud cannabis legalization activist, lost his bid for a New Hampshire State Senate seat by 12 points, 56-44, a 7-point improvement over his first bid two years ago.  “Even though I lost,” he told me, “I’m now sandwiched between two legal states!  Count me very bullish on the cannabis industry.  The 2016 national vote shows prohibition has reached a tipping point, and the end of prohibition is nearly at hand.  And on a personal level, I’m totally jazzed about my Seattle-based venture fund’s investments into cannabis-related startups!”  (Mr. Tilton is also a canna-pranuer.  You can check out his full_tiltON ventures website at fulltilton.com.)

 

New Hampshire Senate Candidate Roger Tilton Visits MJBA HQ

WASHINGTON: New Hampshire Senate Candidate Roger Tilton, who first came to national prominence for including a marijuana leaf on campaign posters for his bid for New Hampshire State Senate in 2012, stopped MJBA HQ in Seattle last week to speak with MJ News Network’s David Rheins.

The pro-cannabis politician is back on the campaign trail — and still flying his cannabis banner high.  Tilton is running for the same 11th district seat in NH again in 2016, and was in Seattle to promote Pre-Fest: A Joint Fundraiser to Benefit Seattle Hempfest and the Eastward Expansion of Legal Cannabis.

Pre-Fest will be a combination of higher-level reform activism, a joint political and nonprofit fundraiser, a launch party for a new cannabis venture, with dabs, doobies, dinner and entertainment.   Organized by Dr. Keith Saunders, a prominent activist and sociologist who sits on the NORML Board of Directors and also serves as Tilton’s campaign manager, the exclusive benefit will take place at the Stables in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle on Aug 17th.

Pre-Fest
Tilton and Rheins enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation about politics, pot and how New England’s legalization movement compares to the West Coast’s legal cannabis marketplace. Watch the video exclusively on Marijuana Channel One.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSOQa6byieY&w=420&h=315]

MJNews Analysis: In New Hampshire It’s Live Free…Or Not

By Roger Tilton 

Now that the New Hampshire State Senate Judiciary Committee has “re-referred” the legal reefer bill to next year’s session, we wonder if Reefer Madness prohibitionists will continue to prevail until the Great Bay Oyster Reef Restoration is complete. What? That would be until Halloween in 2021, more than two years away.

The five-year reef-refresh began in 2016. You know what else happened in 2016? (Besides that.) Neighboring states Maine and Massachusetts legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older to enjoy. Last month, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reported sales statewide reached the $100 million mark since retail stores opened last November. And at a 17% state-tax rate, and a 3% local tax, that cannabis revenue starts to add up. Legalization proponents often cite tax revenue as a main argument to end the war on marijuana. I’ll add another main argument: Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, California. In the laboratory of the states, marijuana is a winner.

Here in New Hampshire, the state is taking a turn for the worse. Remember that slogan, the one plagiarized from a letter that Revolutionary War hero General John Stark wrote in 1809: “Live free or die. Death is not the greatest of evils.” The state adopted “Live Free or Die” as the state motto in 1945. Then in 2018, the State Division of Travel and Tourism shortened it to “Live Free.” Check out their website.

New Hampshire likes to boast about being “first in the nation (#fitn).” Maybe for presidential primary elections, but not much else, especially cannabis. And it would seem such a natural fit: ‘first in the nation’ and ‘live free or die’ cries out for legal weed! Five years ago, I ran for state senate on a platform of “let’s be third-in-the-nation!” Voters and established politicians were not quite ready to be third. The state, however, has made some progress, allowing medical sales in 2013 and decriminalizing in 2017.

Roger Tilton talks to MJNews

New Hampshire’s problem with weed comes down to this: old people don’t like it. Polls in New Hampshire show residents approve adult-use legalization by a 3-1 margin. However, without citizens’ initiative laws allowing us to make or change laws through ballot measures, which is how most adult-use legal states became that way, New Hampshire doesn’t stand a chance—for a while. The legislature skews older, and old people (born prior to 1954) are the only segment of our population still opposed to legalization. Then there’s the governor problem. That would be Chris Sununu, born in 1974, and clueless. Had the state senate not “re-referred” the reefer-legalization bill, and had it made it out of the full senate—the state house already passed it—our boy-gov Chris vowed to veto. Why? I’d call it “Orange Syndrome.” Chris, who has visited the White House and the Orange One there at least ten times (at last count). And like the Orange One, our boy-gov is resistant to learning and to science.

Tilton2018art

As a West Coast transplant to NH in 2003, I have watched for 16 years now how patrician and provincial most politicians act. Slow to change, oblivious to what’s going on in this country, especially “out west.” Yes, progress moves from West to East in this country. New Hampshire will get there—eventually—probably on the coattails of the removal of cannabis as a Schedule One Narcotic from the Controlled Substances Act. And it would be so New Hampshire: not first in the nation, not live free or die, just follow the federal government—like the minimum wage. Yes, New Hampshire does not have a minimum wage law, meaning New Hampshire employers would pay as little as they could, like a-dollar-an-hour, but they have to pay at leas $7.25 an hour, thanks to the federal minimum wage laws. And that pretty much sums up New Hampshire.

And that Great Bay Oyster Reef restoration that I noted earlier, The Nature Conservancy is spearheading the effort, not the state of New Hampshire.

 

Pre-Fest: A Joint Fundraiser For Hempfest & The Eastern Expansion Of Legal Cannabis

WASHINGTON: On the Wednesday before the opening of the historic 25th Seattle Hempfest, cannabis’ brightest lights will be out in full force as former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, celebrity-turned-ganjapreneur Whoopi Goldberg, tv travel host Rick Steves, NORML’s Dr. Keith Saunders, New Hampshire Senatorial Candidate Roger Tilton and the Cannabis Cafe’s Madeline Martinez join forces for Pre-Fest: A Joint Fundraiser to Benefit Seattle Hempfest and the Eastward Expansion of Legal Cannabis.

Image-1Pre-Fest will be a combination of higher-level reform activism, a joint political and nonprofit fundraiser, a launch party for a new cannabis venture, with dabs, doobies, dinner and entertainment.

 The exclusive $250/ticket event will take place at the Stables in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle on Aug 17th, 5-6:30PM.

 

Hempfest 2015: This Protestival Just Keeps Getting Better

By TwicebakedinWA

WASHINGTON:  Last weekend I attended the 24th annual Hempfest in Seattle on the waterfront of Myrtle Edwards Park. This was my third time attending the Protestival and I thoroughly enjoyed all three days there. While in the past years I have been a volunteer and attendee, this year I was there representing MJ Headline News and MJBA to capture as much of the experience as possible.

On Friday, true to Seattle weather, there was thunder and lightning and torrential downpours shortly after the park opened to attendees. I was soaked to the bone walking to the far end of the park with my boss, David Rheins, who was scheduled to speak. When we got there the speakers were all huddled under the backstage tents of the McWilliams/Black Memorial stage and there wasn’t an audience.

The stage manager was still giving the mic to the speakers who were there to have their voice heard. It was there that I met Roger Tilton, Senate State Candidate from New Hampshire: