Hampstead, NH — In the state of New Hampshire, whose motto is 'Live Free or Die', you will be kidnapped and caged for possessing a plant that is legal in some form in over half the country. Those who proudly uphold this law in the 'Live Free or Die' state — the cops — also proudly brag about it on Facebook while publicly shaming their victims. But this time, their victim struck back with only his mugshot.
Last week, the Hampstead Police Department was conducting a traffic enforcement patrol grant, funded by New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency, when they claim they saw Selket Taylor on his phone while driving. So, the officer hypocritically got on his phone (the radio) and called in the stop.
After pulling over Taylor, the officer noticed a tiny bag of marijuana in his cup holder. The horror!! Moving to protect society from the dangers of a grown man ingesting a plant known to treat PTSD, kill cancer cells, fight the opioid epidemic, eviscerate seizures in epileptics, and save countless children's lives, the officer kidnapped Taylor.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of Taylor or his past, at that moment, he was being kidnapped for a plant, something that is morally reprehensible and should happen to no one.
In the Live Free or Die state, any amount of marijuana, be it a seed, a stem, or shake, is a misdemeanor and punishable by 1 year in a cage. If police try to claim that you intend to sell some of the plant, even if it is under 1 ounce, the misdemeanor jumps to a felony punishable up to 3 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.
Taylor has now been charged with multiple crimes, including felony drug possession.
In their Facebook post last week, the Hampstead police called their kidnapping of Taylor over a prohibited plant, a "***Notable Arrest***"
Apparently, the police department in Hampstead is starved for actual criminals whose actions have actual victims — so much so that some random guy with a little weed in his car is 'notable.'
According to the police department, Taylor was on his phone which is a crime in New Hampshire and he also had another bag of marijuana in his vehicle. Inside that bag, police claim to have found white pills that they did not identify, only calling them a controlled substance.
When Taylor was booked into jail, police claim he had a hard time taking it seriously and continued to badger and swear at the officer. Perhaps if the officer didn't kidnap Taylor for arbitrary substances, he wouldn't have to be worried about being sworn at.
During his mugshot, Taylor let the officers know how he felt about the serious nature of his 'crime' by making a silly face for the camera. So, police put his mugshot on their Facebook page.
As is the case more and more recently, when police take to Facebook to shame people they've kidnapped for possessing a plant, those who see this act for what it really is, come out of the woodwork to let police know it is unacceptable in an ostensibly free society.
Being that the Hampstead department Facebook page is relatively small, only 2,500 likes, the comments were minimal. However, they were still entirely notable.
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As drug war supporters praised police for getting this 'loser' off the streets, those able to see past the facade called it like it is.
"My bad? I thought being arrested was a shameful offense?" one person said on the post, in an obvious dig at Taylor's silly face.
However, she was quickly set straight when someone responded by saying, "Yeah, if you do something shameful."
"Not for something as petty as pot," another person chimed in.
"He broke the law," one person said attempting to justify his kidnapping and caging for a plant. To which one, very informed poster commented next, "So did the slaves."
"Do you mow your lawn or drive a car on Sunday? if so, you better turn yourself in, that's against the law in NH," one woman asked rhetorically. "Bottom line, some laws are stupid and no longer relevant to the world we now live in."
"Live Free or Die"... unless you smoke marijuana," another person noted.
"This is not a notable arrest. You arrested someone for having a plant. The next notable arrest you posted about the sexual deviant is a notable arrest," a commenter noted about a sexual predator being taken off the streets, an arrest that actually was notable. "There needs to be a victim for there to be a crime. I get that you don't make the law of the land but maybe you would recognize that this is ridiculous and makes your department look foolish."
While many of the comments were in jest, some of them pointed out how the war on drugs actually perpetuates divide and stokes hatred toward police.
"This is why on a daily basis hatred towards the police in this nation grows. Police are the enemies of freedom, and more and more people are coming to this realization."
Hopefully, as more police departments get chastised for publicly bragging about kidnapping people for arbitrary substances, they will begin to listen to the ones they serve.
To the police, please do the research and see that the opioid epidemic, the cartels, the gangs, underage drug use — all of these things — stem from the war on drugs.