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Posts Tagged ‘new hampshire’

Manchester, New Hampshire, USA is a beautiful city and the largest in Northern New England. If you ever visit it, you will see that is a thriving, lively place with beautiful buildings, pretty shops, a decent public transport system and lots of cars, all of whose license plates carry the state’s motto — “Live free or Die.” It has no general sales tax  and no personal income tax at either the state or the local level. It allows school choice. It has few business regulations. New Hampshire is also the only American state without mandatory seat belt and helmet laws.

Amsterdam, Netherlands is one of the most famous cities in the world and for good reason. It is full of historic canals, magnificent museums and one of the best organized red-light districts in the world. Prostitution is fully legal and regulated and there is little stigma associated with the business. The city has a happening night-life and is extremely gay-friendly. If you travel around on a bicycle, which is indeed the best mode of transportation there, you will see lots of “coffee-shops”, where you can purchase and consume marijuana legally. In Amsterdam, as elsewhere in Netherlands, euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal under certain circumstances. In keeping with the country’s tradition of choice in sexual matters, abortion is legal and available on demand.

One of my fondest dreams is that there be a place, within my lifetime, that combines the freedoms of both cities listed above.

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The Senate judiciary commitee of New Hampshire has voted against a bill that would decriminalize possession of up to one-quarter of an ounce of the drug. That represents the end of the marijuana decriminalization efforts in that state, for now. It also demonstrates that public opinion (about 60% of NH residents support decriminalization) is not necessarily enough to move stodgy old lawmakers out of touch with reality.

New Hampshire, whose official motto is “Live free or Die”, is one of the most libertarian states in the US. It has no sales tax, no state tax and no public schooling mandates. It is also the only American state without mandatory seat belt and helmet laws. For all these reasons, it is the state chosen by the Free State Project as the destination for all liberty-loving people.

However, as the marijuana episode reminds us, NH still has a long way to go.

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