N.H. legislator threatens constituent who wants pot legalized

E-mail this state legislator at your own risk.

New Hampshire State Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) doesn’t want to legalize pot. And if you e-mail him suggesting he consider it, he just might threaten you.

Or that’s what happened to one constituent when he sent Sanborn a polite and thoughtful e-mail detailing the reasons the senator might consider supporting marijuana legalization.

The senator’s thoughtful response? To dismiss the constituent as “nothing more than a college freshman who just wants to get high at any cost.’’

This month, the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill that would legalize pot in the state. The bill faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled state senate, and the state’s governor has already said she will veto it.


The exchange was first published this weekend on The Joint Blog, which changed the sender’s name to protect his identity.

The e-mail to Sanborn lamented the cases of those in N.H. who are “arrested with even small quantities of marijuana’’ and often “face harsh penalties that can ruin their lives by disqualifying them from jobs and other things including federal student aid.’’ The e-mail continued: “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 (sic) citizens first even if it means jeopardizing their safety.’’

Upon receiving the e-mail, the senator, who touts his beliefs in “personal freedom’’ and “personal liberty’’ in campaign videos, appeared to have figured out that the sender was a college freshman and the recent recipient of a scholarship.

Sanborn then lashed out, responding with a thinly veiled threat of what might happen were he to contact the organization that awarded the scholarship.

Sanborn wrote: “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…).’’


The e-mail exchange took place within the last week, Sanborn confirmed to Boston.com. He declined to explain publicly how he came to the conclusion that the constituent was a college scholarship recipient.

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.’’

Sanborn’s actions shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. This is the same Andy Sanborn who once compared Obamacare to a recent plane crash – one that resulted in the death of two teenagers. When confronted about that comment, Sanborn said he didn’t remember making the comparison. He told N.H.’s WMUR-TV in Manchester: “If I offended anyone I am sorry.’’

You can read more from the e-mail exchange here.

E-mail me at sargent@globe.com

Follow me on Twitter @lilsarg.

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