According to the just released report by the NH Attorney Generals office, Tasker was arrested on March 1, 2016, for online solicitation of a minor and possession with intent
to distribute controlled drugs.Police executed search warrants at his Nottingham, home and found evidence of organized drug distribution and supplies of the controlled drugs marijuana, hash, psilocybin mushrooms, the narcotic buprenorphine, and Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).
In March 2016, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) launched an investigation into
Tasker’s drug transactions with other state legislators,
The report names Rep. Joseph Lachance, (R) of Manchester, Rep. Pamela Tucker (R) Greenland with buying marijuana from Tasker. Lachance was the only one who made multiple drug purchases from Tasker.
The AG report states that three others appeared either to have communicated with Tasker about drug transactions, or made a payment to him via an online application, or both. They are Rep. Amanda Bouldin (D) of Manchester, Rep. Ted Wright (R) of Sanbornville and former Rep. Shem Kellogg (R) of Plaistow.
Kellog has since passed away from colorectal cancer. Pamela Tucker and Ted Wright are not seeking re-election. Lachance was a primary winner and is on the ballot for November 8th as is Bouldin.
In the report conclusion the AGO states " At least until Tasker was arrested and the scope of his alleged criminal activity became
apparent, each of these individuals believed—wrongly, given his other alleged crimes—that
Tasker was acting in a humanitarian capacity by selling marijuana to needy people before the
drug was medically available.
I can agree in large part with the AGO on its conclusions, but there is one piece of this situation that concerns me. All of the legislators knew that Tasker was selling marijuana and some even that he was using and selling it in the State House. In addition, the report states that 'State Representative Al Baldasaro on June 6, 2016. Baldasaro had
been a guest on a local radio show. During his appearance there, he talked about Tasker offering
to sell him marijuana oil in the State House basement."
It is not legal in NH to sell and distribute marijuana. I know there were extenuating circumstances in some of these situations, most notably with Ted Wright. He was a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill , now law, legalizing the therapeutic use of cannabis. (The bill passed the NH House by very wide margin, 286 yea to 64 nay. Rep. Crawford voted in favor, Cordelli, nay. I would have also voted yea. )
While no charges are being filed by the AGO, both Lachance and Bouldin should not be running for re-election. I also wonder aloud about Baldasaro. There is no evidence he reported Tasker's offer to anyone and did not publicly disclose it until he was speaking on a radio program. Why not? A fellow legislator offers to sell him marijuana in the State House basement and doesn't think that is a problem?
I hope voters will take note of this come November 8th.