How do you say: “Game, set, match” in southern California? Here’s how:
High court won’t hear county’s marijuana challenge
The U.S. Supreme Court will not take up San Diego County’s challenge to state medical marijuana laws.
For more than three years the county has been fighting in court to overturn state laws that require counties to issue medical marijuana identification cards. The county contends federal law, which does not recognize medical marijuana usage, trumps the state law.
The county has lost that argument in state trial and appellate courts, and the state Supreme Court declined to take up the case, too. The county’s last, long-shot chance was to have the U.S. Supreme Court take up the case.
San Bernardino and Merced counties initially joined the suit, but Merced eventually dropped out. The high court also rejected San Bernardino’s petition to take up the case.
In other words, the oft-heard prohibitionist refrain that federal law trumps state medical marijuana laws has no legal merit.
None. Nada. Zero.
To anyone who has followed the unethical actions of the San Diego and San Bernardino Supervisors over the past three years, the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear their appeal shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the counties’ vapid arguments had previously been struck down — unanimously — by the Superior Court of the state of California the 4th District Court of Appeals.
In addition, the Legislative Counsel of California, the state Attorney General’s Office, and a majority of the California legislature had also previously determined that local politicians and law enforcement were obligated to uphold the provisions of California’s medical marijuana laws.
Finally, California’s constitution is also quite clear on this point — mandating that police have a sworn duty to uphold state law, not to enforce federal statutes.
Let’s be blunt: San Diego and San Bernardino’s protracted lawsuits — lawsuits that arguably cost county taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and jeopardized the health and safety of thousands (if not tens of thousands) of citizens — were never about resolving legal ambiguity.
Rather, it was about the arrogance and recalcitrance of those who willfully chose to abuse their power and position to hamstring the will of the voters, the legislature, and the courts.
And while this particular legal battle is now over, our outrage shouldn’t be.
Interestingly enough, California voters rejected the budget in the last Special Election vote. Now the Governator is talking about making severe cuts to education and health care. Why not legalize it instead and start collecting on the lucrative cannabis industry instead of putting more people in jail?
The answer is simple, LEGALIZE IT!
re bakedgoods #91 – Al’s analysis was slightly simplistic, but he nailed the spirit of our Constitution. In areas where jurisdiction is specifically allocated to the states, state law supersedes federal law – ie, states lay property taxes and the feds can’t say shit about it cause it’s a local tax which states are explicitly allowed to levy. In areas specifically allocated to the feds, federal law trumps state law – ie, the feds can regulate interstate trade and print money, states can’t. Some powers are exercised concurrently – ie, both federal and state gov’ts have the power to levy taxes, which is why we are taxed five times on every dollar we earn – however, each levies its own tax the other can’t screw with. The 10th Amendment everybody’s on about here states that all powers not specifically allocated to the feds by the constitution are the province of the states – in other words, unless the constitution explicitly grants a power to the feds, state law in that area should trump federal. The federal gov’t has two main justifications for their overbearing cannabis laws. Their first justification is that they have the power to regulate interstate trade, which is a legitimate contention. If cannabis were a legal market, the feds would have the right to regulate the flow of cannabis from, say, Juarez to New York City. This is where we should be waging our fight – the feds have no constitutional power to regulate trade contained within a state. If states write laws which do their best to ensure that the entire industry for that state, from seed to bowl, is contained within the state, the feds should have no right to interfere, at least based on the right to regulate interstate commerce. The feds’ other justification is based on the promotion of the public good clause, which gives Congress an overly broad power to act in the public interest. Of course, they left determination of what is the public interest up to Congress. This is why they keep spouting bullshit like, “think of the children” or “this ain’t your grandad’s pot, this shit’ll kill ya!”. If they keep spouting this crap, no matter how fake it is, they can claim to be working in the public interest and, when we finally win out and write rational laws, they will be able to say they acted in good faith that the laws were proper when they persecuted us, so they won’t be eligible for charges. Of course, this can be fixed through state regulation too; if states write laws which contain the industry within the state, and further the public interest of that states citizens better than current federal law, the feds should have no right to intervene. This is the most promising part of the Court’s refusal to hear this case; they’re starting to reassert state’s rights. Technically, this case only means that state laws should be considered valid as far as counties and municipalities are concerned – it doesn’t touch on the state federal issue. However, if the Court really wanted to reinforce the dominance of federal law, it would have taken the case and allowed the counties to buck laws which were invalid. The fact that they told the counties to suck it up says the laws are at least somewhat valid. Given this decision, it seems to me that, if the Court is presented with a state with a comprehensive regulatory system supported by the majority of voters in the state, they may side with the states over the feds.
re r #87 – did your mother throw you down the stairs at birth or something? You constantly spew asinine comments that contribute nothing to the conversation, is the only reason i’m asking. What do you mean ‘we need china laws’? Cannabis may be illegal in China, but it isn’t eradicated – cannabis actually grows wild all over China. People in China use it like everywhere else. Or were you referring to the Chinese gov’ts predilection for cracking your skull if you’re a democracy supporter and throwing you in jail? As far as your comment about not being an addict – as anybody who has struggled with addiction issues will tell you, addiction extends far beyond drug use. For example, emotional addictions, or what the naive quaintly refer to as ‘love’, cause more deaths per year than illegal drugs. Maybe we should outlaw all personal relationships since they can lead to emotions which can lead to murder. Addiction and the potential for addiction are simply an innate part of the human existence: the best anybody can hope to do is come to terms with their own demons and try not to let them harm themselves or those they love. Throwing on the jackboots, stomping necks and throwing addicts in jail doesn’t do a lick of good. So r, next time you think you might speak, think twice. And then build a dam in front of that river of verbal diarrhea you have going there.
I Imagine in my dreams Politician’s taking the High road and legalizing Marijuana and unclogging the Prisons of non violent Drug offenders and wiping their records clean. Just doing this will create jobs. America can be rebuilt and we have the Manpower and American People to get this done. We can become a major distributor of Marijuana to the rest of the World, truthfully spreading peace and not death. Why is it so hard to imagine our Country taking a different track, becoming famous for doing a great thing. Look at Coffee and imagine the possibilities. I think all Politicians that are Prohibitionists should as a requirement of holding office should be made to either smoke a joint or eat a brownie and then they will know what type of people they represent. Happy Peaceful People who want to live, Laugh and Love others. I hope this gives you a good feeling today. I want to know that my country can be great again. It does not lack great People, only great Politicians. God bless you all.
Dont mean to break change the subject.. but CNN is asking for our comments.. I think a few Thousand comments or more should be given…!!
God damn newspapers and their puns.
We’re making progress . Just think how horrible things were under , George Bush .
Be thankful for that .
what is really stupid is there are countries out there that decriminalized if not that has marijuana legal and taxed yet we the USA does not have marijuana at least decriminalized if not legalized and taxed Yet this is suppose to be “Land of the free” and “we the people”. This being said then why should the gov. say ” we are not at war with the people.” If they are not listening to us THE PEOPLE and are keeping marijuana illegal arresting the people is not that a war on the people? “WE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH THE PEOPLE” Yea right if they are not then they should listen to us THE PEOPLE and legalize and tax marijuana instead of lieing and keeping it illegal the time to legalize marijuana is now yet they are not listening to us. We make a good point that the legalization and taxation of marijuana will produce $10 – $14 Billion annually which can be used for good like hurting the cartel where it hurts them the most and that is in the pocket as well as can be used towards medical and education to name just a few. Our Our drug laws aren’t working. Every year, millions of Americans are arrested on drug offenses, yet drugs are more available than ever before. High school students find it easier to get marijuana than alcohol or prescription drugs. And Mexican drug cartels have become rich and powerful, representing a growing threat to our national security.
With our economy struggling, we can’t afford to waste billions of dollars every year on a policy that has failed. There’s only one way to eliminate the drug cartels’ profits and effectively deal with drug abuse as a public health issue.
I feel we should prosecute our sworn representatives. They are committing a crime Wathe American people. Enslaving us sacrificed for corporate greed.
Check our this site and see how many of your elected officials take millions from corporations that profit from the war on drugs (US)….
Washington DC is the only place on earth where bribery is considered legal. We need to take our country back and end the tyranny!!
The legalization of marijuana would completely fix the economy. It is easier to grow than tobacco so if it is sold in 20 packs like cigarettes, you could put a $25 tax on it and it would be cheaper than black market prices. The tax would get rid of the deficit. With the deficit gone, the dollar becomes much stronger which means the cost of foreign goods (gas, cars, electronics) would come way down. Cost of policing marijuana goes away and the police can go after real criminals. Regardless of marijuana being legalized in all states or not, people still manage to find marijuana to smoke. Personally, if it was legalized i believe it would do wonders to the world. I believe we would see the world as a better view. We would have happier people and more friendly people and I think it would bring a little more joy that people didn’t know they had. Another reason is if it was to be legalized people wouldn’t abuse marijuana because it would be legal. People abuse marijuana illegally more than legally. Plus, if it was to get legalized, those who illegally smoke it more likely wouldn’t use as much if it was legalized. I don’t believe legalizing marijuana would harm many people. I think it would be a good idea actually. i think the effort to keep marijuana illegal is obsurd. Marijuana has been a part of life long before we were even an idea. Its natural and unexcepted…why because it fits the basic definition of a narcotic the twist is…its completely harmless. Smoking a joint is like smoking a cigarette when you are having a crappy day and you smoke that first cigarrtte you feel great…take that nicotine buzz and amplify it by about 10 each time you take a hit…nicotine levels you out…marijuana..thc…chills you out…you dont want to kill…or steal, or rape, or anything…you want to relax, eat and then sleep.
Plus there are more important things that our country needs to concern themselves with. When terrorists have guns pointed at our head…we are more concerned about the mesquito bite on our ass…thats how dumb it is…just legalize it..put a tax on it…and get over it. We have bigger problems to deal with.This is the time for all legalization proponents to put on an all out blitz on legislators and politicians. Due to the current economic crisis, governments at all levels, federal, state and local, are running out of money. It is impossible to rationally justify the billions we are continually spending on failed attempts to enforce marijuana prohibition. We must send a strong message to the politicians that the people will no longer tolerate tax dollars being wasted on this nonsense, and that governments must now move to regulation and taxation.Let’s not forget the market for hemp related products. Hemp is a viable crop and its fiber has a large number of commercial uses, from clothing to paper. Not only can we save trees, which should be an easy sale to the eco friendly, but it can be a boon to farmers as a cash crop. From what I’ve read, even hemp seeds are rich in nutrients. It’s such a shame that so many people have bought into the propaganda and lies that our government has tried to pass for fact for so long.Mairjuana should be legal for everyone, mainly for recreational use. But also for medical use. When people have cancer or any other main health problems they do not want morphine or these other dangerous legal drugs! They want to be able to smoke weed! Weed has many more benefits than these other drugs to and our government should give the people what they want!
I think this matter will be an on going process that will last for a longer time than needed. I think everyone should realize the facts and not just make assumptions.
Looks like muellur pulld a Dobbs didnt kno wht to say
SCOTUS, we hardly knew ye! By allowing this law to stand I can see the day they legalize, and they want to. . .remember. . .
A few years ago someone sued, and the court ruled that the person had “no standing”, strongly hinting that they would allow someone with standing to come before them. Far as I know, that case was not brought up through the system again.
That Scalia guy, he looks like a closet smoker to me anyway. He has too much fun for what he does to not have played the green.
Please stop the prohibition of the Cannabis plant. Stop the lies and the continuing propaganda about Cannabis being harmful. The war on this incredibly useful plant is really just a war on the American citizens. The government has been/is at war with its citizens, carried out through the fear of the “war on drugs” The prohibition of the Cannabis plant is very profitable for certain prohibitionists, so they must maintain their agenda, even as the lies are being exposed. The word “tyranny” comes to mind. Government Tyranny! Wake up people! If you have knowledge/experience with Cannabis, it’s so easy to see through the prohibitionists’ lies and agendas. So why should we put our faith and trust in the other things the government is doing that we haven’t any personal experience with. Like where did all that bailout money go…and come on, Bin Laden is hiding out in a cave…and the recent finding of “thermite” at the world trade center…yea right, like the jet fuel caused those buildings to come down, especially the third building that collapsed without even being struck by a plane. We all need to pay attention to the propaganda of fear which is being thrown at us. Don’t just rely on these corporate wall street TV news shows for your information. Alternative media, reading and research on your own will help. Time to delve between the lines; sometimes the truth is very hard to find.
It is enlightening to think that these guys in San Diego accomplished more for the Cause by fighting the system for three years, than Prof. Craker did by complying with the system for eight years.
alaska was the 1rst to decriminlize marijuana back in the late 1970’s before there was any rhetoric for medical marijuana. i am bling from glaucoma and smoked marijuana as medicine and pleasure. the fed’s blackmailed alaska, to with federal monies unless alaska recriminalizws the states of alaska’s laws regarding. alaska changed the law, california passed prop 215 as dis alaska pass medical marijuana laws and other states. new hampshire where i live now passed hb648 and awaits signing by the gov. lynch and amendments to the bill regarding distribution and 6 plants that can be grown by the patiant. the us supreme court in the recent ruling about 2 counties not abiding to prop 215, the court set no precedent here, the court refused the case to be heard. the 10th amendment has no bearing in the matter, those pro and con try this arguement, no victories or defeatss made, as some think, just smoke and mirrors used on both sides. this federal government is still raping, murdering and pillaging the land the people. to be safe and secure in residence and to have the pursuit of liberty and not be unduelly taxed without representation and to have the luxury of inalienable rights for all given by yawveh. america is not free anymore ever since the movement of progressive federalism and social enginnering which started over 100 years ago, narcotics were legal and marijuana had no criminal penalties. today under the monkey obama and his clan terrorists have more rights given to them than a naturalized citizen. the wrongs and injustices past and present make no difference to truth, live free or die. i will bear my arms,drink, smoke, grow pay my taxes, it is not the right or job to govern my own affairs. i risk death and disease and improsionment everyday , so to beat a drum and live in fantasy land that government will mandate laws and monies for my livlihood i choose not, rebublican, democrat.independent,jew,christian,islam,americanm,communist, socialist etc these are not lord over me , only the freedom of being in bonds to the truth. so hokus and pokus peace love and drugs is a lie. synthetic drugs arec a lie. live free or die the government owes me nothing. see the big picture and grow up and be mature in battle and do not be little children wisps away with every wind of false doctrine emotionally charged only making a noise and changing nothing. what yawveh has created let no no man destroy, smoking marijuan is a luxury and is not some peace song to change the politicians,corruptors and terrorists in the land and abroad. talk of peace only brings destruction.
i think very strongly that cannibus should be legal in all 50 states
i think marijuana should be legalized in all 50 states crime would drop drastically. please send me information and also on medical use for cronic pain.
can a place you interview for a job tell your current job you refused drug test because you have a liscence to smoke
This is a solid victory for the Marijuana Lobby, and such victories will help to pave the way to decriminalization and legalization. The momentum of the prohibition continues to baffle me. How is it that a country full of citizens who warship alcohol were hoodwinked into believing that marijuana should be illegal? The trouble is, we have too many politicians legislating morality, and not enough legislating rationality.
can you grow medical marijuana if your not a patient
Paul Armentano Ladies and Gentlemen…
I attended Oaksterdam University over the weekend, and Paul Armentano was one of our instructors….Absolutely amazing. This man is extremely smart, and definitely knows what he’s talking about. Thank you so much Paul…you changed my life!!
with all the state budget cuts, maybe if the cost of prosecuting people who are following the state laws was coming out of the DAs paychecks, they’d get the mess. after all they expect us to pay to fight for our legal rights.
Medical marijuana ftw!
My father was born in 1903. When i was 15 years old he told me of marijuana. There was a big bust in town and I asked him about the stuff and his words were, the only thing wrong with it is it is illegal. He also told me what pot wos thought of when he was a kid. And you know what, No one paid mush attention to it and and didnt see must difference in the people that smoked it. They were only normal like everyone else. He also said when he was in the U.S Navy, they would pass through the panamal canal they would smoke it and the officers didnt care and no one thought much about it.
I’m doing a speech for school about medical marijuana. I know it’s legal in several states. What I don’t know is how well these programs are working out. I’m hoping to find the most successful examples of medical marijuana use. My goal is to find the best way to implement such a program in my state, Arkansas, where it is illegal to use marijuana for any reason. I’d like to hear about problems that have come up and what was done to correct them. I am a member of a group of 5 people doing the speech, which is pro legalization of medical marijuana. My portion is ‘visualization’, where I must speak for about 5 minutes about what it would be like if medical marijuana use were legalized in Arkansas.
what id like to know is how individual counties can put restrictions on state law.