Tag Archives: Constitution

Cannabis and the Constitution: A Brief History of Cannabis in the U.S.

Lisa Rough

The Constitution of the United States is arguably the most important document in the history of this country, aside from possibly the Declaration of Independence. It forms the backbone of America’s most basic rights, liberties, and laws upon which democracy is founded.

In its original form, the Constitution contained no mention of drugs or alcohol. In order to enact alcohol prohibition, the Eighteenth Amendment was introduced and ratified in 1919, specifically stating that the production, transport, and sale of alcohol was illegal. The prohibition of alcohol lasted 13 years, until the Twenty-first Amendment was introduced to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment in its entirety and re-legalize alcohol.

There is no mention of cannabis, nor any other drugs, in the Constitution. Does that mean that the prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional?

There is no mention of cannabis, nor any other drugs, in the Constitution. Does that mean that the prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional?

The first international prohibition of drugs came in the form of the International Opium Convention, an international drug treaty commissioned in response to the rising opium trade. The International Opium Convention was signed on January 23, 1912 and went into force globally in 1919, when it was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles. The initial objective of the treaty was not prohibition or criminalization of drugs, but rather restricting exports of opium, coca, and cannabis.

In the United States, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first law of its kind to deem cannabis, along with alcohol, morphine, and opium, as “addictive and/or dangerous.” The law required drug labels to list any of these ingredients, and was primarily a “truth in labeling” law, although it was credited with paving the way for the eventual creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Curiously, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and other such drugs continued to be available legally without a prescription, so long as they were properly labeled.

Then, along came Harry Anslinger.

RELATED STORY

The Origin of the Word ‘Marijuana’

As head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Anslinger took note of the rising use of cannabis in the 1930’s. In 1935, he urged Franklin D. Roosevelt to adopt the Uniform State Narcotic Act, using the Hearst newspaper chain to promote the campaign. The Uniform State Act defined “habit forming drugs” as coca leaves, opium, “cannabis indica,” or “cannabis sativa,” and although only nine states adopted the regulations, it was drafted without any scientific study or evidentiary basis for the marijuana section.

Anslinger continued on a nationwide campaign against cannabis, declaring that marijuana causes temporary insanity. He produced films and advertisements that featured young people smoking cannabis, committing crimes, and killing themselves or others. This is exemplified in the infamous propaganda film, Reefer Madness.

The U.S. government official also made no compunctions about who, exactly, the campaign was aimed against. “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” Anslinger said. “The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” He also offered a charming portrait of the average cannabis consumer, to his knowledge. “Most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

RELATED STORY

It’s Time to Treat Medical Cannabis Like Medicine

In 1937, Anslinger drafted the Marijuana Tax Act, which did not criminalize the possession or use of cannabis; rather, it imposed a tax equaling roughly one dollar on anyone commercially dealing in cannabis or hemp.

Dr. William Woodward, legislative counsel to the American Medical Association, vehemently opposed the bill, noting that much of the “evidence” presented originated from Anslinger himself, and that the use of the word “marijuana,” which was largely unknown at the time, prevented physicians from realizing they would lose cannabis as medicine. “Marijuana is not the correct term,” argued Woodward. “Yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of this country.”

Anslinger may not have actually created the law to prohibit cannabis, but he is certainly responsible for changing the public perception of cannabis from an innocuous substance available in many tinctures and medicines at the pharmacy to a dangerous, addictive, stigmatized drug, a perception that persists today.


RELATED STORY

How Mexican ‘Herbolarias’ Transformed Hemp into Psychoactive Marijuana

In 1969, Richard Nixon drafted the Controlled Substances Act, the legislation that criminalized the use and possession of cannabis, and ruled that marijuana has a high potential for abuse and no established medicinal value. The term “controlled substance” was defined to exclude alcohol and tobacco, an important exemption, as these are two of the most widely used drugs (with some of the most addictive properties).

The United States Constitution was drafted in order to spread power among many groups, by a system of checks and balances to ensure that no one person has too much power. Thus, the Controlled Substances Act could be changed by the Attorney General, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, or by petition from any interested party.

Since 1970, there have been numerous petitions to reschedule cannabis. The first petition was filed by NORML in 1972 and was not given a hearing until 1986, and another attempt in 1981 from Representative Stewart McKinney was also shot down. Since then, it has been a recurrent theme of petition and denial through the years.

“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

Francis L. Young, DEA Administrative Law Judge

During a hearing on the subject in 1988, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young concluded that, “In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume…Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

Whether or not the prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional, perhaps it is time to reconsider whether the prohibition of cannabis is truly for the safety of the country, or simply for the peace of mind of a few select opponents still entrenched in the past.

CONTINUED…

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A prayer for Election Eve 2016

 

mj feasibility study

 

May a “Higher Power” be with Us,
On this, the Eve of Our Election,
We must pick a Leader for the USA,
“In God We Trust”!

Let us not forget how hard we fought to get here,
And the Men, Women and Children who suffered and died,
So that we may have the Freedom,
To choose Our way from here.

It is not only Our Right,
It is Our Patriotic Duty,
To fight to keep the Constitution alive,
Lest we loose Lady Liberty’s bright light,
Lest we forever lose Our right to a free life.

Lord, be with us as we make our decisions,
Keep us strong and focused,
And let us not be pushed into a Political trap,
Lest we forever lose Our right to a free life.

And Lord, be with our Leaders as they must make decisions that could kill us,
Make them see clearly Lord,
Not to take away the food and medicine that sustains us,
Beseech them Lord, to free the Cannabis!

Lest we forever lose Our right to a free life.

reoeal

WWII Veteran: 90% of Congress are Traitors to Our Country

World War II Veteran Warren Bodeker from Plains, Montana is no stranger to controversy. He was a war hero who was involved in the saving of 2,000 American prisoners from execution by the Japanese, only to return home to have the federal government intimidate him and threaten to take his home and land, which were fully paid for. Bodeker sat down with Cliven Bundy in 2014 to talk about government tyranny, but shortly before that, he took time to point out that much of our problems lie with those who are supposed to serve us.

According to Bodeker, ninety percent of Congress are traitors to our country.

That might seem like a harsh statement to many, but consider that their oath binds them to limited tasks, of which is to "uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

This oath is to the Constitution, according to Article VI of the US Constitution, not a party nor a political figure.

Bodeker took time to speak of his own oath and how Congress has failed miserably in upholding their own.

This man was a true treasure to America. Though he died in September 2015 at the age of 92, Bodeker had many words of wisdom, if only we would heed them. Take a listen.

CONTINUE THRU LINK TO VIDEO (WORTH WATCHING)!

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2016/01/wwii-veteran-90-of-congress-are-traitors-to-our-country/#mri4dD4ZTHmTAR02.99

Washington DC vs. America: The Federal Land Grab

What a mess. For generations, Washington D.C. has attempted to grab our guns and state legislatures follow its lawless example. It occupies 640 million acres of America. But having our guns and our land taken by D.C. thugs isn’t about the Second Amendment. It is about Washington D.C. and its allies in multinational and foreign corporations, waging war against us.

The war is Washington D.C. vs. America

Every time Congress or a federal court takes up any issue of us vs. them, they rule for themselves. Our side is split up into countless small groups, each fighting for our single issue. How can we ever win this war and restore rule of law?

The Founding Fathers made provision for that. In Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the Constitution, We The People authorize Congress to "provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasions…". Then in Clause 16 we authorize Congress to, "provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the Militia…reserving to the States…the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia". That’s the Law in plain English. It’s clear, simple, and non-negotiable.

See? The Second Amendment is the wrong battle because 80 million Americans already own over 250 million firearms. The problem is, few of them are military-grade arms suitable for Citizen Militia. Also, few citizens are trained to execute the laws or protect their community in a crisis or attack, because no American belongs to a constitutional Citizen Militia. Not a single state has a constitutional Militia law. Pulling together a bunch of gung-ho guys in ‘unorganized Militia’ doesn’t pass constitutional muster.

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with it. We need to exercise our power and duty over the Constitution by "execut(ing) the Laws of the Union", not arguing with liberals and tyrants in the White House or in our statehouse about ‘gun rights’. Sovereigns don’t argue with their lawless servants about rights; we execute the laws!

Notice how this ties into land-grabs by the BLM, EPA, NFS and other illicit alphabet agencies. To execute the highest law, we need to make our State legislatures shut down the federal bureaucracies occupying our states’ sovereign public lands in violation of the Constitution. Our legislators don’t have the backbone to do it, so we need to force them to obey the Constitution, too. I will explain how, in Part 3.

But here’s the federal land-grab in a nutshell. In Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, We The People give Congress permission to "exercise exclusive Legislation…over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square)…and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards…".

THIS MAP depicts land that Washington D.C. lawfully acquired from the states by that section of the law. Compare that to THIS MAP depicting the over 640 million acres of state lands being occupied, claimed or controlled by Washington D.C. in direct violation of the Constitution!

This began when the West consisted of ‘territories’ that Washington D.C. grabbed from the Indians, Spaniards, French and Mexicans. Once a State entered the Union, its land became its own sovereign property and every State had to treat its co-sovereigns equally; this is a republic.

But you know how politicians are; Washington D.C. wanted to keep all that land, minerals, timber and water for itself. Congress and the federal courts have been citing Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 as Washington D.C.’s right to steal public lands belonging to the States: "Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular State."

See that last sentence? It means that neither Washington D.C. nor any sovereign State can win a court battle over a State’s land. It is the duty of the State Legislature to put its foot down on federal occupation of our land in violation of the highest law. And it is the duty and power of the Citizen Militia to make the law stick!

America can win this war against lawless Washington D.C., but only by first enacting a constitutional Militia statute in each state.

Remember, in the Constitution, We The People created, defined, and limited our servant government in Washington D.C., including the U.S. supreme Court. In any contest between America and Washington D.C., We The People are the highest authority. If something is clear in our Constitution, We The People – not federal courts – are the final word on what the law says. This powerful principle is explained in the book, The People Themselves, by former Stanford Law School dean Larry Kramer.

This isn’t rocket science. Every State legislature needs to enact a constitutional Militia statute, set up training and appoint Militia officers; that’s the law. Then when the State legislature passes its law to expel every lawless federal bureaucrat, agent, and thug from the State, the Citizen Militia of that State can "execute the Laws of the Union".

We The People gave no authority or jurisdiction to Washington D.C. of one square inch of land in any sovereign State on earth, except in that passage about military bases and forts purchased from the States with approval of the State Legislature. Everything else that Washington D.C. thugs and bureaucrats are doing in ‘federal lands’ or a ‘federal possession’ is criminal activity.

Thousands of Americans have horror stories about tyranny by federal bureaucrats, agents, and operatives. This was out of control generations ago, and it’s our fault. We The People have work to do, to turn this long war back in America’s favor.

Stay tuned for Part 3 to see how we will do that. I had originally planned five articles, but I think I can finish this series in three parts.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2016/01/washington-dc-vs-america-the-federal-land-grab/#tCf5Mw2k3XliBbvx.99

Conflicting Federal Laws beg to differ on Marijuana enforcement

It Is interesting to follow the news on Marijuana/Cannabis/Hemp these days.  It seems that the law enforcement agencies have a really hard time deciphering which laws they can enforce and which ones to “not” enforce.

The Federal Government has previously issued  “policy guidelines” to help “guide” the differing agencies through the process of elimination but they still seem to be confused.

To refresh their memory I am inserting the link to that information HERE. 

Prior to that the “Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement” was issued on August 29, 2013 to help ease enforcement issues as well.  The link to that information is HERE as well.

It is documented fact that they did “raid” an Indian Reservation yesterday where the Federal Government seized 12,000 Marijuana Plants along with some Marijuana packaged for sale.

 

A surveillance photo taken June 19 from the northbound shoulder of Highway 395 in rural Modoc County shows part of a large marijuana manufacturing site on the XL Ranch, which is American Indian land belonging to the Pit River Tribe. The white pickup truck belongs to a private security firm contracted to guard the site.

“By Denny Walsh

dwalsh@sacbee.com

Law enforcement officers from at least four agencies on Wednesday swooped onto American Indian land occupied by two tribes in Modoc County and seized at least 12,000 marijuana plants and more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana.

In a release announcing the raids, Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. attorney in the Sacramento-based Eastern District of California – which includes Modoc County – emphasized, “Other than contraband marijuana and items of evidentiary value, no tribal property was seized and no federal charges are pending.”

Warrants signed Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney authorized federal agents to search “two large-scale marijuana cultivation facilities located on federally recognized tribal lands at the Alturas Indian Rancheria and the XL Ranch in Modoc County.” The county forms the northeast corner of California, with Oregon on the north and Nevada on the east.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article26834551.html#storylink=cpy  “

While surfing the WWW for further information about this the following article was found regarding enforcement of “Federal Law”.  Published April 2, 2015 in a Press Release by Drug Policy Alliance (DPA),

“Press Release | 04/02/2015

U.S. Justice Department Says It Will Ignore Federal Law and Prosecute People for Medical Marijuana Despite Congressional Spending Ban

Congress Passed One-Year Amendment in December Prohibiting Justice Department from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws; Members of both Parties Sought to Stop Prosecutions and Let States Set Their Own Medical Marijuana Policies

Drug Policy Alliance Calls on President Obama to Rein in Out-of-Control Prosecutors

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) told the Los Angeles Times that a bi-partisan amendment passed by Congress last year prohibiting DOJ from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws doesn’t prevent it from prosecuting people for medical marijuana or seizing their property. The statement comes as the agency continues to target people who are complying with their state medical marijuana law. This insubordination is occurring despite the fact that members of Congress in both parties were clear that their intent with the amendment was to protect medical marijuana patients and providers from federal prosecution and forfeiture.

Read more here:  http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2015/04/us-justice-department-says-it-will-ignore-federal-law-and-prosecute-people-medical-mari   ”

All of this only serves to prove the theory that the only way to “make marijuana lawful” for everyone to grow and consume is to fight for the REPEAL OF THE PROHIBITION LAWS which have enslaved us for so long.

Of note, I found this article: 

“PREEMPTION UNDER THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT  ROBERT A. MIKOS

States are conducting bold experiments with marijuana law. Since 1996,

eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for medical

purposes, and two of them have legalized it for recreational purposes as well.

1

These states have also promulgated a growing body of civil regulations to replace

prohibition. The regulations cover nearly every facet of the marijuana market.

Colorado, for example, has adopted more than s

eventy pages of regulations governing just the distribution of medical marijuana.”

The link to this journal article is HERE.

Moving right along, I am going to input an article written by JackieTreehorn on a Forum concerning repeal of the CSA because, well, I could not have written it better myself – so I am inserting his wisdom here:

Lawmakers, sign on now, to repeal the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). Without this authority, the ill-conceived War On Drugs (WOD) stops in its tracks. No one has talked about the War On Drugs for a long time. It has not gone away. We still squander scarce resources on the fight against ourselves, at a time when foreign enemies are at the gate. Enough is enough, too much is too much, and more of this futile war would be the height of fiscal irresponsibility. Do now, for the War On Drugs, what the 21st Amendment did for the 18th, and with it, alcohol prohibition. Stop throwing good money after bad.
We should have learned a lesson from alcohol prohibition, namely that it doesn’t work.
Isn’t there enough blood in the streets already, without continuing to shoot ourselves in the feet? Do we really need to ruin the lives of so many of our own children, perhaps on the theory it is for their own good?
The CSA is unconstitutional. The CSA never had a constitutional amendment to enable it, like the 18th amendment enabled alcohol prohibition. The drug warriors have, so far, gotten away with an end run, subverting the lack of constitutional authority.
An authority over Interstate Commerce provides a pretext of constitutionality. Any excuse is better than none. So, how is that interstate commerce going, these days? Why would a bankrupt treasury distain to derive revenue from its number one cash crop? The anti-capitalist policy inhibits small farmers from cultivating for a taxed market, and gifts a tax-free monopoly to outlaws, some of whom may be friends of our enemies. This is not what the founders had in mind when they authorized meddling in interstate commerce. Lets bring the underground economy into the taxed economy. The Supreme Court got it wrong in Gonzales V Raich. Good on Clarence Thomas for noticing that the so-called constitutionality of the law is a mockery.   www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZD1.html
How did we get this CSA? Was there an informed debate on the floor? Did the substances ever get their day in court? What congressman then, or now, would admit to knowing a thing or two about LSD? The lawmakers have never wanted to know more than it is politically safe to be against it. Governments around the world ignore fact-checkers and even their own reports. Forgive them, Lord, they make it their business to know not what they do. Common sense tells us that personal experience deepens the understanding of issues. Personal experience is a good thing. But we herd the experienced to the hoosegow. We keep them out of jobs. The many who avoid detection must live double lives.

congressmen who passed the CSA probably don’t even get it that they deny freedom of religion to those who prefer a non-placebo as their sacrament of communion. Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religious freedom, says the First Amendment. But they did.
Many of the prohibited substances provide access to unique mental states. You can’t say your piece, if you can’t think it up. You can’t think it up, if you are not in a receptive state of mind. Neither the Constitution, nor its amendments, enumerates a power of government to prevent access to specific states of mind. How and when did the government acquire this power, to restrict consciousness and thought? Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech, says the First Amendment. But they did.
What would happen if the CSA was enforced one hundred percent? What if all the civil disobedient turned in notarized confessions tomorrow? That is a double digit demographic. Even after years of spending more on prisons than on schools, the prisons don’t have that kind of sleeping capacity. Converting taxpayers into wards of the state mathematically increases the tax burden on the remainder. Higher tax burdens are not what the doctor is ordering at this time.
None of these substances are alleged to be as harmful as prison is. Granny’s justice is a saner benchmark. A kid caught with cigarettes must keep on smoking them, right then and there, until he or she has wretched. Drugs are sometimes accused of causing paranoia, but it is prohibition’s threat of loss of liberty, employment, and estate, that introduces paranoia. Apparently it is true that some of these substances do cause insanity, but the insanity is only in the minds of those who have never tried them. There shall not be cruel and unusual punishment, says the Eighth Amendment. But here it is, in the CSA.
In the 1630’s, the pilgrims wrote home glowingly that the native hemp was superior to European varieties. Now, the government pretends it has a right to prohibit farmers from the husbandry of native hemp, but it so doesn’t. Could an offender get a plea-bargain, by rolling over on someone higher up in the organization? The farmer does nothing to nature’s seed that God Himself does not do when He provides it rain, sunlight, and decomposing earth. How can it be a crime to do as God does? Is the instigator to get off scot-free, while small users are selectively prosecuted? God confesses, in Genesis 11-12, it was He who created the seed-bearing plants, on the second day. Then, He saw they were good. There you have it, the perpetrator shows no remorse about creating cannabis or mushrooms. Neither has He apologized for endowing humans with sensitive internal receptor sites which activate seductive mental effects in the presence of the scheduled molecules. Book Him, Dano.
Common Law must hold that humans are the legal owners of their own bodies. Men may dispose of their property as they please. It is none of Government’s business which substances its citizens prefer to stimulate themselves with. Men have a right to get drunk in their own homes, be it folly or otherwise. The usual caveats, against injury to others, or their estates, remain in effect.
The Declaration of Independence gets right to the point. The Pursuit Of Happiness is a self-evident, God-given, inalienable, right of man. The War On Drugs is, in reality, a war on the pursuit of happiness. Too bad the Declaration of Independence is not worth much in court.
Notwithstanding the failure of the Supreme Court to overturn the CSA, lawmakers can and should repeal the act. Lawmakers, please get to it now, in each house, without undue delay. Wake up.
Who has the guts to put America first and not prolong the tragedy?
We don’t need the CSA. The citizenry already has legal recourse for various injuries to itself and its estate, without invoking any War On Drugs. We should stop committing resources to ruin the lives of peaceful people who never injured anyone. If someone screws up at work, fire him or her for the screw-up. The Books still have plenty of laws on them, without this one.
Without the CSA, the empty prisons could conceivably be used to house the homeless. Homeland security might be able to use the choppers that won’t be needed for eradication. Maybe the negative numbers that will have to be used to bottom-line our legacy to the next generation can be less ginormous.
Cannabis has a stronger claim to the blessing of the state than do the sanctioned tobacco and alcohol. Cannabis does not have the deadly lung cancer of tobacco, nor the puking, hangover, and liver cirrhosis of alcohol. To the contrary, cannabis shows promise as an anti-tumor agent. Nor is cannabis associated with social problems like fighting and crashing cars. Cannabis-intoxication is usually too mellow for fighting, and impaired drivers typically drive within the limits of their impairment. The roads will be safer, if slower, for every driver that switches from drink to smoke. Coffee drinkers cause more serious accidents by zipping in and out of traffic and tailgating. To assure public safety on the road, cops need a kit to assess driving competence and alertness objectively. Perhaps science can develop a virtual reality simulator. Hopefully it could also detect drowsy, Alzheimer’s, and perhaps road-raging, drivers.
John McCain should recuse himself on the CSA repeal issue, due to the conflict of interest of potential competition for his family beer franchise. Both candidates have promised to end ‘failed programs’, but neither has issued a timetable, or a roadmap, for standing down on the WOD.
The debate how a crippled USA can manage ‘the two wars’ is blind. Hello, there are three, not two, wars. The War On Drugs has not let up, after 38 years of failure. Its costs are in the ballpark of the foreign wars. There is no lower-hanging, riper, or higher yielding budgetary fruit than to stop this third war, cold turkey. We are making new enemies faster than we are killing the old ones. We are losing old friends. In this national crisis of global humiliation, we should cut a little slack to those who still love the United States of America, no matter what they may be smoking. Stave off national meltdown, by repeal of the CSA, this week, if possible. TIA.
Without the War On Drugs, Americans can come together as a people in ways that are not possible with so many of our best and brightest under threat of disenfranchisement.”

The LINK to the above “Forum post” is HERE.

 

In conclusion I must reiterate what I have said before that if we want to end the war on drugs we must start by “repealing” the statutes which gave the Government and law enforcement agencies the power to enforce an unconstitutional statute to begin with.

http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/tribal/pages/attachments/2014/12/11/policystatementregardingmarijuanaissuesinindiancountry2.pdf

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article26834551.html

http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2015/04/us-justice-department-says-it-will-ignore-federal-law-and-prosecute-people-medical-mari

http://digitalcommons.law.umaryland.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1287&context=jhclp

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/773950_Call_for_Repeal_of_the_Controlled_Substances_Act_of_1970.html

Know Your Constitution

 

 

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

Full Text of the Declaration of Independence

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Not Legal Advice

https://americansforcannabis.com/makeitlawful/know-your-constitution/

Land of the Unfree – Police and Prosecutors Fight Aggressively to Retain Barbaric Right of “Civil Asset Forfeiture”

Image result for infowars logo

 

Their effort, at least at the state level, appears to be working

 

Efforts to limit seizures of money, homes and other property from people who may never be convicted of a crime are stalling out amid a wave of pressure from prosecutors and police.

Their effort, at least at the state level, appears to be working. At least a dozen states considered bills restricting or even abolishing forfeiture that isn’t accompanied by a conviction or gives law enforcement less control over forfeited proceeds. But most measures failed to pass.

– From the Wall Street Journal article: Efforts to Curb Asset Seizures by Law Enforcement Hit Headwinds

In a nutshell, civil forfeiture is the practice of confiscating items from people, ranging from cash, cars, even homes based on no criminal conviction or charges, merely suspicion. This practice first became widespread for use against pirates, as a way to take possession of contraband goods despite the fact that the ships’ owners in many cases were located thousands of miles away and couldn’t easily be prosecuted. As is often the case, what starts out reasonable becomes a gigantic organized crime ring of criminality, particularly in a society where the rule of law no longer exists for the “elite,” yet anything goes when it comes to pillaging the average citizen.

One of the major reasons these programs have become so abused is that the police departments themselves are able to keep much of the confiscated money. So they actually have a perverse incentive to steal. As might be expected, a program that is often touted as being effective against going after major drug kingpins, actually targets the poor and disenfranchised more than anything else.

Civil asset forfeiture is state-sanctioned theft. There is no other way around it. The entire concept violates the spirit of the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution. In case you have any doubt:

The 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The 5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The 6th Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Civil asset forfeiture is a civil rights issue, and it should be seen as such by everyone. Just because it targets the entire population as opposed to a specific race, gender or sexual orientation doesn’t make it less important.

The problem with opposition in America today is that people aren’t seeing modern battle lines clearly. The greatest friction and abuse occurring in these United States today comes from the corporate-fascist state’s attack against average citizens. It doesn’t matter what color or gender you are. If you are weak, poor and vulnerable you are ripe for the picking. Until people see the battle lines clearly, it will be very difficult to achieve real change. Most people are divided and conquered along their superficial little tribal affiliations, and they completely miss the bigger picture to the peril of society. Which is why women will support Hillary just because she’s a woman, not caring in the least that she is a compromised, corrupt oligarch stooge.

In case you have any doubt about how little your opinion matters when it comes to the rights of police to rob you blind, read the following excerpts from the Wall Street Journal:

Efforts to limit seizures of money, homes and other property from people who may never be convicted of a crime are stalling out amid a wave of pressure from prosecutors and police.

Read that sentence over and over again until you get it. This is a free country?

Critics have taken aim at the confiscatory powers over concerns that authorities have too much latitude and often too strong a financial incentive when deciding whether to seize property suspected of being tied to criminal activity.

But after New Mexico passed a law this spring hailed by civil-liberties groups as a breakthrough in their effort to rein in states’ forfeiture programs, prosecutor and police associations stepped up their own lobbying campaign, warning legislators that passing such laws would deprive them of a potent crime-fighting tool and rip a hole in law-enforcement budgets.

Their effort, at least at the state level, appears to be working. At least a dozen states considered bills restricting or even abolishing forfeiture that isn’t accompanied by a conviction or gives law enforcement less control over forfeited proceeds. But most measures failed to pass.

“What happened in those states is a testament to the power of the law-enforcement lobby,” said Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning advocacy group that has led a push for laws giving property owners more protections.

It seems the only people in America without a powerful lobby group are actual American citizens. See: Charting the American Oligarchy – How 0.01% of the Population Contributes 42% of All Campaign Cash

Prosecutors say forfeiture laws help ensure that drug traffickers, white-collar thieves and other wrongdoers can’t enjoy the fruits of their misdeeds and help curb crime by depriving criminals of the “tools” of their trade. Under federal law and in many states, a conviction isn’t required.

“White-collar thieves,” they say. Yet I haven’t seen a single bank executive’s assets confiscated. Rather, they received taxpayer bailout funds with which to pay themselves record bonuses after wrecking the global economy. Don’t forget:

The U.S. Department of Justice Handles Banker Criminals Like Juvenile Offenders…Literally

In Texas, lawmakers introduced more than a dozen bills addressing forfeiture during this year’s legislative session, which ended Monday. Some would either force the government to meet a higher burden of proof or subject forfeiture programs to more stringent financial disclosure rules and audits.

But only one bill, which law-enforcement officials didn’t object to, ultimately passed. It requires the state attorney general to publish an annual report of forfeited funds based on data submitted by local authorities. That information, at the moment, is only accessible through freedom-of-information requests.

This is what a corporate-statist oligarchy looks like.

Shannon Edmonds, a lobbyist for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said local enforcement officers and prosecutors “educated their legislators about how asset forfeiture really works in Texas.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan last month vetoed a bill that would, among other things, prohibit the state from turning over seized property to the federal government unless the owner has been charged with a federal crime or gives consent.

Remember, the terrorists hate us for our freedom.

Prosecutors said the Tenaha episode was an isolated breakdown in the system. “Everybody knows there are bad eggs out there,” Karen Morris, who supervises the Harris County district attorney’s forfeiture unit, told Texas lawmakers at a hearing this spring. “But we don’t stop prosecuting people for murder just because some district attorneys have made mistakes.”

When police aren’t out there stealing your hard earned assets without a trial or charges, they can often be found pounding on citizens for kicks. I came across the following three headlines this morning alone as I was the scanning news.

Cop Exonerated After Being Caught on Video Brutally Beating A Tourist Who Asked For A Tampon

Kids in Police-Run Youth Camp Allegedly Beaten, Threatened By Cops

Florida Cop Charged With On-Duty Child Abuse; Suspended With Pay

This is not what freedom looks like.

For related articles, see:

The DEA Strikes Again – Agents Seize Man’s Life Savings Under Civil Asset Forfeiture Without Charges

Asset Forfeiture – How Cops Continue to Steal Americans’ Hard Earned Cash with Zero Repercussions

Quote of the Day – An Incredible Statement from the City Attorney of Las Cruces, New Mexico

“Common People Do Not Carry This Much U.S. Currency…” – This is How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens’ Money

CONTINUE TO "INFOWARS"….

Vermont Bill would Legalize Marijuana, Effectively Nullify Federal Prohibition

A bill introduced in Vermont would authorize marijuana to be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol, legalizing the plant, and effectively nullifying the federal prohibition on the same.

Senate Bill 95 (S.95) was introduced on Feb. 18 by State Sen. David Zuckerman (D-Chittenden). If this bill is successful, Vermont would become the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes through the legislature rather than the popular vote.

SB95 would allow “a person who is 21 years of age or older to possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use, while retaining civil and criminal penalties for possession above the limits and for unauthorized dispensing or sale of marijuana” and would create “civil penalties for a person who is under 21 years of age who possesses marijuana or attempts to procure marijuana from a registered marijuana establishment.”

Under the bill, Vermont residents would be authorized to possess “two mature marijuana plants; seven immature marijuana plants; one ounce of marijuana; and any additional marijuana produced by the person’s marijuana plants, provided that any amount of marijuana in excess of one ounce of marijuana must be possessed in the same secure indoor facility where the plants were cultivated.” Nonresidents would be allowed to possess a quarter ounce of marijuana.

Dispensaries and retail marijuana shops would be allowed under SB95 if they pay the necessary fees and follow appropriate licensing procedures outlined in the bill. Marijuana distribution centers must be 1000 feet from schools and child-care facilities. Marijuana possession and distribution conducted in ways not authorized by SB95 would be punishable by a civil infraction, and then possibly jail time.

Bills like SB95 are sweeping the nation, and for good reason. Reforms like these can affect federal policy while circumventing the Washington D.C. power structure completely. The best thing about measures such as SB95 is that they are completely lawful and Constitutional, and there is little if anything the feds can do to stop them!

CONSTITUTIONALITY

Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. However, nearly two-dozen states have taken steps to put the well-being of their citizens above the so-called federal supremacy by legalizing marijuana to varying degrees anyway.

“The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully effectively reject unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.

The momentum is on our side, but Vermont cannot legalize it without your help. This effort needs your support to achieve victory. SB95 is currently in Senate Committee on Judiciary where it will need to successfully pass through before it can receive a full vote in the state senate.

ACTION ITEMS

If you live in Vermont, support this bill by following all the action steps at THIS LINK.

All Other States, take action to push back against the federal drug war at this link.

CONTINUE READING…

States Legalizing Marijuana Will Violate Federal Law, Trigger Constitutional Showdown: DEA, Drug Czars

 

The Huffington Post | By Matt Ferner Posted: 10/15/2012 3:13 pm EDT

 

On a Monday teleconference call, former Drug Enforcement Agency administrators and directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy voiced a strong reminder to the U.S. Department of Justice that even if voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington pass ballot measures to legalize marijuana use for adults and tax its sale, the legalization of marijuana still violates federal law and the passage of these measures could trigger a “Constitutional showdown.”

The goal of the call was clearly to put more pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to make a public statement in opposition to these measures. With less than 30 days before Election Day, the DOJ has yet to announce its enforcement intentions regarding the ballot measures that, if passed, could end marijuana prohibition in each state.

“Next month in Colorado, Oregon and Washington states, voters will vote on legalizing marijuana,” Peter Bensinger, the moderator of the call and former administrator of the DEA during President Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations, began the call. “Federal law, the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court decisions say that this cannot be done because federal law preempts state law.”

Bensinger added: “And there is a bigger danger that touches every one of us — legalizing marijuana threatens public health and safety. In states that have legalized medical marijuana, drug driving arrests, accidents, and drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed. Drug treatment admissions are up and the number of teens using this gateway drug is up dramatically.”

Bensinger was joined by a host of speakers including Bill Bennet and John Walters, former directors of the While House Office of National Drug Control Policy; Chief Richard Beary of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); Dr. Robert L. DuPont, founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and who was also representing the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and several others.

In response to the drug warriors calling out Holder again to take a strong public stance against these marijuana legalization measures, Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group behind Colorado’s Amendment 64 said to The Huffington Post:

We believe anything claimed by participants on the call today needs to be taken with many grains of salt. These people have made a living off marijuana prohibition and the laws that keep this relatively benign substance illegal. The nation wastes billions of taxpayer dollars annually on the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and people like Bill Bennett and John Walters are among the biggest cheerleaders for wasting billions more. The call today should be taken as seriously as an event by former coal industry CEOs opposing legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. They are stuck in a certain mindset and no level of evidence demonstrating the weakness of their position will change their views.

This is an election about Colorado law and whether the people of Colorado believe that we should continue wasting law enforcement resources to maintain the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Our nation was founded upon the idea that states would be free to determine their own policies on matters not delegated to the federal government. The Controlled Substance Act itself acknowledges that Congress never intended to have the federal government fully ‘occupy the field’ of marijuana policy. We hope the Obama administration respects these state-based policy debates. If Amendment 64 is adopted by the people of Colorado, there will be sufficient time before any new businesses are established for state and federal officials to discuss the implications.

Today’s call elaborated on a September letter that nine former DEA heads sent to Holder strongly urging him to oppose Amendment 64 in Colorado, Initiative 502 in Washington and Measure 80 in Oregon. “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives,” the nine said in the letter to holder obtained by Reuters.

A month before the 2010 election in California, Holder vowed to “vigorously enforce” federal marijuana laws and warned that the government would not look the other way and allow a state marijuana market to emerge. California’s Proposition 19 was narrowly defeated in 2010 and the pressure is on Holder again to voice opposition to these 2012 measures.

When pressed by a reporter during a Q & A following the call if the group was at all surprised that Holder had not yet made a statement about the measures, former drug czar John Walters replied, “I think it’s shocking. All you have to do is say things that this administration has already said. It would help enormously and I think it would defeat these measures.”

Both Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological perspectives.

In Colorado, if marijuana is legalized it would be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. It would give state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state. An economist whose study was funded by a pro-pot group projects as much as a $60 million boost by 2017.

CONTINUE READING……(VIDEO)

Judge Scalia On How “Easy” It Is to Deny You Your Rights

 

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has again treated us to his “textualist” reading of the Constitution, telling an American Enterprise Institute audience that unfettered abortion access, “homosexual sodomy” and the retiring of the death penalty are all “easy” to decide against.

Reports Seattle Pi:

“The death penalty? It’s easy. Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy,” Scalia told the AEI faithful.

[…]

“Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion,” Scalia added. “Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

Scalia’s mantra is that the Constitution is not to be treated as a living, breathing document whose promise of Liberty evolves with its people, but rather an iron-clad relic that should be read as it was set down, and in only that way.

This illuminating talk from Scalia comes as several marriage equality cases stand ready to be taken up by the Supreme Court, a number that will directly challenge the federal law that bans the government from recognizing same-sex marriages, the Defense of Marriage Act.

Another case on the Supreme Court’s docket in the coming months, likely after the November elections it would now seem, will be the Proposition 8 case where a federal judge and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the voting majority of California violated state and federal guarantees of equal protection in 2008 by defining away the right to marry a same-sex partner.

Scalia, a Reagan appointee, has sat on the bench for much of the life of the gay rights struggle. He has consistently found cause to rule against gay rights. Most notably, Scalia dissented in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that would serve to eventually make unenforceable state level bans on sodomy.

In the dissent Scalia, while terming the sodomy ban “facially neutral” even though the Texas ban applied solely to homosexual acts, wrote:

Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct…. [T]he Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.

While this may give us a rather face-slapping clue as to Scalia’s overall opinion of gay rights, the case may be of particular interest in that, with his dissent, Scalia found room to criticize the Court’s majority for its concern over the criminalization of sodomy leading to discrimination, citing that this ignored the will of the people:

So imbued is the Court with the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously “mainstream”; that in most States what the Court calls “discrimination” against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal.

Proposition 8′s defenders have harped, seemingly to play a tune to which a conservative judiciary might hum, that the voting people of California, through the democratic process, decided against gay marriage and therefore the will of the people should stand — this of course sidesteps the fact that minority rights will nearly always and by their nature find disfavor at a majority poll.

While Scalia’s approach to law, his “textualist” attitude, seems to give him easy answers on topics like abortion restriction and, to quote again “homosexual sodomy,” one can’t help but feel that a judge who knows how he will rule before he has heard the individual cases at hand might be going in with a level of bias that is, to say the least, concerning.

However, for those of us familiar with Scalia’s views on a variety of topics, none perhaps more eyebrow-raising than his refrain that sex discrimination is Constitutionally sound, Scalia’s latest volley against reason and equality, and his apparent admission that being a Supreme Court justice is “easy” when it comes to issues like these, will not be a surprise.

Equal rights proponents were never looking to Scalia for affirmation, but then Scalia’s celebrity has already been cemented among religious conservatives, legislators like Scott Brown, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who has said he would be looking to appoint similarly minded judges.

Scalia’s latest AEI talk serves, then, as a healthy reminder of what that would mean for America.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/judge-scalia-on-how-easy-it-is-to-deny-you-your-rights.html#ixzz291bcIFf0