By Jim Trageser
The members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors are a bit confused.
They seem to have this collective self-image of themselves as the biblical David, taking on the Goliath of a giant state government.
But in their ongoing battle against medical marijuana, it’s not a powerful state bureaucracy or Legislature they’re fighting, but their own constituents.
It was the voters —- including a majority in this very county —- who approved Prop. 215 almost 13 years ago, and it is the voters the county continues to defy with its continuing refusal to accept the legality of medical marijuana.
Which is a bit scary, if you think about it.
If the elected servants of the people (noble-sounding rhetoric, normally; this morning, I just like the idea of Bill Horn being my servant) won’t obey a legal ballot measure, what’s to stop them from defying other laws, other election results?
Of course, if Horn or any of the other supervisors refused to leave office after losing an election, one presumes the sheriff would send some deputies over to forcibly remove them.
But in the case of medical marijuana, said deputies are aiding and abetting the county government in violating the law of the land with these ongoing incidents of harassment. When those who hold the reins of power refuse to abide by the law, where does that leave the rest of us to turn?
Look, I think most of the arguments on behalf of medical marijuana are bogus —- or at least scientifically and medically unproven. The case studies are thin, and much of the “evidence” is anecdotal.
And in the months and weeks before the November 1996 election, I and all others opposed to Prop. 215 had the chance to make our case to voters.
We lost, and the courts have repeatedly held that the measure does not violate the state or federal constitutions.
True, federal law still bans marijuana —- but in Prigg v. Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state governments are under no obligation to enforce federal law (although they can’t impede federal agents from so doing).
So there is simply no justification for county or other local peace officers to participate in raids on medical marijuana clinics.
Should those arrested in the latest sweep be acquitted of criminal charges, either at trial or on appeal, it’s entirely possible that they’ll be able to turn around and sue those officers involved in the sweep personally. That’s something for county deputies and local police officers to chew on next time they’re assigned to a medical marijuana clinic raid: Is this in fact legal?
Of course, those who ordered said raids, and the politicians who provided the impetus for them to do so, could be found equally liable, equally subject to having their personal assets seized at trial.
Things can get ugly when government officials decide the law doesn’t apply to them.
Posted at North County Times.
[Ed. Note: Also see San Diego County deploys sonic weapon, unaware it can deafen citizens permanently for more human rights abuses by San Diego County officials.]