FEDERAL-RAIDS LAWSUIT: WHO WILL HELP?
By Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
May 31, 2011
Let’s get this out of the way first: I do not use marijuana and I do not have any financial or personal interest in it. In fact, as an attorney who defends those charged with crimes, I would benefit by marijuana not being legal. Yet, I am neck-deep in fighting for the rights of those who use or sell marijuana under the laws of the state of Montana because I see the issue as being constitutional governance and liberty, not personal or social morality. As I discussed in a recent article, The Bureaucracies That Marijuana Feeds, I believe governments’ treatment of marijuana strongly suggests they are biased, illogical and self-serving. As a side note to clarify a mistake in the article above, there was in fact a Montana bill (HB 175) introduced by Rep. Keith Regier which would have placed the repeal of the Medical Marijuana Act into the hands of the citizens where it originated. I commend Rep. Regier and those legislators who recognized this need, as opposed to SB423 effectively repealing the Medical Marijuana Act by unilateral legislative action, which I believe violates Montana’s constitution. I (getting back to the point of this article) see governments’ attack on marijuana’s legal use as a means to a much bigger end than the “war on drugs.” I believe it is a “war on the individual’s and state’s sovereignty.”
Unfortunately, even state officials either do not recognize the federal government’s usurpation of constitutional power or do not care and choose to jump on the “war on drugs” bandwagon for whatever reasons they find justifiable. I, however, hold what I believe to be the correct constitutional position on both a state and federal level. That is, (1) the people of Montana (and any state) have the right to choose for themselves (see, popular sovereignty, Art. 2, Sec. 1; Art. 3, Sec. 4&5; Art. 5, Sec. 1, Mont. Const. ) how they will treat their bodies and how they will seek their own medical treatment (as long as it does not violate the rights of others—put differently: with freedom comes responsibility), and (2) the federal government has no authority to circumvent the State’s right in that regard (see, federalism; Amend. 10, U.S. Const.).