TOP STORY: PUTTING DRUG WAR CRIMINALS ON NOTICE: "JUST
FOLLOWING ORDERS" IS NOT A VALID DEFENSE, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE BREAKING
Commentary by Richard Cowan, Editor
Dick Cowan <email@example.com>
(MarijuanaNews note: Steve Kubby has taken his campaign against police
lawlessness to the next logical level. He is putting the police and
other public officials -- on notice that they could face criminal prosecution
for violating the laws that they have sworn to uphold.
However, in much of the rest of the country, violating the rights of
suspected marijuana users medical or otherwise has long been
"standard operating procedure."
In New York City, it has become a source of a major political crisis
for Mayor Giuliani. In Los Angeles, the latest police scandal is the direct
result of the "War on Drugs" military mentality that has long prevailed
in the LAPD. Both cities face lawsuits that will cost millions in damages
for the victims. And not just in DEAland.
Marijuana prohibition is coming to an end, but if the police use illegal
means to try to preserve the status quo, they may well find themselves
A lot of honest cops do not like marijuana prohibition, and I think
that Kubby's message will resonate well with them.
I would urge everyone to send the following message to police and other
This is a wake-up call for all of them.)
ATTENTION LAW ENFORCEMENT:
YOU COULD BE SUED, INDICTED,
EVEN SENT TO PRISON AS A
DRUG WAR CRIMINAL!
All wars end and eventually the War on Drug s will end
as well. After every war, comes an accounting of those who violated the
human rights of others. Where will you stand when that judgement day comes?
Will you be exonerated or end up spending the rest of your life as a drug
You may believe it is your duty to "do something about
the drug problem," but those who violate the human rights of American citizens
will someday be held accountable. That day is surely coming and it may
be sooner than you think. If you and your fellow officers, no matter how
well-intentioned, continue to enforce the failed ideology of Zero Tolerance;
you could find yourself spending the rest of your life looking over your
shoulder, worrying about being charged and convicted of drug war crimes
against your fellow citizens.
One of the most enduring, yet troubling, law-enforcement
impulses is the tendency for the authorities to view certain 'ends' as
so important - stopping drunken driving, locking up dangerous criminals,
stemming the flood of illegal drugs - that they are willing to employ ever-more
questionable 'means' to achieve them. As a result, police have increasingly
adopted an attitude of an occupying military army whose purpose is to bring
order and discipline to a dangerous citizenry.
When police think and act like soldiers, they generate
mistrust among their constituents, which in turn pushes law enforcement
agencies further into an elitist, impersonal enclave. The military mentality,
along with machine guns and flash grenades, have no place in a free society.
Just listen to what Joseph D. McNamara, the Retired Police
Chief of San Jose and a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution has to
say about the military mentality that has infected the LAPD and police
departments across the country:
"The Board of Inquiry report released last week, for all
its candor and commendable self-criticism, does not cite the department's
fundamental military style of policing as responsible for the horrible
police crimes alleged by former Officer Rafael Perez, whose disclosures
exposed the police misconduct at Rampart. Rather than calling for the development
of a new style of policing, the report focuses on internal management practices.
It contends that a few rotten apples, binge hiring, inadequate training,
haphazard supervision, failure to hold supervisors accountable and other
personnel shortcomings were the sources of the problems at Rampart."
Chief McNamara then goes on to warn, "Greedy" lawyers,
not idealism, may thus end up provoking citizens in Los Angeles to demand
that those who enforce the law should also obey it. When police behave
lawfully, people can tell the good guys from the bad. Folks don't have
to worry about cops shooting their teenagers or framing them, or plunging
their city into bankruptcy.
Judging from the headlines, police departments across
this great nation, from Los Angeles to New York City are about to reap
the wrath of "Greedy" lawyers. Although no elected officials are yet ready
to deal with de-militarizing the LAPD, the L.A. City Council is planning
on over $200 million in law suits. That estimate is probably low and doesn't
include personal suits against police as well as a tremendous loss of credibility
for the police.
Already the LAPD is complaining that the testimony of
their officers is no longer taken seriously by juries. When police are
no longer credible in a court of law, all police suffer and honest police
are left to deal with the fallout. See Family Of Malibu Millionaire Murdered
In 1992 By Narks Trying to Steal His Ranch Will Be Given $5 Million Because
Officials "feared jurors would not believe government agents."
Unfortunately, the actions of the police in regards to
Zero Tolerance ideology today is little different than the actions taken
fifty years ago by the German police who were charged with enforcing the
Nazi ideology of anti-Semitism. Old men who obediently enforced laws written
by the Nazis, are still being tracked down and held accountable for their
past human rights violations against the Jewish People.
Those old men, will all tell you that they were only following
German law. Which is true - no Jew lost their property or liberty except
through legal actions which were considered completely within the law as
the Nazis defined it. Nevertheless, it is those police and guards who blindly
followed their orders, who will continue to face prosecution for war crimes
committed a half century ago.
At least in Nazi Germany, police and guards were following
the law. Here in California, where voters passed a law that is supposed
to protect medical marijuana patients, the police are NOT following the
law. This makes your potential culpability much greater, since you could
lose any immunity as a police officer for crimes which you should have
known were illegal.
Under the California Constitution Article 2 Section 10,
Prop. 215 legally became the law of California the day after the 1996 election
and only the voters can amend or repeal the Compassionate Use Act now that
it has passed:
(a) An initiative statute or referendum approved by a
majority of votes thereon TAKES EFFECT THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION unless
the measure provides otherwise. [emphasis added]
Furthermore, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, because
it is AN INITIATIVE STATUTE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF VOTES, CANNOT BE
LIMITED OR RESTRICTED BY ANYONE, including sheriffs, district attorneys,
the attorney general or even the legislature, UNLESS APPROVED BY THE ELECTORS.
Any attempt to do so is illegal - California Constitution Article 2 Section
(c) The Legislature. . .may amend or repeal an initiative
statute by another statute that becomes effective ONLY WHEN APPROVED BY
THE ELECTORS unless the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal
without their approval. [emphasis added]
Regardless of what your sheriff or police chief has told
you about Prop. 215, Attorney General Lungren, acting in his official capacity,
issued a statement to all California voters, in the 1996 California Ballot
Guide, Official Title and Summary for Proposition 215, that Prop. 215:
"EXEMPTS: patients and defined caregivers who possess
or cultivate marijuana for medical treatment recommended by a physician
FROM CRIMINAL LAWS WHICH OTHERWISE PROHIBIT possession or cultivation of
marijuana." [emphasis added] See What Part Of 'Exempt' Do California District
Attorneys Still Not Understand?
No matter what your superiors may tell you, it is your
responsibility to uphold ALL the laws, even the ones you don't like. Your
boss has no authority to tell you otherwise, because the Constitution of
the State of California, Amendment III, Section 3.5 requires ALL officials
to uphold The Compassionate Use Act as follows:
"An administrative agency, including an administrative
agency created by the Constitution or an initiative statute, has no power:
(a) To declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce a statute,
on the basis of it being unconstitutional unless an appellate court has
made a determination that such statute is unconstitutional;
(b) To declare a statute unconstitutional;
(c) To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to
enforce a statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations
prohibit the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has
made a determination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited
by federal law or federal regulations."
Since no judicial challenge has been filed seeking to
invalidate the law on the basis of a conflict with federal laws or regulations,
or for any other reason, you are legally obligated to uphold the Compassionate
You should also be aware that medical marijuana has now
been upheld by Federal court. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled
that patients who are seriously ill, may be legally entitled under Federal
law to use, possess and distribute medical marijuana:
"In short, OCBC (The Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative)
presented evidence that there is a class of people with serious medical
conditions for whom the use of cannabis is necessary in order to treat
or alleviate those conditions or their symptoms; who will suffer serious
harm if they are denied cannabis; and for whom there is no legal alternative
to cannabis for the effective treatment of their medical conditions because
they have tried other alternatives and have found that they are ineffective,
or that they result in intolerable side effects."
These are the facts and the laws regarding your legal
duties and obligations. Regardless of what your sheriff or chief tells
you, medical marijuana patients are not criminals and they are protected
by law. Moreover, you should understand that medical marijuana patients
are intelligent and mostly older citizens who are fed up with being abused
by law enforcement. Police have never encountered anything like this new
breed of older, angrier, and far more persistent citizens who are not afraid
to sue or indict police who violate their rights.
Medical marijuana patients are fighting back in increasing
numbers. Dozens of lawsuits have already been filed against California
officials and police departments and hundreds more are on the way. In Shasta
County, the sheriff faces jail if convicted of a conspiracy charge arising
from his mishandling of a recent medical marijuana case.
Medical marijuana patients who are also legally disabled,
are beginning to charge police with crimes under the Americans with Disabilities
Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. These laws clearly state that threats
against disabled people, in the exercise of their state (medical marijuana)
rights or damaging their (medical marijuana) property, are felonies with
enhanced penalties if committed by public officials or officers. (See Cal.
Pen. Code, §§ 422.6, 422.7 and 422.75.)
Nobody is above the law, not even the Nazis who ruled
with impunity during the 1940s. After the end of World War II, those responsible
for crimes committed during the Holocaust were brought to trial in Nuremberg,
While many German police and guards pleaded that they
were "only following orders," they were all convicted and received severe
sentences or executions.
In contrast, high-level government officials who played
key roles in the Holocaust, received short prison sentences or no penalty
at all. Many more criminals were never tried. Some fled Germany to live
abroad, including hundreds who came to the United States.
Based upon the Nuremberg Trials, you should know that
"just following orders," is never a legal excuse for violating human rights.
When the drug war ends, you can expect regular officers and guards to get
severe sentences, perhaps even executions, while your superiors will get
off with a hand-slap and quiet retirement in Idaho. Worst of all, the top
level drug warriors, who corrupted you and your sincere mission to "protect
and serve," are probably moving their assets out of the country already
to create their retirement paradise abroad.
How would you like to be sent to jail while your bosses
are living it up in South America? It happened to the German police and
it can happen to you as well.
There's still time for you to reform your ways and exonerate
yourself. The first step is to read, learn and uphold the Constitution
and the Bill of Rights. These documents are written simply and provide
clear instructions for protecting the rights of individuals.
The brave men and women who gave their lives to defend
our Constitution would never have tolerated a drug war. Certainly George
Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have opposed this war as treason,
especially since both of these highly respected Founding Fathers grew over
100 acres of hemp..
Under current U.S. drug laws and mandatory minimums, both
Washington and Jefferson would be sentenced to life in prison for growing
that much hemp.
Where is your moral tripwire for saying NO to a failed
ideology and insisting on following the Constitution instead? If Washington
and Jefferson were still alive today, would you arrest them for violating
Would you fire on unarmed American citizens if ordered
to? These are questions only you can decide.
Hopefully, you will give serious consideration to these
important issues and you will make a new commitment to your oath to "Protect
and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
Will your future hold honor or a life as a war criminal?
The choice is yours.
Let freedom grow,
The physicians, scientists, nurses, attorneys, patients
and dedicated supporters of The American Medical Marijuana Association:
15 Monarch Bay Plaza, Box 375, Dana Point, Ca 92629
MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD:
--Tod H. Mikuriya M.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
--Anna Boyce R.N. email@example.com
--Jay R. Cavanaugh, Ph.D. Jcavana857@aol.com
--John Beresford M.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL DIRECTOR: --Steve Kubby email@example.com
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: --RL Root firstname.lastname@example.org
CALIFORNIA STATE DIRECTOR: --Anna Boyce R.N. email@example.com
HAWAI'I STATE DIRECTOR: --Roger Christie firstname.lastname@example.org
OREGON STATE DIRECTOR: --Arthur Livermore email@example.com
DIRECTOR OF VOLUNTEERS: --Richard E. Pearl, Sr., Ed.D. firstname.lastname@example.org,
--Andy Kinnon email@example.com
--David Jack, firstname.lastname@example.org
CALIFORNIA COUNTY DIRECTORS:
--ALAMEDA: Jeff Jones email@example.com
--CALAVERAS: Sue Garner firstname.lastname@example.org
--FRESNO: Jonathan Richter email@example.com
--HUMBOLDT: Al Gilmore firstname.lastname@example.org
--LOS ANGELES: Jay R. Cavanaugh, Ph.D. Jcavana857@aol.com
--MADERA: Jonathan Ira Zwickel email@example.com
--MARIN: Rev. Lynnette Shaw firstname.lastname@example.org
--MENDOCINO: John Stahl email@example.com
--NEVADA: Carrie Becker firstname.lastname@example.org
--ORANGE: Doug Scribner email@example.com
--PLACER: Steve Kubby firstname.lastname@example.org
--SACRAMENTO: Steve Blake email@example.com
--SAN BERNARDINO: Gary Barrett firstname.lastname@example.org
--SAN DIEGO: Dennis Triglia email@example.com
--SAN JOAQUIN: Marty Kell MKELLMEG@aol.com
--SAN LUIS OBISPO: Jo-D and Tom-E Dunbar firstname.lastname@example.org
--SANTA CLARA: Randy Moore MJlawRandyMoore@aol.com
--SHASTA: Kim Levin email@example.com
--SISKIYOU: Stephen Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
--SONOMA: Robert Schmidt email@example.com
--STANISLAUS: Kenneth Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
--TEHAMA: Chris Ward email@example.com
--TUOLUMNE: Christopher DeMars firstname.lastname@example.org
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