Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jan 2003
Source: New Times (CA)
Copyright: 2003 New Times
Author: Stephen P. Anderson


I read the article "Cops reluctantly share cannabis with No Runner" in your 
Jan. 9 edition, concerning the return of medical marijuana to Donovan No 
Runner by the San Luis Obispo Police Department pursuant to the order of 
superior court Judge Barry LaBarbera. Assuming the story was reported 
correctly, the people of San Luis Obispo should be very concerned about a 
police department whose past administrative leader, as well as the one just 
taking office, "agreed with the position to ignore LaBarbera's often 
repeated order."

Police officers are supposed to enforce the law, not interpret it. Courts 
interpret laws. If there is a legitimate disagreement, there is an appeal 
process. Should you choose not to pursue an appeal, then the court's order 
must be followed.

Police need to remember that our government is comprised of three branches 
to avoid just the kind of arbitrary enforcement that is suggested by a 
police decision to ignore a court order. The legislature makes the law, the 
executive branch enforces the law, and the courts interpret the law, often 
comparing those laws to the rights afforded all of us through our state 

People have a right to know that those enforcing the law follow the same 
laws the rest of us must follow, including court orders, they need to set a 
proper example by doing so themselves. It is not a question of whether one 
agrees with the court ruling or not. It is also not a question of whether 
the order was reluctantly and ultimately followed, but that police even 
considered ignoring it in the first place.

Stephen P. Anderson, Esq.

Santa Maria
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