Pubdate: Fri, 03 Feb 2012
Source: Glenwood Springs Post Independent (CO)
Copyright: 2012 Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Author: Michael J. Dee


Regarding Mary Boland's column of Jan. 26 praising the right wing 
Cato Institute.

I don't believe Cato's senior fellow Doug Bandow knows what our 
individual liberties are and which amendments protects them. I don't 
believe the Cato Institute is on the side of individual liberty.

I believe individual liberty is freedom from unreasonable use of police power.

Criminalizing marijuana is an unreasonable and unnecessary regulation 
of our fundamental rights to liberty, to property and to privacy, and 
contravenes the Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments.

Being arrested is deprivation of liberty. Seizing marijuana is 
deprivation of property. A search warrant is an invasion of privacy.

One part of due process of law requires that criminal laws be 
justified by a compelling state interest. This is to show the law is 
reasonable and necessary to protect public safety.

The private cultivation and even the sale of marijuana to adults does 
not threaten the rights of others. There is no victim of a crime.

What is a legal definition of a crime? "A body of rules and statutes 
that defines conduct prohibited by the government because it 
threatens and harms public safety and welfare, and that establishes 
punishment to be imposed for the commission of such acts."

Every defendant in a motion to dismiss has standing to make these 
claims in court and have the marijuana laws declared unconstitutional 
and charges dismissed.

Judges cannot protect fundamental rights until lawyers present them 
before the court. In my opinion, it is against a lawyer's 
self-interest to protect fundamental rights from unreasonable laws.

The Cato Institute wants to end the war on drugs, but doesn't see it 
as justifiable controversy for a court of law.

Michael J. Dee

Windham, Me.
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