Our View - Pot raids make no constitutional sense

September 17, 2007

EDITORIAL, Daily 49er (Cal State Long Beach)

Is everybody ready to play the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner version of "Cool Edge Jeopardy?" This string of seemingly meaningless capital letters CA, AK, CO, HI, ME, MT, NV, NM, OR, RI, VT and WA have this in common.

Rrring. "They are all states, Alexis Nexus."

Rrring. "What is, they are all post office designations, Alexis Nexus?"

Buzzzzzz. "No, that's a good guess, but that also is incorrect."

Rrring.

"Who are the 12 states that passed laws legalizing medical marijuana?"

"That is the right answer, progressive and compassionate CSULB health care advocates."

This trivia game is too cool not to be in school, but an editorial on a topic this serious shouldn't need to be "cute" to raise your social or political consciousness.

The recent flurry of raids on medical marijuana dispensaries across California by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration should be important to multiple disciplines, not just on the health care level.

The hegemony of our current administration is an blatant attack on the autonomy of individual states.

California has become the abused child of an oppressive regime. Rather than conducting these raids in all states with legislation similar to California's Proposition 215 (enacted to allow using cannabis as an alternative form of treatment for a host of chronic ailments), the feds have decided to flex their muscles here, on our turf.

Clinics up and down the state have been raided with aggression, similar to the "Shock and Awe" military doctrine of 1996. The "doctrine of rapid dominance" was employed in the invasion in Iraq four years ago.

From that now-famous attack evolved codified terminology we should be appalled with. Among the most significant is the term "collateral damage."

That term is the politically correct militaristic phrase incorporated to convey innocent-people-will-be-hurt-by-this-but "c'est la vie (that's life) and c'est guerre (that's war).

Doesn't that seem like a callous way to treat your own citizens?

The Articles of Confederation, deemed by most historians as the original draft of the U.S. Constitution, states, "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated."

The phraseology demands that each state has certain autonomy to create legislation appropriate for its citizens, independent of federal intervention.

Over the 10-year span from 1996 to 2006, the postal abbreviations in the first paragraph have passed compassionate use laws to offer alternatives to traditional treatment for a variety of medical issues, including, but not limited to the inevitable loss of appetite associated with chemotherapy.

Rather than connecting the dots of evidence of wide range benefits of cannabis offered by such esteemed organizations as the American Medical Association, the feds opt to wage a campaign of terror, or "Shock and Awe."

"Article 2.5 of the California Health and Safety Code, relating to controlled substances" - the foundation of Prop 215 - means squat to the current administration.

Sovereignty and autonomy to separate states means nothing to these clowns. They have proven that it's "OK" to use the Constitution as toilet paper.

Unfortunately, the powerful lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry don't want Americans to have those "certain inalienable rights," a term in another famous American edict. The problem is, they can't tax and control the distribution and manufacture of the vile weed.

It's time to connect the dots between what the people want and what George W. Bush seems to not want us to have'- autonomy.

This isn't a drug war, it's a power struggle.

We think it's time to push back and reclaim our guaranteed rights - starting with postal designation "CA"- where battle lines have already been drawn by the DEA.



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