Pubdate: Sun, 31 Aug 2003
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2003 The Orange County Register
Author: Rick L. Root


The federal prosecution and incarceration of Michael Teague for using
medical marijuana is antithetical to the principles of liberty and
justice ["Man gets 18 months in marijuana case," Local, Aug. 19].

Following our state law, Teague had a doctor's recommendation to use
marijuana in place of the toxic prescription medicines to which he was
allergic. Yet our court rules that justice is served by incarceration.
Teague sought to better his quality of life while harming no one - the
essence of liberty.

All those involved with delivering Teague to this outcome will say
they were just doing their jobs. The reality of that claim is that
Teague, and so many more like him, is their job security. They are no
more moral than is the mechanic who sells you an unneeded

The problem as I see it is that our courts do not seek justice. They
seek instead a legal outcome based on laws established by notion and
blind to our founding principles. Serving justice, our courts would
find unjust those laws guilty of usurping liberty and reject those
notions both legislated and established by bureaucratic decree.

Unfortunately, Attorney General John Ashcroft wishes to push the
courts even further away from serving justice ["A healthy debate,"
Opinion, Aug. 18]. A healthy debate would be wise. But as long as
citizens robotically accept these notions, then the reality of liberty
and justice will continue to fade.

Rick L. Root

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