Pubdate: Thu, 04 Sep 2003
Source: Juneau Empire (AK)
Copyright: 2003 Southeastern Newspaper Corp
Author: J. Collard
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


The recent decision of the state appellate court to finally recognize the 
constitution of Alaska, instead of political pressure in the case of State 
v. Noy is admirable.

Whether you agree with the de-criminalization of marijuana in Alaska or 
not, the court should be applauded for not ignoring our constitutional 
rights to privacy, which was very clearly laid out in the state 
constitution. This is a huge victory for right-to-privacy as well as 
state's rights.

The debate over the morality of the law will go on, I suspect, for some 
time. We are no doubt going to start to hear about how the federal 
government is going to hold the mythical "highway money" over our heads if 
we don't go walk the federal line.

We have less highways and roads than Afghanistan yet we're twice the size 
and we consider them to be underdeveloped, so highway money? Do we need it 
so bad we would sacrifice our state's power to self govern and self police? 
I don't think that bowing to federal pressure and becoming another 
"yes-man" to Washington, D.C. is in keeping with the spirit as well as the 
rights given us through our constitution.

So once again, we should applaud the state appellate court for defending 
the constitution of the great state of Alaska. As far as the moral question 
is concerned, that's going to have to be decided by our citizens through a 
constitutional amendment. This is a victory for every person who holds 
their civil rights in as high a regard as our judges seem to hold them.

I hope I speak for the fair-minded of our state when I say "thank you," 
appellate court judges, for having the backbone to stand for our citizens 
beneath what is undoubtedly an insurmountable amount of political pressure.

J. Collard, Douglas
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