Pubdate: Wed, 22 Jul 2009
Source: Red Bluff Daily News (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Red Bluff Daily News
Author: Rob Taylor
Note: Editor's note: Rob Taylor, of Red Bluff, is a law student at 
Creighton University.


Marijuana is not the root of evil. Nor is marijuana the telltale
solution to our state's budget crisis.

Marijuana is simply a drug that is illegal under the federal law of
the United States of America. The Supremacy Clause of the United
States Constitution states to us that all constitutionally enacted
federal legislation and federal executive decisions stand as the
supreme law of the land alongside the Constitution, treaties, and
other federal legal arrangements.

Since the federal government has spoken in a constitutional manner
against this drug, the illegality of this drug is considered the
supreme law of the land, the illegality of this drug applies to the
entirety of the United States, and no law can supersede this drug's
legal status except federal law.

I do not understand the quagmire that has become California law with
respect to marijuana. I do not understand how a state can find the
authority to supersede the authority of the Supremacy Clause of the
United States Constitution and enact legislation partially legalizing
an illegal substance.

I do understand that, for the time being, medical marijuana is a fact
with which we all must live. I must defer and acknowledge that those
using medical marijuana possess some right to the substance. Although,
I am skeptical over the constitutionality of that right, and that such
right should not be infringed.

That being said, this town must use common sense and realize that, so
we do not infringe on the statutory rights of medical marijuana users, we can
regulate this illegal substance.

It is legally irrelevant whether or not the ills of marijuana are the
result of its current status as a product on the black market.

It is legally irrelevant to ask the question of the drug's effects on
our budget if it were legalized and taxed. It is legally relevant to
regulate an illegal substance and to regulate such substance in a way
that keeps its effects away from our schools and our children.

There was nothing in the proposed legislation that limited what rights
medical marijuana users have. The legislation simply regulated those
areas most sensitive to our community. This town is ludicrously
debating the right to use an illegal drug above the right to protect
the education and wellbeing of our children.

California needs to snap out of this irrational logic that it is
effectively above the United States of America, needs to stop buying
into this belief that a drug is going to save the state from its
ills, and needs to start refocusing on the things that should truly
matter to California: the protection and education of its children
and the foundation of its children's future.

I recommend the Board of Supervisors formulate an ad hoc committee and
reconsider this ordinance not from the standpoint of pot smokers, but
from the standpoint of the children of our community who currently
find their schools placed within spitting distance of marijuana gardens. 
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