Pubdate: Sat, 22 Sep 2012
Source: Missoulian (MT)
Copyright: 2012 Missoulian
Author: Perry Backus


HAMILTON - Two Ravalli County Libertarian candidates recently arrested
on drug charges are on the front lines of protecting life, liberty and
property, according to Ravalli County's Libertarian Party chair.

David Merrick said he remains fully supportive of Rob McCoy and Karen

"I still fully support these two candidates," Merrick said this week.
"They haven't harmed anyone."

Both McCoy and Fisher are Libertarian candidates for state legislative
seats this year.

Both were charged with felony drug counts last week after the Ravalli
County Sheriff's Office allegedly found more than twice the legal
amount of marijuana allowed a medical marijuana provider at McCoy's

Court records said documents seized during the search indicated that
Fisher and her husband Jeffery were involved in the marijuana grow
operation found at Rob and Andrea McCoy's home.

The search followed the Hamilton police department's detainment of
McCoy's daughter, who allegedly distributed marijuana-infused candy on
a school bus.

The Libertarian Party's 2012 presidential candidate and former New
Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has criticized the country's war on drugs and
urged the legalization and taxation of marijuana.

Merrick said property is a chief issue for the Libertarian Party and a
person's own body is property. People should be able to do anything
they wish to themselves, as long as it's not harming anyone else.

"If you don't have that property right to your own body, how can you
expect to use real estate property rights or any others?" Merrick
said. "The right to life, liberty and property needs to be protected
by elected officials."


Merrick has been vocal in his opposition to other medical marijuana
drug raids, including one that occurred last year at Banana Belt
Caregivers in Stevensville.

"I totally disagree with the county attorney and the sheriff's
department in their recent attempt to enforce the temporary change in
Montana's marijuana laws to its fullest penalties by raiding,
arresting and charging those involved with the Banana Belt Caregivers
or any other association or individual exercising their rights,"
Merrick wrote in an opinion piece.

"It is well beyond time to end prohibition of the sale or use of any
substances and return the responsibility to the individual to use or
medicate at their own risk as long as no harm to others is done," he

Merrick said he doesn't necessarily advocate legalization of
marijuana, but the decriminalization of its use.

"Then the government is not involved," he said. "This whole war on
drugs ended up being a war on people. The drugs haven't gone away.
Drug use is still here."

And more people are imprisoned in this country than any other country,
Merrick said.

"And a good percentage of those are there after being involved in a
government-perceived victimless crime," he said.
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