Santa Barbara Loses Legal Effort To Dump Pot Law

Santa Barbara Loses Legal Effort To Dump Pot Law
Posted by CN Staff on July 10, 2007 at 16:27:08 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Santa Barbara, Calif. -- A judge on Tuesday threw out a City Council challenge to a voter initiative that made busting adults for marijuana crimes the lowest priority for police.Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle dismissed a lawsuit the city filed against Heather Poet, who sponsored the initiative passed last November.
"It was terrifying to be sued by my own government, and for a fleeting moment it made me feel maybe I shouldn't have gotten involved in the democratic process," Poet said in a statement."But this decision proves we do have a voice and we should never be afraid to use it," she said.Measure P said that investigating, citing, arresting and prosecuting people for adult marijuana offenses — except for using pot in public or while driving — was the "lowest law enforcement priority" in the city.The city argued that the measure was invalid and would prohibit enforcement of state and federal drug laws.The judge disagreed, calling Measure P "a proper legislative enactment.""Police officers can still arrest those who violate drug possession laws in their presence. The voters have simply instructed them that they have higher priority work to do," the judge wrote.Anderle said there was nothing in the law prohibiting enforcement of state law and added that the city "is free to decline to enforce federal criminal statutes."The court also struck down the city's lawsuit on grounds that Poet was being sued for exercising her constitutionally protected right of free speech as an initiative sponsor.It is the "duty of courts to jealously guard the people's right of initiative and referendum," the ruling said, citing language from a 1984 case.Adam Wolf, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Drug Law Reform Project, which represented Poet, said the ruling was a major victory for the democratic process and a resounding affirmation of voters' right to de-prioritize marijuana enforcement.City Attorney Stephen Wiley said the city has instituted the measures contained in the ordinance and only sued to clarify its legality."We still think there's a chance this is pre-empted by state and federal law but ... the judge didn't see it that way," Wiley said.The City Council will decide whether to appeal the decision, he said."It's not unusual for initiative measures, particularly local initiatives" to go to a court, Wiley added. "There's a lot of cases out there."Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published:  July 10, 2007Copyright: 2007 Associated Press CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #10 posted by whig on July 14, 2007 at 14:28:06 PT
Richard Zuckerman
I did not recall your apology, sorry if my chastisement was excessive.
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Comment #9 posted by Richard Zuckerman on July 13, 2007 at 10:03:43 PT:
Yes, I have apologized for threatening to kill a judge. Have you apologized for wasting your time chastising me?
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Comment #8 posted by whig on July 11, 2007 at 20:07:59 PT
Have you apologized for threatening to kill a judge?
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Comment #7 posted by Richard Zuckerman on July 11, 2007 at 06:41:06 PT:
I wonder if the movants asserted their rights under the State Constitution? Most people assert federal constitutional Rights. I want to see more people asserting their Rights under the State Constitution!!!The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey rendered a 14 page unpublished opinion on June 5, 2007, in Richard Paul Zuckerman, Plaintiff v. Borough Of Highland Park, et al., Defendants, Docket Number A-4461-04T1, (Edward Costantini, Case Manager)(609) 984-4735, which you can download from, which upholds the dismissal of my lawsuit asserting violation of the New Jersey Constitution, primarily because I was convicted in the municipal court and the conviction was upheld on appeal, holding on page 12 that "...we are convinced the trial court properly concluded that plaintiff's claimof retaliation, premised on the officers' alleged misconduct in effecting the arrest and in 'framing' him, is not cognizable, either under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. Section 1983,nor under common law. See, e.g., Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 483(1994)." The problem with their reasoning, people, is that I made it crystal clear in my [amended] civil action complaint and during appellate oral argument that I am NOT suing for federal constitutional rights, I AM SUING FOR VIOLATION OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION, I AM NOT SUING FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION, I AM SUING FOR RETALIATORY PROSECUTION AND FOR DUE PROCESS FRAMING A SUSPECT, THAT HECK V. HUMPHREY IS A MALICIOUS PROSECUTION CASE, THAT MALICIOUS PROSECUTION REQUIRES FAVORABLE TERMINATION OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS, BUT RETALIATORY PROSECUTION AND DUE PROCESS FRAMING A SUSPECT DOES NOT REQUIRE FAVORABLE TERMINATION OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS! THE APPELLATE DIVISION PANEL OF 3 JUDGES FAILS TO ADDRESS THE STATE CONSTITUTION AT ALL! They are OBVIOUSLY papering over the cracks to protect their policemen or expecting me to ask the New Jersey Supreme Court for Certification!!! On June 6, 2007, the day after the panel opinion was posted on the same State judiciary web site, I typed and personally delivered a motion for reconsideration. Meanwhile, I am putting together a motion for certification to New Jersey's highest court, the New Jersey Supreme Court, and here are the questions I intend to ask the N.J. Supreme Court in the motion, with case law mentioned after the question for your convenience to show you the frivolity of the Appellate Division's holding:[1]  Does a municipal court conviction have a collateral estoppel effect in a subsequent lawsuit alleging violation of the New Jersey Constitution on motion for summary judgment/dismissal? The last sentence of page 8 of the enclosed Appellate Division opinion states that N.J.R.E. 803(c)(22) "..only recognizes an admission of evidence of a final judgment against a party adjudging him guilty of an indictable offense", but that it does not apply to considering a municipal court conviction in a motion for summary judgment/dismissal. Trisuzzi v. Tabatchnik, 285 N.J.Super. 15, 25, 666 A.2d 543 (App. Div. 1995), citing Eaton v. Eaton, 119 N.J. 628, 644, 575 A.2d 858 (1990); 
Olivieri v. Y.M.F. Carpet, Inc., 186 N.J. 511, 521-522, 897 A.2d 1003 (May 17, 2006), headnote 2 ("Even where the requirements for application of the collateral estoppel doctrine are met, the doctrine, which has its roots in equity, will not be applied when it is unfair to do so.");
State v. Maier, 13 N.J. 235, 283-284,99 A.2d 21 (1953)(In this 4-3 decision, the dissent supported a trial by jury for a person charged with a petty offense, citing Paley on Summary Convictions for the history of denying a trial by jury on a charge of a petty offense, stating the original intention was for tax revenue " the terror of arbitrary and vexatious prosecutions, under colour of penalties, upon all the most obsolete penal statutes, however obscure or incosistent with the times..."); Baldwin v. New York, 399 U.S. 66, 74-76 (1970)(Concurring opinion by Justice Black, joined by Justice Douglas, stating the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires a trial by jury "n all criminal prosecutions" and for "all crimes", and that the U.S. Supreme Court has engaged in "...little more than judicial mutilation of our written Constitution" by denying trial by jury of a "petty" offense.). [2] Does the New Jersey Constitution prohibit the police from framing a suspect? Hirmuz v. City Of Madison Heights, 469 F.Supp.2d 466, 481 (E.D. Mich. 2007), headnotes 11 and 12 (citing and following appellate decisions on liability of the police for framing a suspect); Sojourner A. ex rel. Y.A. v. New Jersey Dept. of Human Services, 350 N.J.Super. 152, 794 A.2d 822 (App. Div. 2002), certif. granted 174 N.J. 194, affirmed 177 N.J. 318 (200 )("Where an important personal right is affected by government action, the court, under the state constitution, often requires the public authority to demonstrate a greater public need than is traditionally required in construing the federal constitution.")[3] Does the New Jersey Constitution prohibit the police from engaging in retaliatory prosecution? Losch v. Borough of Parkesburg, 736 F.2d 903, 907-908 (3rd Cir. 1984)(Seminal case in the 3rd Circuit recognizing a federal cause of action for retaliatory prosecution).[4] Is a public entity vicariously liable for a State Constitutional tort committed by one of its public employees?[5] Has the Appellate Division panel erred by having failed to address the allegations of State Constitutional tort, the "fellow officer rule", and by having held that no federal cause of action has ever been established for a police officer's retaliatory prosecution and framing a suspect?[6] Should a "fair notice" rule be implemented for all pro se litigants on motion for summary judgment? Demmons v. Tritch, 484 F.Supp.2d 177, 182 (D. Me. 2007), headnote 7.
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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on July 11, 2007 at 02:00:06 PT
OT - Get a load of this load...
Officials: Pot seized in drug bust more potent than 'normal'...U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy said the hydroponically-grown marijuana is chemically supercharged and comparable to cocaine in its effects and its ability to fetch up to $6,000 per pound....Sterling Heights Police Chief David Vinson said the pure form of “BC Bud” is highly potent and can drive up the drug's market price when used to enhance weaker grade marijuana.“This is not your dad's marijuana,” Vinson said. “It has 10 times the THC content of normal marijuana.” gets me is that reporters just accept this crap at face value, no fact checking, no follow up questions, no checking with the other side. What a lazy, gutless lot mainstream journalists have become.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 10, 2007 at 21:13:38 PT
LAT: Reefer Lawsuit Up in Smoke
The city of Santa Barbara loses a fight on enforcement.By Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer July 10, 2007 A Santa Barbara judge has upheld a city ordinance requiring police to make enforcement of marijuana laws their lowest crime-fighting priority.Although Measure P, which was approved by 65% of the city's voters last November, does not decriminalize marijuana, it will further reduce the already infrequent arrests of adults possessing small amounts of marijuana. The ordinance requires officers to fill out extra paperwork on marijuana offenses and establishes a seven-member commission to monitor the department's compliance with the law.Snipped:Complete Article:,0,6051235.story
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on July 10, 2007 at 18:27:06 PT
City Attorney Stephen Wiley said the city has instituted the measures contained in the ordinance and only sued to clarify its legality. If they had already instituted the measures why didn't they just sue themselves?THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...9/11 Truth Invades Live Earth: ACTION JULY 11TH: Truth Activists Strike Motorway Lorry: Gravel Meets the Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth (video): Analyst: West Needs More Terror To Save Doomed Foreign Policy:
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Comment #3 posted by potpal on July 10, 2007 at 18:13:38 PT
"But this decision proves we do have a voice and we should never be afraid to use it," she said.It is the "duty of courts to jealously guard the people's right of initiative and referendum," the ruling said
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on July 10, 2007 at 17:43:17 PT
Backpedaling? Then forward? Then back, again.
"City Attorney Stephen Wiley said the city has instituted the measures contained in the ordinance and only sued to clarify its legality."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 10, 2007 at 16:28:54 PT
Just a Comment
I used the medical marijuana icon but it isn't about medical marijuana so I wanted to mention that I made a mistake I can't fix. Sorry about that.
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