Push Me - Pull You

Push Me - Pull You
Posted by CN Staff on December 14, 2006 at 21:52:11 PT
By Nick Welsh
Source: Santa Barbara Independent
California -- Meeting behind closed doors last week, the Santa Barbara City Council voted 4-3 to simultaneously implement Measure P, the pot initiative approved by two-thirds of city voters in November, and to challenge its constitutionality in court. Because of this, Santa Barbara will be the first city in California to challenge the legality of a spate of statewide measures designed to undermine public and legal support for the war on drugs.
This seemingly contradictory vote came as a compromise following a lively discussion between councilmembers and City Attorney Steve Wiley.Many of the councilmembers present expressed keen appreciation for the strong popular support 66 percent received by Measure P, which requires the Police Department to declare enforcement of laws on marijuana possession for personal use its lowest priority. But Wiley who enjoys good relations with the City Council eventually prevailed, arguing that provisions of the measure are unconstitutional because they intrude upon police officers’ ability to enforce the law. As a result, Wiley will find himself filing a motion for declaratory relief asking a Superior Court judge to rule on Measure P’s constitutionality at about the same time the mayor and city councilmembers begin appointing a new committee required by Measure P to ensure that city police are complying with the new measure.“There’s a considerable body of case law in California that limits what kind of legislative acts are subject to initiative and what kind of day-to-day concerns can be addressed in those,” said Wiley. For example, he said an initiative launched seven years ago by Streets Are Us challenging proposed lane changes and striping along a portion of Cabrillo Boulevard was determined to be unconstitutional by the courts. Wiley acknowledged that police officers inevitably make many discretionary calls doing their duty but argued that those judgments should be reserved for the officers and their superiors, not voters. “What if there was an initiative that told the police they had to check people’s immigration status and make them prove it?” he asked. “That’s not a far-fetched scenario, but it’s one that we would oppose.”Supporters of Measure P bristle at these arguments. “If the city attorney suggested Measure P was unconstitutional, then clearly he’s in the wrong profession. He should be in Hollywood, writing fantasy,” said Dr. Dave Bearman, a proponent of Measure P, strong advocate for the legalization of marijuana, and physician who prescribes medicinal marijuana. “We’re not saying don’t enforce the law; we’re saying make it a low priority. And elected officials prioritize implementation of the law all the time. Is he saying that’s not constitutional?”As a practical matter, Police Chief Cam Sanchez claims that marijuana possession is rarely criminally prosecuted and that offenders are given citations instead. Measure P supporters counter that such infractions remain on a person’s record nonetheless and can cause far more grief than Sanchez acknowledges. They also point out that Oakland voters approved a far more lenient measure than Santa Barbara’s Measure P (which does not include sale for personal use, as Oakland’s does) two years ago, and that city officials there filed no constitutional challenges. Likewise, the San Francisco City Council just approved a similar measure this November with the active participation of its city attorney.Given Wiley’s objections, a majority of councilmembers felt they’d be derelict not to allow him to challenge the measure. But Councilmember Brian Barnwell who endorsed Wiley’s argument on narrow legal grounds said he and Schneider plan to introduce a council resolution in the next two weeks declaring enforcement of pot possession laws the council’s lowest priority. Such an action, Barnwell explained, might embrace the sentiment behind Measure P while sidestepping the legal vulnerabilities Wiley said exist. Note: City Sends Mixed Messages About Pot Initiative.Source: Santa Barbara Independent, The (CA)Author: Nick WelshPublished: December 14, 2006 Copyright: 2006 The Santa Barbara Independent, Inc.Contact: letters independent.comWebsite: http://www.independent.comCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on December 15, 2006 at 20:11:30 PT
Merry Christmas to you. Here is a beautiful Christmas Video from TSO.Trans Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Canon
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on December 15, 2006 at 19:28:30 PT
Well, those council members
can counsel to their heart's content.I'm going to keep smoking cannabis in the sweet by and by.I sure do hope they get what they want for Christmas.I sure do hope that all prohibitionists get what they want for Christmas. A drug free America isn't going to be one of those much wanted gifts. Santa isn't that dumb. He smokes a pipe, you know. Santa doesn't care what's in it. He's flying high, so I have a hunch what it might be. Hells Bells, he climbs down the chimney, brings toys for all the loved ones in this world, and rides away with eight reindeer. Ho, Ho, Ho says Santa. He's jolly alright and I know the reason why. If prohibitionists would have their way, Santa would be in the crowbar hotel, and Christmas would be cancelled.No such luck for the prohibitionists. Well, that's just too bad for them. Santa has a job to do and he'll get it done. I know what motivates him to be there on time every Christmas, without fail.You got to believe. Why do you think he says 'Merry Christmas?' He gave you what you wanted. He gives the prohibitionists what they deserve, a lump of coal. All they ever say is 'bah, humbug.' Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future, those Scrooge prohibitionists will never get what they want for Christmas.They never learn. Merry Christmas to them anyway.Merry Christmas from Santa to everyone. 'While the merry bells keep ringing, may your every wish come true. May the calendar keep bringing happy holidays to you.' 
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Comment #4 posted by whig on December 15, 2006 at 16:22:45 PT
Oakland's Measure Z:
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Comment #3 posted by konagold on December 15, 2006 at 12:53:02 PT:
help with text of low priority
Alohain the aftermath of our home invasion on Sept 15th [discussed here then]and the later beating of my eldest son and his arrest for med pot while letting his assailants go has resulted in two police commission complaints the latter to be filed today.He having recovered from sever head trauma in 1998 recently suffered two seizures and we traveled to Oahu Wed. for MRI and other testThis leaves me sorta short on timeIf anyone here can help me get the text of these low priority ordnances as I have the ear of a sympathetic county council person who will submit such ordnance here so he asked me to get some sample ordnances Such help [some url's is just fine or e-mail me   konagold] is much appreciatedAlohaRev. Dennis Shields
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on December 15, 2006 at 07:05:36 PT
the law
That's funny, I thought the people made the laws in this country.  I was wrong!
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on December 14, 2006 at 22:12:24 PT
"Meeting behind closed doors"
Sounds like democracy to me. And then they voted 4-3 to implement it, as if we, the people needed another vote from 'our rulers' proving that they hold the ultimate power. This is very surprising! Marijuana is putting our 'democracy' to the test. I clearly print 'democracy' because this very course of action has already proven that this ballot initiative in Santa Barbara has subverted the democratic process! Acid Test For Democracy.
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