Hailey To Tackle Voter-Approved Pot Measures

Hailey To Tackle Voter-Approved Pot Measures
Posted by CN Staff on November 21, 2007 at 06:45:15 PT
By Cass Friedman, Times-News Writer
Source: Times-News
Idaho -- Imagine if Amsterdam suddenly popped up in the foothills north of the Magic Valley.Picture the problems that city of personal freedoms might encounter trying to mesh its liberal marijuana laws with a state and federal legal system dead set against it. That's close to the chaos Hailey voters triggered when they narrowly adopted three initiatives aimed at liberalizing restrictions on marijuana.
And the Hailey City Council will begin navigating those shoals at a meeting on Nov. 26."The Hailey City Council is faced with a number of challenges," wrote Hailey City Attorney Ned Williamson in a press release Monday. William-son noted particular consequences of the initiatives most likely to trigger problems.All three initiatives raise serious questions, he said.The three measures that passed were to legalize medical marijuana, make enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest police priority, and legalize industrial hemp. But voters turned down the initiative that would have legalized marijuana use and required the city to regulate sales.The first and possibly most contentious initiative, the Hailey Medical Marijuana Act, would create an ordinance legalizing use and possession of 35 grams for medicinal purposes. But the courts have held that state and federal laws, which criminalize marijuana, trump local ordinances, which attempt to decriminalize it.That could mean mini-Amsterdam takes a hit.The second initiative, aimed at encouraging Hailey police officers to ease up on pot offenses, might encroach on the administrative autonomy of the Hailey police and prosecutor. Making laws that control how public offices are administrated is illegal in Idaho. This act would create a Community Oversight Committee responsible for ensuring that police shift their priorities away from pot offenses. In the course of the committee overseeing public offices, they could trample the offices' autonomy.The press release raised additional questions regarding political advocacy and city officials.All three laws require city officials to advocate for marijuana law reform, which could restrict their freedom of speech. And Carol Brown, a City Council member who is also a federal employee, has to follow federal ethics laws prohibiting federal employees from lobbying. If Brown doesn't recuse herself, Williamson wrote in the press release, she may have to resign from City Council.Liberty Lobby, Ryan Davidson's group that introduced the ballot measure, entitles itself through the acts to automatic membership on the oversight committee. But securing an inflexible spot on the committee may not be appropriate, he wrote.Note: City officials to meet Monday to discuss laws.Source: Times-News, The (ID)Author: Cass Friedman, Times-News WriterPublished: November 21, 2007Copyright: 2007 Magic Valley NewspapersContact:  letters magicvalley.comWebsite: Articles:Davis Not Pleased With Pot Initiatives To ‘Grass Roots’ Movement Legalization Vote Makes National News
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Comment #2 posted by Zandor on November 21, 2007 at 08:15:04 PT:
They don't get it's the WILL of the people.
Again elected officials just don't understand the will of the people. What part of "the People have spoken" do they not understand?I bet they will say piss on the people and stick to party lines saying "they know better then the people" and will not follow their directions.So kick them all out and elect people who will do what they are told by the public they server. They all say they "believe in democracy" but it looks like they only believe when democracy agrees with their believe structure and personal agenda. Kick them to the street and start over. I bet the next elected official will listen to the people.Time to Revolt ageist any and all elected officials NOW!!! Kick their ass back onto the street the way they have kicked us around for the last 50 years.The will of the people must be heard!! 
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on November 21, 2007 at 07:41:56 PT
quit griping and get to work, sheesh.
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