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Posts Tagged ‘Marijuana’

Do Conservatives Really Believe Than Unconstitutional Law Is No Law? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 2, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/laurence-m-vance/do-conservatives-really-believe-that-an-unconstitutional-law-is-no-law/

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I see that all manner of conservatives are saying in response to the draconian lockdowns across the country that an unconstitutional law is no law. They are praising district attorneys, sheriffs, and local police for saying that they won’t enforce the decrees of state governors. Some conservatives are advocating rebellion and civil disobedience. Their focus, of course, is mainly on states with Democratic governors. But it is typical of conservatives not to criticize Republicans too much.

But do conservatives really believe that an unconstitutional law is no law? Do they really believe that district attorneys, sheriffs, and local police should not enforce unconstitutional laws?

Of course they don’t.

Now, I am glad to see that conservatives are actually talking about civil liberties. But the greatest violation of civil liberties, private property, individual liberty, personal freedom, and free enterprise is the federal government’s war on drugs.

Under federal law

Possession of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction. For a second conviction, the penalties increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

And that is just possession.

Manufacture or distribution carries tougher penalties. The sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to three years in prison. And “the sentence of death can be carried out on a defendant who has been found guilty of manufacturing, importing or distributing a controlled substance if the act was committed as part of a continuing criminal enterprise.”

And that is just marijuana.

Woe unto the American who possesses, manufactures, or distributes cocaine, heroin, meth, or fentanyl.

Drug laws are certainly unconstitutional laws.

Does the Constitution authorize the national government to regulate, criminalize, or prohibit the manufacture, sale, or use of any drug?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to intrude itself into the personal eating, drinking, or smoking habits of Americans?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to restrict or monitor any harmful or mood-altering substances that any American wants to consume?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a drug war?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to concern itself with the nature and quantity of any substance Americans inhale or otherwise take into their body?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government regulate, monitor, or restrict the consumption, medical, or recreational habits of Americans?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have an Office of National Drug Control Policy?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a Drug Enforcement Administration?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a drug czar?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a Controlled Substances Act?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a National Survey on Drug Use and Health?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have any federal crimes other than treason, piracy, and counterfeiting?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a National Drug Control Strategy?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to institute drug prohibition without a constitutional amendment?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to wage war on a plant?

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to ban anything?

Of course it doesn’t.

Since an unconstitutional law is no law, shouldn’t conservatives be opposed root and branch to the federal government’s war on drugs instead of being its biggest supporters?

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I’m Jealous of the Death-Row Inmates – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/10/david-gornoski/im-jealous-of-the-death-row-inmates/

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“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” – Hebrews 13:3

The following is an article by Craig J. Cesal, a federal prisoner sentenced to life without the possibility of parole as a first-time offender convicted of conspiring to distribute marijuana.

I am a first-time offender convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. In 2002, my Chicagoland truck repair facility serviced semis a Florida company used to haul marijuana. I never bought or sold marijuana, never received proceeds from marijuana marketing, and didn’t even smoke marijuana. By operation of the War on Drugs, I am sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, even though no person was hurt, and marijuana is legal in some form throughout thirty-three states.

I am awaiting the end of my sentence, my death, at the Federal Prison at Terre Haute, Indiana. Over the next couple of months, five others housed here will end their sentences when they are executed by lethal injection. Daniel Lewis Lee killed a gun dealer, his wife, and eight year old daughter to support the Aryan People’s Resistance. Lezmond Mitchell killed a 63 year old and her nine year old granddaughter to carjack their car for use in the robbery of a trading post on the Navajo Reservation. Wesley Ira Purkey raped, murdered, and dismembered a sixteen year old girl after taking her across state lines. Alfred Bourgeouis molested and killed his two year old daughter on a military base. Dustin Lee Honken killed five witnesses, including two children, who were to testify against him at his drug trial. From my job in the prison factory, I can see the Death House where they will take their last breaths.

I ponder if anyone not sentenced to die at the hands of the federal government can understand how I see these upcoming executions. Are these really mercy killings, such as putting down a horse with a broken leg, or a house cat with failed kidneys? I haven’t seen a graepfruit, grape, or fresh vegetable in nearly eighteen years. Then there is the US Socialized Medical Service in the Federal Bureau of Prisons who schedule care with the consideration that I am sentenced to die in their care. But unlike the five fellow inmates scheduled for execution, my company undertook the repair of marijuana-hauling trucks. We’re all sentenced to die, just by a different method, on a different day.

“Kill yourself,” is what many say who are not sentenced to life imprisonment, which is a de facto imprisonment until death. My moral compass, likely calibrated by my Catholic faith, does not permit me to kill people, including me. Moreover, none of the other War on Drugs lifers espouse killing themselves, and I’m not aware of one who has. It seems to me, marijuana offenders are not murderers, so we don’t get to have our sentences expired in the next couple of months, like the chosen five named above. Our death sentences are more protracted and more painful than those assigned to murderers.

It is said the government gleans the power to take our lives, our food, our medical care, and our families away based on the consent of the people. My indictment reads: “The People of the United States vs. Craig Cesal.” In the War on Drugs, the jury of our contemporaries does not get to choose a life without parole sentence for us, they aren’t even allowed to know what the proposed sentence would be. Perhaps American juries would prefer euthanasia for marijuana offenders over thirty-five or more years in prison until death.

So how does watching the preparations for these executions feel from the perspective of my prison bunk? Today, I was denied insulin because I’m a lifer and staff, according to them, can do that. The guards broke Shaq’s arm and dislocated his shoulder this week because they believed he was intoxicated by an undetectable drug. I had part of my elbow broken by a guard in August of this year. Because I’m a lifer, and he wanted to. The guards read all of our mail, and if they don’t like it, they throw it away. We don’t know if people don’t want to hear from us, or if the mail never got to them. We earn seventy cents an hour in the factory, only to have guards tear up and throw away our sweat pants and shoes we’ve saved for and purchased at the prison commissary. Some inmates get lethal injections from the guards.

Get this: I find myself jealous of someone sentenced to die by execution. Yes, when you look out from under the burden of a life imprisonment sentence, things look differently then they did previously. Instead of seeking a successful, comfortable life, I can’t help but covet a quick, painless death. Does this mean the War on Drugs is a failure or a success?

Non-murder federal violent crimes expose the offender to up to twenty-five years in prison. Non-violent drug and marijuana offenses should carry the same or less time, or our justice system should let the jury vote to quickly execute the marijuana conspirator. Marijuana offenders should not serve more time until death than multiple murderers, as I see directly in front of me.

Pull out of Syria. Pull out of Afghanistan. Pull out of the War on Drugs.

Craig Cesal

LWOP Marijuana
Reg. #52948-019
FCI Terre Haute
P.O. Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808

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Marijuana Reprobate – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 28, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/david-gornoski/marijuana-reprobate/

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The following is an article by Craig Cesal, federal prisoner sentenced to life without the possibility of parole as a first-time offender convicted of conspiring to distribute marijuana:

“I sentence you to a term of natural life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.” These were the words I heard in the months after the events of September 11, 2001. You see, at that time, the news was abuzz with theories that drug dealers finance terrorists, and I had just been convicted of my first felony: Conspiring to Distribute Marijuana. This was the newest foray into the War on Drugs.

I was never alleged to have bought, sold, or even used marijuana, but rather my business repaired semi-trucks for a company that trafficked marijuana. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, as I didn’t do anything with marijuana. I was wrong, according to the Federal Court in Gainesville, Georgia. My business, nestled near Chicago, was auctioned by lawyers in Georgia to pay for their services to secure the life sentence, after my home and savings were spent. Two months ago, recreational marijuana was approved for sale by the Illinois legislature. Some of my business equipment is likely again being used to repair trucks which have hauled marijuana.

For over seventeen years, I have watched robbers, rapists, and even murderers come and go at the prison. Last year, a guy in my cellblock who killed two Federal Marshalls was paroled after serving thirty years. I’ve been watching the news, and I’m waiting to see if we prisoners can get the right to vote.

Here at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, the cornerstone, which denotes A.D. 1937, reminds me the prison was opened the year marijuana was made illegal by the federal government. The construction workers likely used pot when they built the prison. Looking out from my job at the prison factory, where we make blankets for the military, I can see the Death House—where Timothy McVeigh and others died. He spent less time in federal prison than me, although his current housing is likely worse.

From Cellblock D, a couple of weeks ago, John Walker Lindh, the so-called “White Taliban” who shot CIA agents in Afghanistan, well, he went home having exhausted his twenty year sentence. He came in after me,  and with good time credits, he only served seventeen years. I’ve also served more time in prison than the terrorist. But, to my knowledge, he never aided others who schlepped marijuana. Whew, a good thing, or he’d still be here in prison with me. He is convicted of providing aid to terrorists, albeit not with marijuana.

Prison is intended to teach offenders not to violate the law again, or simply, for those, like me, the judge deemed irredeemable, to teach the public, who may be thinking of something related to marijuana. At times, I scratch my head trying to fathom who is learning what following the imposition of my sentence. Bradley Manning made Wikileaks a household word, and Obama sent him home because he wore a dress. Klinger, of M*A*S*H. fame, had no such luck. Obama also turned down my clemency request. Just what am I, or anyone else, supposed to learn from my life-for-pot sentence?

The Terre Haute prison abuts the Wabash River, which separates Indiana from Illinois. From the right places, I can see Illinois across the river, where I lived, and where marijuana distribution, and thereby marijuana conspiracy, is encouraged by State tax collectors. Did I merely have bad timing in selling services to marijuana traffickers from my perch in Illinois? Nope, federal DEA agents are still nabbing distributors in Illinois, well, because they still can. Oh, and the money from the marijuana dispensaries likely pay their salaries. Hopefully, I’ll learn my lesson in prison.

I imagine I can learn from the Federal Bureau of Prison’s paycheck collectors charged with caging me. The prison buildings are surrounded by tall fences, razor wire, and cameras. No one from the media, from a family, or from an auditor can get in to see what staffers actually do inside the fence. Guards often go days without so much as seeing an inmate, if they even show up for work. Most will spend more years on retirement pay benefits, than the years they ostensibly worked.

A sentence of life is actually a sentence of up until death. Staff are flummoxed trying to discern what to put in the FBOP form for my release date. Death won’t work, it must be a number. The last time I checked, it was sometime in 2028. Remember, nobody is coming over the fence and razor wire to check on them. But no release is imminent.

The Sentencing Judge determined I am a marijuana reprobate. I am thus irredeemable, and unworthy of anything other than final damnation in prison. Murderers are released after 13.4 years on average, according to the Department of Justice, and a terrorist can go home after seventeen years. But I am a prisoner of the War on Drugs. There’s no hope for me under existing federal law.

I’ve learned my lesson, and lawmakers should be pushed to learn a lesson. Federal drug laws, especially marijuana laws, are long overdue for reform. The “fix” must also include sensible relief for prisoners of the failed War on Drugs.

Craig Cesal

Reg. #52948-019
FCI Terre Haute
P.O. Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808

To learn more about Craig Cesal and his experiences, visit his Facebook page here. Join over 300,000 fellow citizens in helping Craig’s mission to give away his daughter in marriage by signing his petition for clemency here.

 

 

 

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Double Standards Are Rampant in Canada’s Drug War | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/double-standards-are-rampant-canadas-drug-war

On October 17, 2018, recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada, ending 95 years of prohibition. For those who believe, as I do, that individuals should have the freedom to determine their own consumption, this is good news. However, I am not congratulating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party for making good on a campaign promise made three years earlier. Instead, I point out the inconsistency of not applying their rationale for pot legalization to the legalization of all drugs.

As for those Canadians who opposed the legalization of pot, they may have hoped that Andrew Scheer, leader of the federal Conservative Party, would be their champion if he wins the election later this year. However, Scheer also employs a double standard on this issue.

Justin Trudeau

In 2013, in reference to hundreds of thousands of criminal convictions because of marijuana, Trudeau said “Those are lives ruined.”

The Liberals 2015 campaign platform with respect to marijuana legalization stated that “too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug. Arresting and prosecuting these offenses is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses.”

In May of last year, Trudeau said “that legalization would squeeze organized crime out of the lucrative cannabis market,” and the government is focused on legalizing marijuana because “the current system hurts Canadians.” Trudeau was not exaggerating the harm done to Canadians. German Lopez at vox.com wrote that “In Canada, tens of thousands of people are arrested for marijuana offenses each year, ripping communities and families apart as people are thrown in jail or prison and gain criminal records.”

The harmful effects of Canada’s illegal drug markets mirror the effects of the drug war in the United States which has done almost nothing to curb drug addiction. Former U.S. Federal Judge Nancy Gertner said, “We were not leveling cities as we did in WWII with bombs, but with prosecution, prison, and punishment.” As Laurence Vance wrote, “The drug war is not only a failure, it is a monstrous evil that has ruined more lives than drugs themselves.”…

Conclusion

Sadly, the double standards of Scheer and Trudeau are matched by the behaviour of almost every politician in the country. In their pursuit of power, they seem willing to say or do whatever it takes in order to get elected, and unprincipled politicians are notorious for breaking campaign promises post-election. Trudeau broke promises. His predecessor (Harper) broke promises. They all do, at every level of government.

For those of us who consistently promote the cause of liberty, we can be thankful for the legalization of marijuana in Canada, but this does not mean we should give any credit to the government. Sometimes, we win by accident. Trudeau and the Liberals were under intense political pressure to keep that promise because they had broken so many others.

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Of Course It Should Be Legal! – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 25, 2019

The foundation of libertarianism is individual freedom. The individual should be free to make his or her own choices according to his or her own desires, as long as those choices don’t infringe on the rights of others. The most important and basic human rights, according to libertarianism, are life, liberty and property. Libertarians believe that these “natural rights” existed before and outside of any organized form of government [source: Boaz]. If left to themselves, libertarians argue, people will respect and protect these rights. Government doesn’t need to force or coerce us.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/laurence-m-vance/of-course-it-should-be-legal/

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…Now, I am no libertine or hedonist. And neither do I smoke marijuana, eat magic mushrooms, or employ sex workers. I wouldn’t do any these things even if they were free and legal. But that doesn’t mean that I think the government should seek to prevent people from doing them and punish them if they do.

And here are thirty-five more things about which libertarians would say the same thing.

Of course selling beer that you brew at home should be legal!

Of course snorting coke should be legal!

Of course buying as much Sudafed as you want should be legal!

Of course selling one of your kidneys should be legal!

Of course ticket scalping should be legal!

Of course online gambling should be legal!

Of course the purchase of alcohol by adults under age 21 should be legal!

Of course businesses opening on Sunday should be legal!

Of course price gouging should be legal!

Of course businesses not having handicapped parking should be legal!

Of course discrimination in employment should be legal!

Of course businesses not having handicapped restrooms should be legal!

Of course owning a bump stock should be legal!

Of course a business selling alcohol at any time on Sunday should be legal!

Of course smoking crack should be legal!

Of course hiring a willing worker for less than the minimum wage should be legal!

Of course desecrating a flag that is your property should be legal!

Of course shooting up with heroin should be legal!

Of course businesses not paying overtime should be legal!

Of course having a garage sale without a permit should be legal!

Of course discrimination in rental housing should be legal!

Of course traveling to Cuba should be legal!

Of course popping ecstasy pills should be legal!

Of course cutting hair without a license should be legal!

Of course importing Cuban cigars should be legal!

Of course depositing more than $10,000 in cash your bank account should be legal!

Of course making crystal meth should be legal!

Of course blackmail should be legal!

Of course businesses not providing family leave should be legal!

Of course making more than six withdrawals from your savings account every month should be legal!

Of course allowing smoking in your restaurant should be legal!

Of course running a neighborhood blackjack game should be legal!

Of course prohibiting an employee from wearing a yarmulke or hijab should be legal!

Of course refusing to serve someone in your place of business should be legal!

Of course making moonshine should be legal!

These things should be legal because government shouldn’t be monitoring, regulating, controlling, or prohibiting peaceful, private, voluntary, consensual actions that don’t aggress against the personal or property rights of others. The only actions that should be illegal are those that aggress against the rights of others without their consent.

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(Drug) War Is Nothing But A Heart-breaker, Colorado and California(!) Offer Hope

Posted by M. C. on December 2, 2014

One hundred years ago this month the Harrison Narcotics Act was passed banning cocaine and opiates. That is before alcohol prohibition. You would have thought by now we would have learned. It only took from 1920 to 1933 to figure out alcohol prohibition wasn’t working and was too deadly.

The drug war has put hundreds of thousand behind bars for victimless crime and has generated a fair share of victims also.

Mexico, corrupt enough without our help, is on the verge of complete collapse due to drug cartels. Bribing police, employing police, killing rival gang members, killing innocent civilians and of late kidnapping students and executing them for reasons known only to the corrupt government employed killers. Read the rest of this entry »

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