Andrew Von Sonn

Articles - Marijuana Laws Unconstitutional

by Andrew Von Sonn, J.D.

According to Drug Czar, William J. Bennett [he served as Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1991], marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol. He said, "We have enough of a problem with alcohol, thank you" . . . we keep the penalties.

He could have added: Forget the Bill of Rights; Forget the Declaration of Independence. Because that is exactly what he did. Taking the front stage in the ongoing saga of Big Brother in America, he continues the current corruption of power - power founded in ignorance, if not conscious disregard of the basic documents he has sworn to defend, the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights - the fundamental contract existing between the People of this Nation and the people We have elected to represent Us.

Anyone willing to put a few moments of focused thought into the Declaration of Independence has got to come away truly incensed at the impudent manner in which the Drug Czar is carrying out his public trust. Judge for yourself:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness ..."

These "self-evident" truths - truths which leave no room from disagreement - are the bottom line. And they always exist. We wrote down and agreed to what was obvious. Who are we? We are equal beings, each with CREATOR given "unalienable (can't be given away) Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness . . ."

Our opportunity to exist and to explore this wonderful universe is a gift of our CREATOR - not of the United States or any other government. The Drug Czar and his cohorts work for us. They are bound by the precepts of our most basic document. Big Brother is a game played outside the rules. The laws against marijuana use, possession or cultivation are unconstitutional.

The issue is not decriminalization. "Decriminalization" asks the government to please give We the People what we would like to have. "Unconstitutional" says you, government, are acting outside the rules. You are taking away our Liberty without authority. Cease and desist! Align your actions with the Declaration of Independence - and the Bill of Rights - that set of Rules which flow naturally from the Declaration of Independence - laid down to protect the Individual and the People collectively from both private and governmental invasions upon Liberty.

The First Amendment, Freedom of Religion, affirms the Right of each of us to both believe and to practice our own concept of reality as long as we are not interfering with the Rights of others. The Fifth Amendment, reaffirmed by the Fourteenth, expresses our Right to due process and the equal protection of the laws. The government has no authority to take away our Liberty without meeting a heavy burden. Individual Liberty is what America is about. It's the America we grew up to believe in. Government cannot take away our Liberty capriciously.

Where substances of similar type exist, the government cannot lawfully say that those who like Substance A can use it without penalty, while those who use Substance B, which is not worse, all go to jail. Throw in Substance C, tobacco, and you have a real constitutional absurdity on your hands. The due process and equal protection clauses say NO! Big Brother is not allowed here! This is America! Your actions are without legal authority! The Fourth of July is not just another holiday!

We in America share an agreement: that we are each explorers - none of us with a perception of truth which may legitimately be forced upon another. We live in a Nation, a political/social system that was designed to protect the Right of each of us to our own exploration -- the right of each of us to come to terms with existence in our own way.

What holds true for freedom of choice and marijuana holds equally true for other issues of personal preference. If you're not interfering with the Rights of others, then you've got every Right to go for your version of the adventure. Government is the servant, not the master. You could even say that those who would argue otherwise are un-American.

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