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Colorado Sheriffs Say Marijuana Legalization Should Be Overturned Because It Makes Them Uncomfortable

Their lawsuit argues that the Constitution requires them to bust pot smokers.

Jacob SullumJacob SullumToday six Colorado sheriffs filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to reverse marijuana legalization in their state, which they say should be overturned because it makes them uncomfortable. Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and his counterparts in five other counties say Amendment 64, the marijuana legalization measure that is now part of Colorado's constitution, has made their jobs harder by creating a conflict between state and federal law. "When these Colorado Sheriffs encounter marijuana while performing their duties," their complaint says, "each is placed in the position of having to choose between violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and violating his oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution." This supposed dilemma arises from Smith et al.'s mistaken assumption that they have an obligation to help the federal government enforce its ban on marijuana.

According to the Supreme Court's extremely generous reading of the power to regulate interstate commerce, Congress has the authority to ban cultivation, possession, and distribution of marijuana, even when those activities are permitted under state law and do not cross state lines (in fact, even when they are confined entirely to the privacy of someone's home). The federal government therefore may continue to enforce marijuana prohibition in Colorado. But contrary to what the sheriffs seem to think, that does not mean they are required to lend a hand, notwithstanding the Supremacy Clause, which makes valid acts of Congress "the supreme law of the land." Under our federalist system, Congress has no authority to dragoon state and local officials into enforcing its laws—a point the Court made clear in Printz v. United States, a 1997 case involving federally mandated background checks for gun buyers.

Under the "anti-commandeering principle" that the Court applied in Printz, requiring local cops to enforce the federal ban on marijuana would be clearly unconstitutional. So when a Colorado cop encounters someone 21 or older with an ounce or less of marijuana (the limit set by state law) and does not confiscate it as contraband under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), he is not violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Likewise if he finds six or fewer plants in someone's home and leaves them there or if he passes a state-licensed pot shop and does not try to shut it down.   

Similarly, the U.S. Constitution does not require state legislators to mimic federal law by punishing everything Congress decides to treat as a crime. Yet Smith et al. argue that eliminating state penalties for marijuana-related activities violates the CSA and therefore the Supremacy Clause. They are asking the U.S. District Court in Colorado to overturn all the sections of Amendment 64 that say specified activities involving marijuana—including possession and home cultivation as well as commercial production and distribution by state-licensed businesses—"are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado law."

To put it another way, the sheriffs want a federal court order requiring Colorado to recriminalize these activities and start busting cannabis consumers, growers, and retailers again. They say the U.S. Constitution requires Colorado to treat those people as criminals, regardless of what Colorado voters or legislators want. That position cannot be reconciled with the 10th Amendment, which says "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Writing state criminal laws is not a power that the Constitution delegates to the federal government.

Smith et al., whose lawsuit is joined by four sheriffs from Nebraska and Kansas who also were offended by Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana, concede that the CSA does not override all state drug policy choices. "Under 21 U.S.C. § 903," they note, "the CSA shall not 'be construed' to 'occupy the field' in which the CSA operates 'to the exclusion of any [s]tate law on the same subject matter which would otherwise be within' the state's authority. Rather, Section 903 provides that state laws are preempted only when 'a positive conflict' exists between a provision of the CSA and a state law' so that the two cannot consistently stand together." But the sheriffs claim Amendment 64 creates such a conflict. "The enforcement of the CSA violates Colorado law," they say, "and conversely adherence to Colorado law violates the CSA."

That is clearly not true for most of the provisions that Smith et al. are challenging. If Colorado cops stop arresting pot smokers, the pot smokers are violating the CSA, but the cops are not. Likewise with people who grow and transfer marijuana, whether money changes hands or not. They are violating federal law, but the police officers who refrain from dragging them away in handcuffs are not. Conversely, a federal agent who arrests a cannabis grower, seller, or consumer for violating the CSA is not doing anything forbidden by Colorado law.

The sheriffs say Amendment 64 "in some cases" not only allows but "requir[es]" the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. That would indeed be a positive conflict, since it would be impossible to obey both state and federal law. But unless I missed it, the complaint do not cite any actual examples of state-mandated CSA violations.

The sheriffs' strongest argument echoes the central claim of Nebraska and Oklahoma's anti-legalization lawsuit: that Colorado's marijuana regulations "embed state and local government actors with private actors in a state-sanctioned and state-supervised industry which is intended to, and does, cultivate, package, and distribute marijuana for commercial and private possession and use in violation of the CSA." In other words, the state's stamp of approval for cannabusinesses goes beyond declining to punish marijuana offenses by actively promoting them. That is one way of looking at it. Alternatively, you could say a marijuana license merely certifies that the holder has met the criteria for escaping punishment under state law. It does not make him immune to punishment under the CSA, and it does not require him to violate that statute.

Suppose Colorado took this criticism to heart and stopped regulating the marijuana industry. Anyone would be free to grow or sell marijuana without having to seek the state's blessing. Libertarians might welcome that outcome, but I doubt the sheriffs would. In any case, the existence of state regulations does nothing to strengthen the sheriffs' argument that they have suffered a personal injury justifying a lawsuit because they are not allowed to bust pot smokers anymore.

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  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Ah, championing federal supremacy against the neo-Confederate voters of Colorado with their states rights!

  • sarcasmic||

    More than likely they just miss the revenue stream they get from robbing druggies.

  • Curtisls87||

    ^^^This.^^^

  • Shmuelman||

    I think that the argument is that the 40% of people in the US who have used cannabis and the tens of millions who use it regularly are not "druggies" and they are not criminals. Any more at least than someone who has a beer while watching a football game is a drunken bum living in the gutter or hopeless alcoholic.
    If you notice, the number of stories on the web with all the stupid puns and the pictures of hippie girls with their faces painted with cannabis leaves and all the references to Doritos have yielded to real news stories.

  • guero.diaz||

    Marijuana use is a crime. Just get rid of your drugs and you are not a criminal. How hard is it to do? Do you even understand what I an saying to you? This is not an article about alcoholism leading to homelessness. I plead with you to obey the law.

  • jay_dubya||

    Take a hike you statist piece of shit. This website isnt for you.

  • kevin_hunt||

    Unjust laws were made to be broken.

    Florida Statute 798.02 "If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together ….they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083"

    The punishment is a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.

  • Mike Parent||

    Why the affinity for laws conceived by lies, greed and racism?

  • Kure'i||

    Just stay quiet, sit in the back of the bus, and you won't land in trouble.

  • ||

    It isn't just the revenue stream, Sarc. You forgot the brutality and the thrilling no knock raids.

  • guero.diaz||

    Cops also teach drug cessation classed. Much less sexy than kicking in a door, granted, but I believe in education. We can stop marijuana use through proper teaching techniques. Education, education, education!!!!

  • Live Free or Die||

    No, you can't. My whole school had classes about drugs taught by cops starting in elementary school and going through high school. Guess what? A lot of us still smoked pot in high school. Believe it or not, teenagers often don't listen to authority figures. Plus, many of us had parents who'd used drugs (pot) and could see that, for most people, pot is harmless.

  • Banished Jester||

    Speaking of education. Do yourself a favor and learn what cannabis really is. You can educate people that cannabis is bad, which our society has done for decades, and it will only be overturned by the initiative people take to see the truth about cannabis.

    The ONLY reason that you stand against cannabis is because you are still drinking the establishment Kool-aid mis-information about it. Here is a good start for your education. Read the 2006 Tashkin study at UCLA about Marijuana and Lung Cancer. Then go to Youtube and watch: "What if cannabis cured cancer." Then look up the 1988 petition by NORML to the DEA where Judge Francis Young states that: "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." Then look up the 1944 LaGuardia Commission Report.

    You want education? Fine. Go get some!

  • ||

    It isn't just the revenue stream, Sarc. You forgot the brutality and the thrilling no knock raids.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. No more excuse to stop any poor person walking on the sidewalk so they can be harassed and searched. That makes the bullies sad.

  • ||

    Think of the plunging morale in the station house when they read about GA cops flash banging a kid in a no knock raid.

    How can CO be expected to keep good cops employed when they can't offer career opportunities like those in other states?

  • Zeb||

    I doubt it slows them down much when it comes to that. There are still weapons and many other drugs to pat people down and hassle them for.

  • ||

    Ha, and civil asset forfeiture.

  • Hicks||

    Is there no sympathy the for the surrounding states with their overworked cops and judges.
    Things are so bad they may need to build a new jail and raise taxes.

    I feel sympathy for anyone so stupid they can't see the obvious solution to these problems.

  • Banished Jester||

    Just like Ron Paul said. "You want to do away with drug crimes? Fine. Do away with drug laws!"

    Your precious cops are overworked because they have too many laws to enforce. Of course the catch 22 is that their primary purpose is to act as revenue generators for their county governments. So if you want to solve that problem then you better downsize your government. A similar argument was posed by "the troops" who everwhelmingly supported Ron Paul in the last campaign but you didn't listen did you? You want to support the troops? Fine. Bring them home and but out of everyone else's business.

    It is already going to take generations for other nations to overcome the misery the "the troops" have inflicted on them.

  • ClassicLib-NeverProg||

    Pretty sure these tyrants just miss the overtime they could collect from enforcing the draconian disaster that is prohibition.

  • Agammamon||

    "each is placed in the position of having to choose between violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and violating his oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution."

    I'm not sure where they get this conflict from.

    They are sworn to uphold and enforce the laws of the *state*, no federal government. They actually have *no* authority to enforce federal laws, any more than federal law enforcement can enforce *state* laws.

    Worst case scenario - you find pot, you walk away and call the DEA and let *them* enforce the law.

    Personally, I think we would all be a lot better off with a sharper distinction between jurisdictions for all law enforcement officers. No more Border Patrol 'detaining' DUI's, no more Fish and Game giving speeding tickets. Hell, no more Highway Patrol in general - for traffic violation purposes roads should be 'owned' by one agency (city or county) and the state police force should be mostly experienced investigators loaned out to other jurisdictions on an as-needed basis.

  • BardMetal||

    It's also funny that they say U.S. Constitution instead of federal law. There is absolutely nothing in the constitution that has anything to do with drugs which makes the issue of drugs entirely a state issue. Thus no conflict.

  • Kure'i||

    I don't even understand where there is a "conflict." One law says "It's not a state crime." The other law says, "it is a federal crime." How's that a conflict?

    Are disparate sentences -- where convict X can receive 2 years max prison for violating state law, but can receive 10 years for the same crime under federal law -- also "in conflict?" How come they never complained about those?

    What about state laws that make thing illegal that are not mentioned or made illegal under federal law (e.g., retail fraud, or home invasion.) Do those create any enforcement "conflicts?"

  • guero.diaz||

    If you have not read and understood the US Constitution, you might think that, but you are wrong.

  • Kure'i||

    Come on, guero. Let's hear your cogent Constitutional analysis. This should be good.

  • ||

    In Minnesoda the DNR has lost some cases in the last 10 years or so because they got into more traditional law enforcement (Boating while intoxicated and drug laws).

    For example, the game wardens have to knock and wait for you to answer in your fish house because someone challenged them after being cited for MJ.

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/mn-.....72368.html

    In the old days they were able to just yank your fish house door open and look for fishing violations. Once they ventured into the Drug War, they got slapped around and now have to act like regular LEO's.

  • From the Tundra||

    So I can look forward to a flash-bang in the old Clam, huh?

  • ||

    Uffda, Tundra. That is sort of mean thing to call your wife, don't you think so?

  • From the Tundra||

    I knew you wouldn't be able to pass that up.

  • ||

    I've never been able to lay off that first pitch. It is one of the many reasons my baseball career stunk so bad.

    I always tell my Old Clam that I am only irritating her so much because it will cause her to make pearls.

  • bassjoe||

    "aHell, no more Highway Patrol in general - for traffic violation purposes roads should be 'owned' by one agency (city or county)"

    The problem with this is that highways pass through multiple jurisdictions fairly quickly. It does make more sense to have a single agency in charge of highways for an entire state instead of relying upon potentially dozens of local agencies to work with each other on a single incident. I believe most high patrol agencies' jurisdictions generally end at the on/off-ramps of highways (with the ability to chase a suspect onto city streets or if requested by a local agency).

  • Agammamon||

    Highways do not pass though multiple jurisdictions* quickly*. DRIVERS might. But if we're going to make that a consideration, my town's main road is about 5 miles long - we could disband my local police force in favor of DPS because its too easy to drive out of their jurisdiction.

    And multiple agencies do not need to work on a single incident - how many traffic accidents actually cover more than 1/8 of a mile? I mean for that to be a factor you'd be talking a 30+ car pile-up.

  • Dweebston||

    I think he means a high-speed chase through multiple jurisdictions.

  • Agammamon||

    My answer still stands - there are *plenty* places in this country where one can go through multiple jurisdictions in a matter of minutes.

    I about 10 miles from my front door I can drive through city, reservation, county, and federal jurisdictions and never touch a highway.

  • Zeb||

    Bullshit. Sheriffs are supposed to enforce and abide by state law. The end. Sarcasmic probably has it right.

  • guero.diaz||

    It's clearly part of the oath of office. The sheriff has a good point. I am sure they will prevail.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Go back to Police One, troll. You're obviously wrong, don't understand the Constitution AT ALL, and aren't going to convince anyone here.

  • Agammamon||

    Congress has no authority to dragoon state and local officials into enforcing its laws. . .

    That's not the point the sheriff's are making.

    From my reading, they aren't saying that *federal law* requires them to do this, they are saying their own *oath of office* requires this.

  • BardMetal||

    What oath? To uphold the constitution? They take a big steaming dump on the constitution every time they set up a DUI checkpoint.

  • Eric Hanneken||

    That's how I read it too, but I don't understand how not enforcing the CSA violates their oath to uphold the Constitution. The CSA may be putatively compatible with the Constitution, but so what? So is the FDA regulation about the number of holes Swiss cheese must have. Are the Sheriffs enforcing that rule, too? If not, do they feel ashamed for violating their oath?

  • gaoxiaen||

    We need Barney Fife to investigate insider trading.

  • Mr. Bourgeoisie||

    "The hell with this. Let's go back to the station house, and cornhole us a drunk."

  • ||

    Why don't they file a lawsuit against federal prohibition since it puts them in the awkward spot of deciding which oath to uphold? Why did they choose to support the federal side instead of state side? Who do they work for? Oh yeah, they are prohibitionists, and disingenuous ones at that.

  • BardMetal||

    Prohibitionists have always been disingenuous evil fucks. These are the same assholes who made companies add poison to medicinal alcohol to prevent people from drinking it. By doing so they intentionally poisoned and killed thousands of Americans during alcohol prohibition.

    God do I hate these types of people.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    BardMetal is correct, this actually happened.

  • Zeb||

    It still happens. Anything with alcohol has to be adulterated with something or be taxed. There is no reason to have anything but ethanol in solvent alcohol except for tax collection.

  • guero.diaz||

    This is not an article about alcohol. You are just trying to change the subject. Marijuana is a dangerous substance.

  • jay_dubya||

    This is an article about the prohibition of marijuana. Alcohol was once similarly prohibited. You would have to be a pinhead to be that literal.

  • guero.diaz||

    You are just trying to change the subject away from the drug that is putting a haze across your mind.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Stick it up your ass, idiotic troll. People like you are more dangerous than any drug.

  • SoCal Deathmarch||

    "When these Colorado Sheriffs encounter marijuana while performing their duties," their complaint says, "each is placed in the position of having to choose between violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and violating his oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution."

    Sure. Where in the U.S. Constitution does it specifically outlaw marijuana? Or is he referring to the FYTW clause?

  • DesigNate||

    I was going to post this.

  • Jerry on the sea||

    18th Amendment. Oh, wait...

  • Shmuelman||

    The Colorado Constitution, Amendment 64, allows the growing and possession of cannabis, with qualifications. So the Colorado Sheriffs do not want to respect the Colorado Constitution. As others have pointed out, they do not have jurisdiction over Federal offenses, so I am not sure what their problem is. But nowhere in the US Constitution does it ban cannabis, or any other drugs for that matter, so their "upholding the Constitution" is a very abstract argument.
    Obviously, we all know it is absurd and done to protect their revenue streams and to uphold their privilege to stop, arrest and seize over as many things as possible.

  • Zeb||

    Their real problem is that they don't like legalization of cannabis and are willing to make any argument they can come up with, no matter how stupid, against it.

  • guero.diaz||

    Marijuana possession is a crime. It's just a fact. These people are the ones entrusted to enforce the law. If they are seeking relief from the courts, I will certainly support their efforts.

  • jay_dubya||

    Actually, in Colorado its not a crime. Reading comorehension isnt your strong suit, is it Officer?

  • Enough About Palin||

    "Colorado Sheriffs Say Marijuana Legalization Should Be Overturned Because It Makes Them Uncomfortable"

    Might I suggest that the solution for them would be to fire up a blunt?

  • guero.diaz||

    Why do you want these people to use drugs? Most Americans want to see less marijuana use in their communities.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Actually, most Americans think it should be legal. Try again, troll.

  • sarcasmic||

    I remember a while back when I was living in Colorado, my apartment was broken into. So I naively called the cops. All they wanted to do was search my apartment for some drugs so they could haul me to jail. They left when I refused the search. They didn't give a shit about the break-in.

    I imagine the cops are sad/angry that they can't do that anymore. They might have to actually treat crime victims like crime victims, and do their fucking job for a change.

    Bullies are sad because they can't push the potheads around anymore.

  • BardMetal||

    Whats going to happen when we reach the point where nobody calls the cops anymore? When nobody sees what they do as legitimate anymore?

  • sarcasmic||

    As long as there are public schools we'll never reach that point. Those schools do a good job in training young Americans to trust police authority, despite the efforts of the kids' parents. It takes time to unlearn those lies, and in the meantime they will naively call the cops under the mistaken belief that they are there to help anyone other than themselves. Some lessons must be learned with experience.

  • BardMetal||

    I'm sure that works with little kids, but I've noticed a lot of anti-cop attitude particularly from the college aged crowd. I think a combination of cell phone cameras and the internet highlighting police brutality is having an effect on the twitter generation.

    The older generation will always be pro-cop, but I think the tide is turning although slowly for the younger generation.

    I could be completely wrong, I'm going off of anecdotal evidence, but I really think we are going to reach a tipping point soon.

  • Agammamon||

    They'd do a better job of training kids to trust the police if they didn't actually keep one or more 'school resource officers' on the premises to show the kids what a jackboot tastes like.

  • Zeb||

    It goes way beyond public schools. There are all kinds of private organizations who promote cops as the good guys.

    I think there is a long way to go before no one sees them as legitimate. I hope we are close to a point where more people will see them as just as flawed and prone to doing bad things as any group (they are probably more so than average, but it's a start) and stop seeing simply being a cop as a reason to trust or honor someone.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Sheriffs encounter marijuana while performing their duties," their complaint says, "each is placed in the position of having to choose between violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and violating his oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution."

    Yeah, and every time one of their subordinates conducts a car search illegally, I'm sure it breaks them all up inside and they can't get to sleep all night.

    Sounds like a great opportunity to overturn Gonzales v. Raich.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, and every time one of their subordinates conducts a car search illegally, I'm sure it breaks them all up inside and they can't get to sleep all night.

    Something which, unlike not enforcing federal marijuana laws, is actually a violation of the constitution.

  • Rich||

    "each is placed in the position of having to choose between violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and violating his oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution."

    Well, they *could* refuse to work until someone rectifies the situation for them.

  • gaoxiaen||

    The Colorado sheriffs should be fired. Their job is to obey Colorado law.

  • buybuydandavis||

    If they wanted to uphold the constitution, they would *prevent* the Feds from enforcing pot prohibition, which cannot be derived from the Feds enumerated powers in the constitution, and is thereby an illegal usurpation of states rights.

  • DesigNate||

    I wonder if those same Sheriff's lose sleep over no-knock raids and such?

  • Ken Shultz||

    +1 asset forfeiture

  • ||

    I'd be stunned if the CO cops weren't doing some sort of surveillance of out of state plates parked around pot stores there and feeding the results to cops in OK, WY, etc.

    Instead of a hot car sheet, the cops in the surrounding area would be able to scan a license plate of any car leaving CO and check to see if it had recently been in a pot store parking lot.

    Of course they would have to keep it on the down low. Tell the other cops to do a parallel investigation to justify how you "found" the pot.

  • bassjoe||

    The County of San Diego already tried this. The county sued the state over the state's mandate that the county issue med-marijuana ID cards, claiming a similar state law conflicts with federal law argument. It eventually got dismissed and the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

  • Mr. Bourgeoisie||

    “As long as there are public schools we'll never reach that point. Those schools do a good job in training young Americans to trust police authority…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am-Qdx6vky0

  • From the Tundra||

    Glock leg!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I looked up the six and they all seem to be Republicans...

  • DesigNate||

    No real shock there.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Here's something sad about our politics: I bet most if not all of the same CO Sheriffs in this case were (rightly imo) involved in the suit against Colorado's recent gun control measures.

    It's so hard to embrace liberty across the board for some...

  • AlmightyJB||

    We hate not being dicks!

  • GILMORE||

    Wouldn't the appropriate thing to do be, "Fire these sherrifs, and find ones who will follow state law"?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You don't fire Sheriffs (apart from elections), genius.

  • From the Tundra||

    Ummm. Impeachment?

  • Zeb||

    Presumably the people who elected these Sheriffs largely agree with them on things like this. Impeachment is a rather different process from firing. I wonder if the governor or anyone does have the authority to dismiss a sheriff who refuses to abide by the law? Though I don't think that these guys are not following the law about marijuana, just complaining about it.

  • Pokey's Revenge||

    "...choose between violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and violating his oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution"

    So... Marijuana prohibition is the 28th amendment?

  • ||

    I have to agree with an earlier comment. Despite the claim that the interstate commerce clause gives Congress the right to regulate — read that prohibit — marijuana, that doesn't mean state or local law enforcement are required to enforce federal prohibition. That said, this is almost as amusing a claim as that of the stoned bunnies. I believe we have the prohibitionists scared, more scared than they ever have been.

  • BambiB||

    Only the grossly tortured interpretation of Wickard v. Filburn creates such power for the Federales. Wickard is clearly an absurd result that descended from FDR's threat of court packing. In effect, it allows the federal government to regulate anything that moves in interstate commerce, or does NOT move in interstate commerce. Since the late 1930s when Wickard was decided, the Supremes have only found two cases where the Feds didn't have power over the states. In Printz they decided the Feds couldn't order state officers to enforce Federal laws, and in an appeal of the "Gun Free School Zones" Act, they found that the fact that a gun might have crossed a state line 100 years ago did not mean it was "interstate commerce" today. In fact, in Raich the Supremes upheld laws against marijuana based on the notion that the absence of interstate commerce was... interstate commerce.

    Sometimes the Supremes really are the FOOLS on the hill.

  • Hicks||

    Won't somebody think of those poor stoned bunnies?

  • BambiB||

    I wonder if these same sheriffs have ever been troubled by any other violation of the Constitution? For example, one of their deputies conducts and illegal search, an unconstitutional arrest, enters a home without a warrant, shoots someone, kills someone's pet, or any of the other things that make pigs such darlings these days...

  • Bob Armstrong||

    Living in CO ( Teller county ) , I had hoped to see the whole list of counties with sheriffs we could do without .

  • Eric||

    I'm disappointed to see Justin Smith from Larimer county. I guess I missed the part in the Constitution (which he reveres so much) where the devil's weed is banned. This just shows what assholes small town conservatives can be when it comes to liberties that don't fit within their narrow view of the Constitution.

  • guero.diaz||

    Drug use is not a liberty. You are just plain wrong. The Constitution clearly gives enforcement of this law to the county executive branch including the sheriffs listed in the lawsuit. Give your old constitution another look.

  • guero.diaz||

    They took an oath. It is their good name at stake. You wouldn't understand that, hiding behind the internet and all. They are charged with upholding the law and they promised to do just that. I support these guys in their lawsuit. I'm sure that they will prevail. It's the law of the land and it will hold up in court.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Good name. You should do stand-up comedy. Okay, Mr. Constitutional scholar, show us where the Constitution says that. Otherwise, FUCK OFF.

  • jay_dubya||

    Its called self-ownership, you dolt, and we lile it around these parts.

  • modurhead||

    it makes their butts hurt and their trigger fingers itchy, that is they only reason. purely emotional tyrannical b.s. they will have to go back to protecting and serving. jiggling doorknobs down main street isn't as much fun as killing dogs during a no knock raid. sorry the world will be a more peaceful place for it.

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  • Eric||

    This is too fucking rich not to post:
    Justin Smith (the lead plantiff in this lawsuit), is also an Oathkeeper, and one of the Colorado Sheriffs who refuses to enforce Colorado's ban on magazine size:

    http://www.westword.com/news/j.....ws-5832531

    Here's an excerpt from his manifesto written in response to said gun laws:
    "As Sheriff, I will not:
    • Enforce unconstitutional federal laws
    • Obey unconstitutional laws
    • Allow others to violate the Constitutional Rights of those in my county"

    However, the US Constitution, being completely silent on the issue of marijuana, is somehow more important than the Colorado Constitution, which grants legal status to marijuana.

    Seems to me that this jackass is just making it up as he goes.

  • MichaelL||

    I wonder about their intelligence if they cannot see the hypocrisy in the actions. As stated above, the Constitution has no law prohibiting cannabis use or growth! Then again, being a right wing Christian, who supports liberty and freedom, I have seen plenty of hypocrisy in the many laws the prohibitionists try to enforce. Theocracy was prevented in the Constitution for good reasons. We, all, should be free to live our lives... with liberty and justice for all. ........... (;-P

    Now if we could just get the justice part fixed.

  • MSimon||

    It is a Stalinist Law.

    Nixon went after cannabis to jail his political enemies. The essence of Stalinism.

    "Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

  • guero.diaz||

    Ehrlichman was not a scientist. The scientific consensus is that marijuana use is dangerous to your health. Just look at the abnormal brain development and the acute respiratory symptoms that can be cured simply by avoiding exposure to smoked marijuana.

  • Hicks||

    Nixon's blue ribbon commission concluded its likely the safest drug known to man, and should be legalized.
    So did the the DEA judge that reviewed all the literature,

    It's been known to be pretty harmless, so harms had to be created.
    We spent a trillion dollars on this fool's errand andits time to stop.

    As far as it making you stupid, I have a BS in engineering and a MS in computer science(4.0 GPA) while smoking for 40 years.
    I'm in perfect health, retired and financially secure.

    It makes me happy, so why can't I be allowed my pursuit of happiness.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Obviously you have a lot of first-hand experience with abnormal brain development. Troll somewhere else, copsucker.

  • ashdex||

    This isn't about principles or conflicted feelings over which laws to enforce or even revenue generation per se. It's about budget protection. Legalization of marijuana, and drugs in general, means justifiably smaller budgets.

  • EndTheGOP||

    OMG -- The will of the people makes these pansy-ass sheriffs "uncomfortable."

    Get a new job scum-bums! Or better yet, move to Russia commie bastards!

  • jdd6y||

    Shouldn't these guys have to resign? Seeing as how they are morally opposed to upholding the law and/or doing their job?

  • guero.diaz||

    They are not morally opposed. They are in conflict. Learn to read, man.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Go read the Constitution. Maybe they have a kiddies' version. Then a retard like you could understand it.

  • guero.diaz||

    I would like to urge you to all get rid of your drugs and you will be in compliance with the law. I am not interested in seeing any more crime in my community. I support these officials who are doing a great job!

  • Live Free or Die||

    I don't use drugs anymore but I did smoke pot in high school. I graduated 3rd in my class. My best friend also smoked and was valedictorian. If I'd been caught and prosecuted, then my life could have been ruined. However, the pot itself didn't harm me, only the fact that it was illegal. When you make pot legal, it's no longer a crime and good, decent people can smoke it without living in fear of being arrested. Smoking pot may or may not be a good idea but there's no reason to make it a crime.

  • gaoxiaen||

    It appears that your neighbor Coloradans don't agree with you. You should write a letter to Obama. You'd get better results with that than trolling here, moron.

  • Malcolm Kyle||

    Every single one of these parasitic sheriffs is drenched in blood. Blood from forcing people to chose alcohol and nicotine over a far safer alternative. Blood from forcing the ill and dying to use killer prescription drugs instead of marijuana, blood from the many killed in no-knock raids, and blood from forcing people to buy from violentblack market criminals.

    Prohibitionists are fundamentally opposed to everything that can be subsumed under social progress. The struggle for life, liberty and justice often begins where rulers or governments abuse their power. If you are a prohibitionist then you no longer work for the good of the people. To suppress and torment individual citizens for their personal tastes, interests or affiliations is fascism.

  • jay_dubya||

    Tell that to officer guero diaz.

  • natural born||

    Why was it necessary to amend the US Constitution in order to prohibit alcohol?
    How is it possible to prohibit other drugs without going through the same
    amendment process?
    The Constitution is a blueprint for a limited government. If a power is not listed in the Constitution, it is not given to the Federal government.
    Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist 84:
    "... bills of rights are not only unnecessary but dangerous. Why say the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given to restrict the press"?
    "It could furnish usurpers a plausible pretence for claiming that power".
    Language was added to the Bill of Rights to address this.
    9th Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights
    shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the
    people."
    10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by
    the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the
    States respectively, or to the people."
    Concerning alcohol prohibition, this was a new power that was being surrendered by the people and the states in the 18th Amendment to the Federal government.
    In prohibiting marijuana, these new powers being granted to the Federal government have never been surrendered by the people and the states, therefore unconstitutional
    Clearly the US and the Colorado Constitutions have precedence over Federal Marijuana laws. Sheriffs drop your frivolous lawsuit against our Constitutions.

  • Banished Jester||

    These six punk bitches got punched in the gut when the taxpayers seized their revenue source. The only reason that these guys want cannabis illegal is so that they can make money growing it, stealing it from suppliers and selling it back to their informants so they can ruin some more lives.

    Dear People of Colorado: Your six sheriffs have just painted targets on themselves. Aim true!

  • Mike Parent||

    "Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ... The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."
    -- William F. Buckley,
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

  • Dusty Relic||

    If these sheriffs cannot understand the difference between the US Constitution (which they have sworn to uphold) and the Federal Controlled Substance Act (which is not their sworn duty to uphold) then they do not belong in law enforcement and should be tossed out of office by reason of incompetence.

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