New Maryland Bill Would Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Laws on Marijuana

On Feb. 21, Maryland Delegate Curt Anderson introduced a bill that would allow the state to regulate marijuana like alcohol. HB 1453, was referred to the Rules and Executive Nominations committee.

Like Washington and Colorado did in 2012, federal marijuana laws within the borders of Maryland would be nullified.

Described as an Act concerning Criminal Law – Marijuana – Regulation, Penalties, and Taxation, HB 1453 reads in part:

(A) EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS SUBTITLE, A PERSON WHO IS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER IS EXEMPT FROM ARREST, CIVIL OR CRIMINAL PENALTY, SEIZURE OR FORFEITURE OF ASSETS, DISCIPLINE BY A STATE OR LOCAL LICENSING BOARD, AND STATE PROSECUTION FOR THE FOLLOWING ACTS:
(1) ACTUALLY AND CONSTRUCTIVELY USING, OBTAINING, PURCHASING, TRANSPORTING, OR POSSESSING:

(I) 1 OUNCE OR LESS OF MARIJUANA AND THREE OR FEWER MARIJUANA SEEDLINGS OR CUTTINGS; OR

(II) A MIXTURE OR PREPARATION OF MARIJUANA, INCLUDING 5 GRAMS OR LESS OF HASHISH, 16 OUNCES OF MARIJUANA–INFUSED PRODUCT IN SOLID FORM, OR 72 OUNCES OF MARIJUANA–INFUSED PRODUCT IN LIQUID FORM, AND THREE OR FEWER MARIJUANA SEEDLINGS OR CUTTINGS;

Delegate Anderson’s legislation taxes $50 per ounce of marijuana and licenses as well as regulates the cultivators, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. Collections go to substance abuse prevention programs. HB 1453 has garnered three co-sponsors, Delegates Jill Carter, Cheryl Glenn, and Nathaniel Oaks, all Democrats. Both the House and State Senate are 2/3 controlled by the Democratic Party, but this bill cannot be expected to pass on partisan lines.

Saying no to the unconstitutional War on Drugs, or marijuana prohibition at the very least, and reasserting control at the state level, where it belongs, is the duty of all legislators regardless of affiliation.

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California Bill Would Nullify Drone Spying

They’re coming. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as they’re otherwise called, have been cleared to use the public airspace since the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act passed last year. It is now up to the states to integrate this emerging technology with handouts to pay for them from the Department of Homeland Security. In California, Assembly members Jeff Gorell, a Republican, and Steven Bradford, a Democrat, have teamed up to severely limit the use of drones by state and local law enforcement as well as private individuals.

AB 1327, similar to the Privacy Protection Act, stipulates when a warrant is required:

9 (b)  A law enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, if it has a reasonable expectation that the unmanned aircraft system will collect evidence relating to criminal activity and if it has obtained a warrant based on probable cause pursuant to this code.
(c)  A law enforcement agency, without obtaining a warrant, may use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, in emergency situations, including, but not limited to, fires, hostage crises, and search and rescue operations on land or water.

The bill goes on to limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by private persons as well:

14354.  (a) A person or entity, other than a public agency subject to Section 14350 or a person or entity under contract to a public agency, for the purpose of that contract, shall not use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, for the purpose of surveillance of another person without that person’s consent.

In other states where varying anti-drone bills are introudced, hobbyists of first person viewer (FPV) unmanned aircraft have voiced concern in online forums over infringements on their rights. The fear is that requiring the consent of any person being surveilled would make personal use of this technology all but impossible.

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Minnesota Firearms Protection Act Introduced

The race between individual liberty and government intervention is tightening up on the issue of guns. Bans, registers, limitations, and regulations emanating from Washington, D.C. are up against resistance from at least two dozen states entertaining bills which would nullify federal infringement on the 2nd Amendment. State Representative Steve Drazkowski is making Minnesota the next challenger to gun control advocates with the Firearm Protection Act, a.k.a. HF 419.

Minnesota is not a haven for gun owners. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party holds majorities in both legislative houses and the office of Governor. State Rep. Drazkowski, a Republican, has garnered 21 co-authors but none are Democrats who at the same time are introducing similar policies to those recommended by President Obama. HF 419 or SF 400 as it is numbered in the Minnesota Senate covers:

any new federal law designed to ban or limit any personal firearm, magazine, accessory, or ammunition or to require the registration of any firearm or firearm owner shall be unenforceable; providing for criminal penalties;

Rep. Drazkowski has been quoted saying, “Our citizens have a Constitutionally protected right to bear arms in the 2nd Amendment, and legislators have a duty as described in the 10th Amendment to ensure that our citizens’ liberties are not taken from them by the federal government.” This line might be useful for those moved to contact their legislators. It’s going to take all the lobbying the citizens of Minnesota can muster to get past the partisan rhetoric heard on the national stage.

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Resolution to Ban Compliance with NDAA “Indefinite Detention” introduced in San Francisco

Though 15 states are currently entertaining condemnations of the NDAA kidnapping provisions, the effort has included city and county governments as well. On Tuesday, February 12 San Francisco became the latest when Board of Supervisors President David Chiu introduced a non-binding resolution instructing local agencies to not comply with federal enforcement of their indefinite detention.

“I thought we had left behind the dark days of World War II,” Chiu told a crowd outside the City Hall before the formal introduction to the Supervisors, alluding to the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans by President Roosevelt 71 years ago. Indeed, history is repeating itself for three families with victims of that disgraceful era and the resolution includes a clause reminding people of that fact:

WHEREAS, The families of Fred Korematsu, Minoru Yasui, and Gordon Hirabayashi, Japanese Americans incarcerated in World War II, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Hedges v. Obama, a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the NDAA’s detentions provisions, citing that, under the pretense of national security, the NDAA essentially repeats the decisions in the discredited World War IIlegal cases of Korematsu, Yasui, and Hirabaryashi, and allows the government to imprison people without any due process rights for an indefinite time

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is expected to vote in favor since five out of its 11 members are already co-sponsors. Nadia Kayyali, legal fellow with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, says, “If this resolution is to pass, San Francisco will be part of a national movement, as the 18th city to pass a resolution opposing the NDAA.” Kayyali is looking forward to the day a Liberty Preservation Act-type bill is introduced in Sacramento.

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Will Illinois Finally Nullify the Feds on Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is not a new issue for the Illinois legislature, but past failures to pass such a bill are not discouraging Rep. Louis Lang. The Democratic legislator re-introduced the idea for 2013 in the form of HB-1, known as Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act which is now in the Rules Committee.

Eighteen states already recognize the medicinal use of marijuana, but it remains illegal according to the federal government. This despite the fact that the Constitution delegates no power to the feds to regulate a plant grown within the borders of a state.

“The whole ‘war on drugs’ is blatantly unconstitutional. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “Basically, 18 states told the feds to go pound sand. They went ahead and did what their people wanted them to do regarding weed, despite the federal power grab. And that’s how it should work. States should simply tell the feds, ‘No!’ when the DC’vers overstep their constitutional authority. Kudos to all of the states with medical marijuana programs, and kudos to bold lawmakers like the folks in Illinois for attempting to stand up to the feds. It’s great to see Democrats hopping on the nullification bandwagon.”

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Maryland Liberty Preservation Act scheduled for a hearing

Without a peep, back on December 31, 2011 President Obama and Congress codified into “law” the authority to kidnap anyone anywhere and hold them under cloak of war for life. This year, the rising chorus of states against those “indefinite detention” powers outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides an alternate course for America to take – not to comply with unconstitutional federal actions.

Maryland is the latest of 15 states in 2013 to consider such a response, introduced as HB 558 the Liberty Preservation Act of 2013. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 21 at 1pm. The bill, authored by Delegate Don Dwyer, was first read to the Health and Government Operations Committee two weeks ago. HB 558 reads in part (PDF):

(B) A PERSON OR GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY MAY NOT KNOWINGLY AID
6 AN AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE DETENTION OF A PERSON IN
7 ACCORDANCE WITH §§ 1021 AND 1022 OF THE FEDERAL NATIONAL DEFENSE
8 AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012.

This Liberty Preservation Act of 2013 has attracted 10 co-authors, all Republicans. To pass the over 2/3 Democatic-controlled House of Delegates and State Senate coalitions will be essential. By the issue’s essence this is not a partisan bill. In a global war with no end, all Americans who dissents are vulnerable to US military capture. The Bill of Rights has never been so threatened as by the NDAA indefinite detention provisions. Consider the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments repealed de facto.

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TSA bill favorably received by Kansas House committee

As previously reported by Kelli Sladick, HB 2175 was introduced to the Kansas Legislature to limit TSA searches. Probable cause would be the new standard before public officials or employees could legally touch “the genitals, buttocks, anus or female breasts of suchperson, including touching through clothing.” There are also protections for children, prohibiting agents of the state from removing a child from the physical custody or control of the parent or guardian.

On Tuesday, February 12, after the Federal and State Affairs Committee heard HB 2175, author State Representative Brett Hildabrand tweeted:

Following hashtag “ksleg” on Twitter, @bradc25 reported Committee Chairman Arleen Siegfreid sensed support for the newly proposed TSA regulations. Committee member State Rep. J.R. Claeys seems at least open to such ideas as he tweeted:

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Upcoming Pennsylvania Bill: Sell Pot to Citizens for Education Budget

Marijuana is fully legal in Colorado and Washington while 17 other states allow medical exemptions or decriminalization that effectively nullifies federal prohibition. Now State Senator Daylin Leach wants Pennsylvania to be the third state to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol. What’s different from the other two is alcohol in Pennsylvania is exclusively sold in state-owned stores. Leach’s proposal has yet to be introduced as a bill, but it is already drawing debate and competition.

At the crux of the issue is the state education budget’s funding. While Governor Tom Corbett prefers privatizing the state liquor stores for around $1 billion, Senator Leach makes his “long-run” financial case on his website:

In addition to raising millions of dollars per year from tax revenue, Pennsylvania would save more than $325 million per year by legalizing marijuana. The most conservative estimates say the revenue generated by taxing the sales of marijuana would amount to at least $24 million per year.

Governor Corbett, a Republican, favors the status quo on marijuana prohibition, promising a veto. Senator Leach, a Democrat, favors the status quo on state-owned liquor stores. One wishes their bipartisan instincts would kick in for full privatization and legalization, but common sense only goes so far even at this promising point in the progressing push back against prohibition of marijuana. Tenth Amendment Center’s Communications Director, Mike Maharrey sees a clear path for Leach to take:

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Indiana SB-127 Would Limit Federal Arrest Power

The power to arrest for federal officials in Indiana may face limits this year should State Senator Dennis Kruse’s legislation SB-127, the Indiana Sherrifs First Act, becomes law. That would mean as Sec. 1(a) states,

“a federal employee who is not designated by state law to act as a state law enforcement officer may not make an arrest, a search, or a seizure in Indiana unless, before making the arrest, search, or seizure, thefederal employee obtains the written permission of the sheriff or the designee of the sheriff who has jurisdiction in the county in which the arrest, search, or seizure will occur.”

There are exceptions in Sec. 1(b) which you can read here. The feds retain arresting power in federal enclaves, when a crime is imminent or witnessed and requires immediate action, the subject of arrest is employed by the sheriff, or if a state law designates the federal employee as a state law enforcer.

On Monday, January 7 the bill was read then introduced to the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure. If it passes, the law would take effect July 1. One sheriff hopes to see such a difference made.

“This is the type of positive state legislation that will help reign in federal usurpations of our Constitution,” said Sheriff of Elkhart County, Brad Rogers. If you don’t remember the name, this is the sheriff who took on the FDA when they threatened dairy farmers in his jurisdiction. Rogers continues, “However, we the people still have an obligation to elect sheriffs who will uphold their oath of office. Otherwise, a law such as this won’t go far in protecting us from what it is designed to do.”

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