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Apr-17-2010 13:17TweetFollow @OregonNews
Supreme ErrorErsun Warncke Salem-News.com Business / Economy Reporter
"I do not understand why, in our system of dual sovereigns, Oregon must fly only in federal formation and not, as Oregon's motto provides, 'with her own wings.'" - Justice Martha Lee Walter
(EUGENE, Ore.) - The Oregon Supreme Court has a long history of siding with out-of-State corporate interests against average Oregonians. The recent Emerald Steel decision, in which the court ruled that employers can fire medical marijuana patients, is the ultimate example of judicial activism by the Court against the people of this State.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act is the law of this State. It was passed by public referendum, and it cannot be overturned by seven monkeys-in-suits, sitting in a banana republic court in Salem.
There is a thing call majority rule. 611,190 citizens of this State voted in favor of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Seven justices in Salem cannot overturn it.
By declaring that employers can fire Medical Marijuana Patients the Oregon Supreme Court is attempting to bar the entire working population of this State from accessing a legal medical treatment.
This decision on the part of the Court was a grave error. It demonstrates contempt for democracy, the rule of law, the citizens of Oregon, and common sense.
Despite the majority of the Court, Justices Martha Lee Walter and Robert Durham stood up for what is right, and dissented from this deplorable opinion.
In her dissent, Justice Walter’s writes:
I do not understand why, in our system of dual sovereigns, Oregon must fly only in federal formation and not, as Oregon's motto provides, "with her own wings." ORS 186.040. Therefore, I cannot join in a decision by which we, as state court judges, enjoin the policies of our own state and preclude our legislature from making its own independent decisions about what conduct to criminalize.
I agree with the sentiment expressed here fully. I would only point out once again that this is not a decision of a legislature that is being overturned, but a decision of the people made by popular referendum, which is of a different nature entirely.
The majority opinion in this case has no basis in law. That opinion, written by Justice Rives Kistler, is nothing but a dimwitted exercise in sophistry that attempts to talk its way around the clear and evident meaning of the law as it is written.
The majority decision turns on whether or not medical use of Cannabis in Oregon is “illegal use of drugs.” ORS 659A.122, the defining statute, clearly states that “Illegal use of drugs ... does not include the use of a drug taken under supervision of a licensed health care professional, or other uses authorized under the Controlled Substances Act or under other provisions of state or federal law.”
There is no debate here. Medical use of Cannabis is not illegal drug use in the State of Oregon.
The Oregon Supreme Court decision here defies the law, defies logic, and defies the will of the voters of this State. This decision is an act of aggression by the judiciary against the people of this State and against our democratic form of republican government.
The judiciary and its enforcement arm have a long history of committing crimes in the name of drug prohibition. They are all guilty of assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, larceny, extortion, and a slew of other crimes related to their illegal enforcement of drug prohibition.
The people of this State have elected to rectify the errors of the legislature and the judiciary through the democratic process. Now the judiciary itself is rejecting the democratic process.
Let me draw attention once again to the contrast of 7 versus 600,000. If anybody who ratified this opinion is functioning above the level of a dog, they should be able to figure out that 7 old men do not dictate law to 600,000 free citizens.
On the contrary, it is the citizens of this State who make the law. They have spoken, and the law is that medical use of cannabis is legal.
The Supreme Court, the judiciary, and the legislature must all understand one simple rule: they serve the people of this State. That is their function. They are tools. If they fail in their function, then like any broken tool, they will be discarded and replaced.
Attempting to prevent sick people from accessing necessary medical treatments is perhaps the lowest and most contemptible conduct that could be imagined from a holder of public office. Tragically, this conduct has become the norm in a political process that is itself terminally ill.
While this decision may fall within the norms of the illegal drug prohibition regime that has been propagated over many decades, this decision is clearly unacceptable in view of present political realities.
The citizens of this State have legalized the medical use of cannabis, and the judiciary is in clear breach of their constitutional duty and authority. This situation demands redress, and the responsibility for this redress is shared by all branches of State Government.
The State Government has an opportunity now to reform its illegal drug prohibition laws by its own accord. If the State Government elected for internal reform, it might be able to avoid some culpability for the many crimes that have been committed in the name of drug prohibition.
As it is, a tiny minority continues to arrogantly defy the will of the people, refusing not only to institute reforms on their own behalf, but actively subverting the reforms passed by popular referendum.
If this behavior continues, the consequence will be that individual members of Government will be prosecuted for crimes committed in the name of drug prohibition. These crimes include a long list of serious felonies, to which can now be added Treason against the State, for this latest bald faced assault on the democratic process.
There is only one law in this State, and that is the law made by the democratic will of the people. The judiciary, and by extension the entire State Government, is in violation of that law. It is the responsibility now of those within the State Government who would like to avoid prosecution for their illegal activities to rectify this situation and bring their institutions into compliance with the law.
Salem-News.com Business/Economy Reporter Ersun Warncke is a native Oregonian. He has a degree in Economics from Portland State University and studied Law at University of Oregon. At a young age, his career spans a wide variety of fields, from fast food, to union labor, to computer programming. He has published works concerning economics, business, government, and media on blogs for several years. He currently works as an independent software designer specializing in web based applications, open source software, and peer-to-peer (P2P) applications.
Ersun describes his writing as being "in the language of the boardroom from the perspective of the shop floor." He adds that "he has no education in journalism other than reading Hunter S. Thompson." But along with life comes the real experience that indeed creates quality writers. Right now, every detail that can help the general public get ahead in life financially, is of paramount importance.
You can write to Ersun at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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