Sheriff scoffs at the popular vote
The legalization of marijuana is an issue that continues to create one of the more bizarre shows put on by our country. While many Americans may be concerned with a question of moral judgment, come Nov. 2, it would seem that the more pressing issue presented by all this, should be one of civil liberties. Recently Los Angeles County Sherriff, Lee Baca, has clearly voiced his opinion, making his stance on Prop. 19, well-known. "Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes," Baca told reporters in a news conference this past week.
While it may seem like the ranting of a lone cowboy, hoping to create his own brand of justice, it becomes more complicated when the Obama Administration's position parallels these exact sentiments. The White House recently stated that it will, "vigorously enforce" marijuana laws, even if the measure passes.
As a result the problem has now shifted from a controversial vote, to a violation of civil rights, which compromises the political system that this country was founded upon. Regardless of your position on Proposition 19, if the Obama Administration, or any government agency, is to sidestep the law, decided by a popular vote, it will essentially undermine everything that country stands for.
The Declaration of Independence was written in response to the oppression forced upon this country's early settlers, by a tyrannical leader on a power trip, refusing to acknowledge the rights of the people. As a result, this document opens with the statement, "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." Of these rights, the right to vote and the right for our government to recognize and follow the decision of its people, despite personal, moral objections, is of key importance.
These very same thoughts were echoed after the Federalists passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, when once again Jefferson, along with James Madison, wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, after feeling that the rights of the American people were being compromised by the wishes of the ruling body. "Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force," the document states.
In a day and age when people are constantly disputing the wishes of the Founding Fathers, as it relates to the modern-day challenges facing our country, It would seem a no-brainer that our God-given civil liberties should dictate policy. If any body, government agency or otherwise, steps in to nullify our democratic right to vote, it would not only be an injustice, but begs the question: where will they stop?
If our established right to certain civil liberties is not upheld, defended and fought for, and the American people let this one slide, whether due to apathy or bias, it will only serve to set a dangerous precedent for the future governance of morally contentious issues.
Same-sex marriage, abortion, and the rights of illegal immigrants are just a few of the difficult questions that Americans are faced with today. Each hangs in the balance awaiting voter support. While Sheriff Baca may feel highly principled and virtuous in his personal pursuit of justice, so have the many men before him who only ended up assisting in the downfall of earlier societies and civilizations.
By supporting a system that rejects popular opinion in favor of totalitarian rule, we are supporting a form of fascism. To reject the very foundation of democracy brings into question every decision our country has made to this point.
Now, more than ever, we need to support our inalienable rights as our country attempts to evolve and adapt to the changing times. Without our naturalized "rights" and "freedoms" what do we have left? Apparently a bunch of pissed off police officers and ballots that are inconsequential. Then again, it won't be the first time, right Florida?