Skip to comments.Alaska Libertarians file suit over rejected hemp initiative
Posted on 02/20/2003 10:10:34 AM PST by freepatriot32
Alaska Libertarians and other anti-drug war activists have filed a lawsuit against the state's lieutenant governor for rejecting an initiative to decriminalize hemp.
On January 28, the Free Hemp in Alaska (FHA) organization filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Anchorage to force the state to place the initiative on the August 2004 ballot.
In the lawsuit, FHA attorney Ken Jacobus argued that initiative backers filed enough signatures to qualify the measure, even though they failed to follow all of the state's record-keeping rules.
"Why disenfranchise thousands of voters?" asked FHA Chair Scot Dunnachie. "Maybe it's because the lieutenant governor is afraid of letting the democratic process work."
If passed by voters, the initiative would legalize hemp farming and end the prosecution of adults for marijuana offenses. It would also allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol or tobacco.
FHA activists had turned in 51,000 signatures -- compiled into 484 petition books -- on November 14, 2002. According to state law, only 28,782 signatures are required to qualify an initiative.
However, Lt. Governor Loren Leman notified the FHA on January 14 that the initiative had been rejected, saying the state Division of Elections could not verify 194 of the 484 petition books. That left the FHA 7,045 signatures short of the legal requirement.
The Division of Elections said the FHA did not file so-called accountability reports with the 194 rejected petition booklets. The reports identify the person who circulated the petitions contained in that booklet.
But the FHA argued in its lawsuit that such accountability reports have been rendered moot by the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Originally, sponsor accountability forms were important because they let initiative backers know if anyone circulating a petition was not a registered voter," said Alvin A. Anders, the FHA treasurer and past LP candidate for lieutenant governor.
"But in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court in Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation ruled that you did not have to be a registered voter to petition your government," he said. "This ruling makes sponsor accountability forms a waste of taxpayer money, a waste of election officials' time, and a ridiculous reason to disenfranchise thousands of voters."
In addition, the Constitutional right to petition the government trumps the state's requirement for accountability reports, argued Jacobus.
"When you balance this Constitutional right against an administrative requirement, the Constitutional right wins," he said.
Had the Division of Elections checked the remaining 194 petition books, the initiative would have almost certainly qualified, since the other petitions had a validity rate of 78%, said Anders.
That's why "voters should be given the chance to decide," said Tim Hinterberger, the primary sponsor of the initiative and an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska (Anchorage.)
Listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Hinterberger, Anders, and Dunnachie.
Are you still for the unfetterred access to herion for 12 year olds?
Aren't most of you guys against the war, but still have the nerve to ask us to help legalize your dope ?
It's always fun to see such a ham-handed application of the strawman argument.
Tonight at 6pm on RadioFR! Interviews with Grover Norquist, John Hager and Michael Zak! Plus, Doug from Upland interviews Ted Hayes, homeless advocate and strong supporter of military action in Iraq!
I guess the "rules" are just for those who don't get high
Gee, Cultural Jihad, he didn't need to use the search function. You see, he knew perfectly well that the EXACT same story was already posted to a previous thread, as freepatriot32 himself had already posted to that thread here.
I'm not sure how many picked up on the irony and hypocrisy of the Libertarian position in the above story, so let me highlight it for those of you who missed it.
They claim their initiative to legalize pot commerce should have been placed on the ballot. They cite as authority a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found certain provisions of the U.S. Constitution should overrule state law and thereby force the state to allow non-registered persons to gather signatures for state-wide initiatives.
Here's the hubris and duplicity...
In order to get their initiative on the ballot, the Libertarians are running to court to argue that whenever provisions of the U.S. Constitution conflict with state law, that the Supremacy Clause should control and the Constitution wins. "What Tenth Amendment? We don't need no stinkin' Tenth Amendment!"
(You read that right, folks. That is the LP, the Party of Principle, arguing for the supremacy of federal rights over state rights!!! But wait, it gets better...)
Now if they are ever successful in passing their initiative to engage in the marijuana trade and the DEA comes 'round knocking, the Libertarians will be the first ones running back to the same court to argue the very opposite argument, that whenever provisions of the U.S. Constitution conflict with state law, that the Tenth Amendment should control and state law wins. "What Supremacy Clause? We don't need no stinkin' Supremacy Clause!"
Well, which one is it, Libertarians? Does the Supremacy Clause trump the Tenth Amendment, or not? I guess it just depend on the meaning of "is", right?
Who's kidding who, here? The Libertarian Party, the "Party of Principle", the party that champions the Tenth Amendment and "states rights" more than any other party, is also the leading culprit in the effort to trample and destroy the Tenth Amendment and states rights!
In applying the First Amendment to the Colorado elections law, SCOTUS applied a very strained (imo) view of how the state law might potentially impact freedom of speech with the requirement that persons gathering signatures must be registered voters.
What's the next logical extension of that free speech argument? SCOTUS forcing the states to allow non-registered persons to sign the petitions? Or even forcing states to allow non-registered persons to vote? And all in the name of free speech? Pardon my French, but that's just pure BS.
But perhaps more importantly, will the Libertarian Party champion those cases too?
That would fit with the LP's open borders stance.
And as an interesting sidelight to this battle will be the fact that while reasonable minds could argue whether Alaska's farmers were engaged in intrastate or interstate commerce, there is simply NO question as to the authority of Congress to control all aspects of international commerce. And the only way to get pot out of Alaska is by travel through international airspace, international waters or through Canada. And as they say, that's a gotcha.
So take your best shot LP, it'll make for a great show!
R: "That would fit with the LP's open borders stance."
Good grief! What have I done? File this one under "be careful what you ask".
The article says FHA brought the lawsuit. The title says Libertarian Party brought same. What gives?
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