Paula Gloria and Joe Barton on marijuana laws: Off with its head.
Apparently the cops had no warrant when they busted down’s door. Of course would be outraged. But Joe Barton and Paula Gloria aren’t really Libertarians – at least not the big L type. Most people aren’t as radical as Libertarians on right? Well perhaps you haven’t been far enough down the Rabbit Hole.
Note: Paula Gloria and Joe Barton will be the guest speakers at the Manhattan Libertarian Monthly Meeting, Next Monday August 8th, 2011. The meeting is free and all are welcome to attend. More Info here.
Here are some excerpts from my recent conversation with Paula and Joe.
Q: Please introduce yourself and tell us why Libertarians should be interested in your talk on Monday.
Paula: I’m actually not informed enough about Libertarian positions. I can make some comments about medical marijuana. We are for freeing all the prisoners. We are for upholding the. We are for due process. To have a grand jury indictment you should have a victim of a crime. Somebody should be able to say they have been hurt. We are the People. We are sovereign. We can do anything we want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else or prevent anyone else from exercising their rights.
Q: Can you give us a little background and tell us what the title of your talk means?
Paula: I’m the host of a show called “Farther Down The Rabbit Hole” which comes out daily at 12 noon on the community affairs channel on Manhattan Neighborhood Network. It goes to about 600,000 households. Four years ago I started posting some of the shows on and because of that I was able to get a lot of feedback from people. Blogging is a really exciting way to develop our understanding and become good members of society and in particular I started to learn about the power of our Constitution and the importance of our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
On Monday we will talk about “How to stand up vs run into machine gun fire”. The importance of standing up versus walking into machine-gun fire means if you’re trying to do something that’s very difficult to do and you have opposition like a police state you want to make sure you have the best power behind you. We feel we have the Constitution behind us and if people understand the Constitution and understand the importance of God-given inalienable rights, that power can transform machine-gun fire. It can convince people who are trying to fight you, that they really should be with you. We are all Americans. We may have different ways of exercising our rights which is how it was meant t be as long as they don’t hurt other people.
Joe: We believe we are becoming a police state. But rather than confront the police we prefer that people start taking their grievances to the courts and stand on constitutional issues. We are into supporting anybody who is standing up and protecting and defending the Constitution in court.
Paula: We support all marijuana reforms whose priority is to free the non-violent prisoners. We believe that the so-called marijuana laws are not even constitutional and if people understood how to argue in court they would win and the courts would do the right thing and uphold people’s inalienable rights.
Joe : the Constitution guarantees us the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and according to the Constitution only a crime that has a victim is really a criminal offense. Our legislators have gotten so out of hand, they’ve made so many laws that our prisons are full right now of citizens convicted of crimes with no victim. We need to wake people up and liberate our country. We need to take back the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and stop filling our prisons with nonviolent people who were convicted of victimless crimes. How can you have a crime when there’s no victim?
Q: What about court cases that support the federal government’s right to interfere in medical marijuana states?
Joe : Every person who goes to court should take a stand, and more people should support the people going to court. Go to court with them. Give publicity to anybody who is really taking a stand. As far as the rulings, what we need to do is have enough people wake up and speak up and even start writing to the Supreme Court. If a nationwide letter campaign was written by the , which the Libertarian party could probably get behind, get everybody to write letters to the Supreme Court saying “We are and you work for us. You are giving away our rights. You are selling out to big business. You took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution and we expect you to do that. You aren’t doing that when you protect government and corporations against the people.”
Paula: We fear that the medical marijuana laws are actually going increase regulation and if you increase regulation you have more government. We want less government and to free the prisoners. Half a million people are in jail now unconstitutionally. A felony is a very serious, horrible thing. The founding fathers understood that it would be an extreme case that you arrest somebody and that you would put somebody in prison, so when you start looking at false arrest and imprisonment you begin to see what’s happened is an atrophying of the Constitution. Special interests have raided the country. If people don’t understand their rights they can’t stand up for them in a timely way. You have to call the court’s attention to the fraud. Until you call fraud to the core court’s attention the court is not obliged to do anything. Once people understand their powers and our constitutional principles they can stand up and say “hey you judges, you swore and oath to protect our rights, you work for us, protect our rights”.
Q: Would you comment on Federal interference in medical marijuana states?
Joe: the Democrats and Republicans, all they do is pass power back and forth and the people keep losing more and more rights. Over the years Libertarians have asked me to help support them and the Green party asked me to support them. But one of my problems with all the politicians is the Republicans and Democrats are power mad and the Libertarians and the Greens really have no balls. They’re afraid to really go out on the edge. If the Libertarian party really wants to do something it’s got to get much more in touch with the people and much more radical. I don’t mean wild radical. I mean radical as far as taking on the Democrats and Republicans and really bringing the issues up. Don’t half step. Come out and say it.
Paula: You have the Constitution behind you there’s a great case, Shuttlesworth v Birmingham . If the state turns a liberty into a privilege, a citizen can engage in the right with impunity. One of the charges against Joe was growing marijuana without a license. A lot of people might say this is New York there is no license for growing marijuana. But our concern is, and we cite case law again, Murdoch v Penn , where the First Amendment right was upheld. The Supreme Court determined the state cannot convert a liberty into a privilege, license it and attach a fee to it. So Joe in arguing his case, is not saying give me a license. He is saying you don’t need a license to grow marijuana. And anybody has a right, in this case the right to grow marijuana under the right of a freedom of the pursuit of happiness. You can read all of our arguments. So these statutes that are not constitutional – the citizen can engage in the right with impunity. But the citizen has to know how to stand up in a timely way in court and not be tricked out of giving up his rights. Mostly when the courts uphold special interests over We the People, they do it through trickery and getting you in different jurisdictions.
In the case of the medical marijuana laws life might be given to somebody, a medical patient who otherwise without marijuana wouldn’t have life. But what about a law where you are taking the marijuana away from people who are illegally busted in order to provide that medicine? On one hand you’re saying it’s a crime (to have marijuana) and on the other hand government is confiscating marijuana with the intent to sell it to medical marijuana patients, which is stealing from growers so the government can profit. If government can distribute or license pharmaceutical companies government is stealing from the people for pharmaceutical profits and when they license pharmaceutical companies they incarcerate We the People for not having licenses. This is arbitrary, regulation against the people in favor of big business by gathering what supposed to be criminal to give it away to patients. Not give it away – I’m sure governments will have a big fee attached to it.
Q: Joe, what’s the status of your case?
Joe: there are two court cases. In the first one they came in with a knock warrant but they busted down my door anyway! The police trespassed on two occasions. After coming up a half mile driveway posted with many no trespassing signs, they came up on my porch and were looking in my window and sniffing at my door to try to smell marijuana so that they could get a warrant which is illegal. That case is on appeal right now. Then they came back again three years later. The police officer met my son on the porch said he smelled marijuana again and forced his way into the house without a warrant. We are going to court right now on that. When my son stepped out on the porch he told the cop you need a warrant but the cop forced his way in any way. They had us there for two hours out in the car in the winter with no coats on. Then they brought us to the police station for eight hours while they went and got a warrant to try to make good on coming in without a warrant, which under our Constitution is illegal.
Q: Do you see anything improving or any progress on the anti-prohibition movement?
Joe: The American people are so squeezed and the politicians have sold us out to big business and corporations. Look how many people are losing their homes while we bailed out the banks. We give billions of dollars to the banks while people are evicted, American citizens, from their homes. I see within the next year to two years you’re going to see the American people rise up like they never rose up before. Unless the Libertarian party really comes out and takes a real stand and is very active they are going to be left behind.
Paula: Let me read this from Norton v Shelby County .
“While acts of a de facto incumbent of an office lawfully created by law and existing are often held to be binding from reasons of public policy, the acts of a person assuming to fill and perform the duties of an office which does not exist de jure can have no validity whatever in law. An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed”
When my husband was talking about being radical the actual term is being constitutional. In a way the Constitution is a very radical document if you look in world history. Can we be great enough today so we can maintain it? That’s what I’m saying. When I read the case law that’s the Supreme Court in legal contemplation. It’s not the spin factor or hype, it is what our country is founded on.
Joe: When you talk about legalization, the government will legalize drugs and then they will say well you can’t get it on the street. The medical thing is a phony thing. The people will push for medical marijuana and the government will say you can’t consistently deliver the dosage. Then they will license it to pharmaceutical companies and anybody growing on their own will still be illegal and growing without a license and we will still have the prison state. So we want repeal of an unconstitutional law. Let it go back to what it was like before the law ever existed where anybody could grow it and it wasn’t regulated. Look at what is happening in Canada. Canada has medical marijuana but the medical marijuana patients we have talked to say the marijuana they get from the government is crap and doesn’t work in relation to their illnesses and they still have to go out on the street and buy so called “illegal” marijuana which works. If the marijuana laws were repealed the free market would produce the best quality.
The government says that people who grow or are selling marijuana are dealing drugs and they are criminals yet the government wants to license pharmaceutical corporations to deal the very same drugs which gives corporations rights and takes them away from the people and even on the statutory level violates anti-trust laws. The government protects corporate interests by violating the rights of the people which is clearly unconstitutional.
A flesh and blood human being with inalienable rights always trumps a corporation in court if the violated party stands up to become the belligerent claimant. We don’t trust the government to do what is best for medical patients or the people who grow marijuana. Here is an example, the mafia used to run numbers the government called them criminals and said they were immoral lock them up put them in jail. Then once the number runners were out of business the government started lotto saying that the profits would go to better schools. Here is how that turned out when you bet with the mafia if they said they would pay a hundred dollars they paid a hundred dollars. Now that the government is running numbers if they say you are going to win a million dollars they then tax it and they don’t pay a million dollars. As far as the lottery money going to schools our schools are worse now then ever before in spite of billions of dollars taken in by the government from lotto. Where has the money gone? We should have the best equipped schools in the world. Government created criminals out of the mafia who honored the rules of the game yet government pays half what they claim and the money doesn’t go to schools. Who is scamming who?
Related Legal Documents:
Please join us Monday August 8th for Paula’s and Joe’s talk with the Manhattan LP. The meeting is free. All are welcome. More info here.