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"This is no more about Marijuana than the Boston Tea Party was about Tea."


The Bill Of Rights

an excerpt from:
The Politics Of Consciousness
by Steve Kubby
(Loompanics Press)

lf ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animated contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

--Samuel Adams

American history, as it was taught to us, is a watered down, sanitized, fictional account, created by government-run schools. American history is not a bunch of old men, sitting around and having intellectual discussions. It's about young, long haired, radical patriots smuggling contraband, staging raids against their oppressors, bravely fighting for their liberty, and proclaiming across the land, "Don't Tread on Me." The founders of this country were not the sort of nerds and geeks you find today in the Republican and Democratic parties. They were more like the courageous heroes you'll find in Greenpeace. Our Founding Fathers were men of ideals, who were not afraid to fight to win their freedom. Like the brave Rainbow Warriors of Greenpeace, they did not hesitate to risk their necks to dramatize an important issue.

The Boston Tea Party is a great example of how our forefathers stood up to tyranny with tactics like those of Greenpeace.

If the Founding Fathers were alive today, they would never stand for the War on Drugs. Thomas Jefferson would immediately convene a war crimes commission to investigate and punish those responsible for the jailing of more than 600,000 Americans. Ben Franklin would be building homemade Patriot missiles. George Washington and his men would be using those Patriot missiles to blow DEA choppers out of the sky. Sam Adams would be preaching revolution on college campuses. Ethan Allen would be burning U.S. Customs boats. Thomas Paine would be writing books like this, and Paul Revere would ride up and down the Northern California coast, warning marijuana growers that, 'The Feds are coming, the Feds are coming!"

An exaggeration? Not at all; the men who founded this country believed that marijuana, which they called hemp, was critical to America. In Colonial America it was a crime NOT to grow hemp. Jamestown Colony, Virginia, ordered all farmers to grow hemp and later jailed those who didn't comply. Hemp was valued for its fiber, and its medicinal properties. Hemp allowed America to have its own colonial press, without having to beg for paper from England.

Our great revolutionary documents such as Common Sense, The Federalist Papers, The Declaration of Independence, and The Constitution were all printed on paper made from hemp. Science fiction writer and Ph.D. Robert Anton Wilson has suggested that because George Washington smoked pot, he was able to formulate non-linear military strategies that often surprised and bewildered the British Redcoats. Our American flag and even blue jeans were originally made from hemp. Marijuana, it turns out, is as American as apple pie. Nobody in your government-run school ever taught you these historical facts, did they?

The men and women who founded this great country fought many a brave battle to secure our liberties. Once the war was won, these patriots resolved to create a government that would be "of the people and by the people." Our government was established to be a servant of the people, not the other way around. The signers of the Constitution were deeply concerned about govemment getting out of control and added ten amendments to the Constitution for the express purpose of limiting the powers of the federal government. Let's take a closer look at the incredible document these men created to protect our rights from the abuses of government.

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights states:

The conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficient ends of its institution.

That's a clear message that government must not be allowed to grow too large or powerful. The ten amendments that compose the Bill of Rights were carefully worded to restrict the federal government and keep it a servant of "We, the People." Now let's examine each of the ten amendments and see how our present government has betrayed us and our Bill of Rights.

Article I tells the federal government to keep its hands off of certain rights:

ARTICLE I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Here, in plain English, we see that the government is not to make any law about religion, speech, press or assembly. But wait! Our government has all sorts of laws and rules about religion, speech, press and assembly. With regard to the sacramental use of visionary plants and potions, the First Amendment could not be any more explicit: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Needless to say, our government holds that only religions that conform to its standards are legal. For example, in 1990 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Oregon could deny unemployment benefits to a drug counselor fired for eating peyote in a religious ceremony. This is exactly what the First Amendment was meant to prevent.

Article II grants the right of the people to keep and bear arms:

ARTICLE II - A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Article II of the Bill of Rights grants the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This amendment clearly says this right "shall not be infringed." The 11-day siege in Idaho by 400 armed agents against one family and the massacre in Waco, Texas, of 24 children and 64 adults are both examples of government-sponsored terrorism. In both cases innocent people were killed in order to seize "unauthorized" firearms, in direct violation of our Constitution.

Article III prohibits the quartering of soldiers:

ARTICLE III - No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Until recently, under the Zero Tolerance laws, if the Feds wanted to use your house, all they had to do was seize it. Now, under new guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, the government must first charge you with a crime. Then they can seize your house, car, money and property. According to attorney Richard Glen Boire:

In addition to taking your cash and your car, the state and federal governments can take your home and real property. Because under the federal law cultivation of marijuana is a felony punishable by more than one year in prison, the federal governrnent can seize your home and real property if even a single Cannabis plant is found on the property. In other words, even if the marijuana was solely for your own personal use and not for sale, it can form the basis for property forfeiture under federal law.

Article IV grants us the right to privacy and security against unreasonable searches and seizures. Read this amendment carefully and judge for yourself whether or not it is being obeyed by our government:

ARTICLE IV - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirrnation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article lV says that we are supposed to be secure and not have to worry about searches and seizures, yet the government conducts searches all the time on the slightest of evidence. Our government seizes a billion dollars a year in homes, boats, planes and money, without ever filing a charge. Even more repugnant is the fact that the government often pays informants 25% of the seized assets to make allegations that are then used to obtain search warrants. The Supreme Court finally ruled in 1994 that someone's home could not be seized without their being charged with a crime and having a trial, but this ruling applies only to homes.

Article V grants citizens important rights if they are accused of a crime and specifically forbids the government from depriving us of property without due process of law:

ARTICLE V - No person shall be held to answers for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

This amendment is crystal clear, and yet the government violates it all the time. The IRS, DEA, and FDA are notorious for seizing property without due process. These government agencies seize first and ask questions later.

Once they seize your property, it is your job to go to court and try to plead your case. No due process here, you're guilty until proven innocent.

Drug testing, in criminal cases, clearly violates the Fifth Amendment, and yet the Supreme Court has ruled that this amendment applies only to testimony.

Article VI guarantees the right to speedy and public tnals:

ARTICLE VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

The founders of our country knew that if government passed bad laws, the people, themselves, must have the right to nullify laws by acquittmg those who break them, even if they are guilty as charged. That's why trlal by jury is so important and that's why it appears in both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

In practice, our trials take months, if not years. Why? Because the government-sponsored War on Drugs has overwhelmed the American justice system. Even the judges are complaining that our courts have become clogged with decent, law abiding citizens who had the misfortune to be caught with unauthorized drugs. Who has benefited from all this misery? Violent criminals and organized crime, that's who. Real criminals have had a field day, watching with glee as police, district attorneys and judges all grapple with a deluge of ordinary citizens caught up in a nasty web of surveillance, sting operations, seizures and arrests.

We are supposed to have impartial juries, but juries are no longer told they have the constitutional right to acquit if they think the law itself is wrong. This is one of the greatest weapons that our Founding Fathers used to oppose their tyrants-the right to nullify laws through the actions of a jury.

The founders of our country knew that if government passed bad laws, the people, themselves, must have the right to nullify laws by acquitting those who break them, even if they are guilty as charged. That's why trial by jury is so important and that's why it appears in both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers understood all too well the evils of men who violate the sanctity of our homes, our property and our God-given, unalienable rights

The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to trial by jury. If every citizen who is arrested in the War on Drugs insisted on a jury trial, this war would come to a screeching halt. Judges and politicians might decry this as anarchy, but our wise old Founding Fathers would call it by another name: Democracy.

Trial by jury is about the only way left for the people of this country to take back their power.

ARTICLE VII - In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

You have the right to a jury trial, but don't count on it. Expect the court to use excessive bails, fines and punishments to pressure you into pleading to a lesser charge Expect the judge to instruct the jury on how your motivation of special circumstance is not important-even though, under the Constitution, these facts are supposed to be judged as well as the law itself. Judges and district attorneys abhor jury trials and will stop at nothing to have you give up your constitutional nghts.

If every citizen who is arrested in the War On Drugs insisted on a jury trial, this war would come to a screeching halt. Judges and politicians might decry this as anarchy, but our wise old Founding Fathers would call it by another name: Democracy.

The Eighth Amendment specifically prohibits excessive bail, fines and punishrnent:

ARTICLE VIII - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The Founding Fathers would be shocked at the excessive bails, fines and punishments inflicted for the violation of our drug laws. Jailing people for ten years for a joint or seizing their homes and property is specifically forbidden by the eighth Amendment.

Finally, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments give to every American all rights beyond the Bill of Rights, including the right to get high. Read for yourself and see how you would interpret these last two amendments in the Bill of Rights:

ARTICLE IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

What this amendment says is clear-just because the Constitution has defined certain rights, that doesn't mean rights, which haven't been defined can be taken away.

ARTICLE X - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.

The Tenth Amendment has but one aim, to keep the federal government weak and to make the States and the People strong. The federal government is told, in no uncertain terms, that it only has the powers that are specifically delegated to it by the Constitution.

The Constitution was not written to be interpreted by judges or law professors. Far from it, the Constitution was written by and for "We, the People." Don't be fooled into thinking you need an expert to tell you what your rights are under our Constitution. Don't be fooled into believing Congress or the President, or the Supreme Court is the final judge of whether or not a law is unconstitutional, because that judgment must ultimately be made by our fellow citizens when they sit on juries. That's when "We, the People" get to decide if a law is good or bad.

Our Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to spell out what the federal government can and cannot do. We have seen how our government is openly defying our Bill of Rights. Now you must decide. Will you continue to support unconstitutional laws or will you act to uphold and defend the Constitution?

Some may argue that the federal government is already too big and powerful and that it would be suicide to try to oppose it. So what? Our Founding Fathers weren't afraid to take on the British Empire. The men who founded our country showed courage in the face of overwhelming superiority. Can we do any less? Don't we have a duty as Americans to oppose the kind of tyranny that our founders fought for? And don't we also have a duty to our children to hand a free country over to them?

Sam Adams understood. He knew that liberty is an animated contest between tyrants and patriots,. Will you fight for liberty or will you "crouch down and lick the hands that feed you?" The choice is yours.