Federal-Raids Lawsuit: Who Will Help?

by Attorney Timothy Baldwin
approx. 900 words

Let’s get this out of the way first: I do not use marijuana and I do not have any financial or personal interest in it. In fact, as an attorney who defends those charged with crimes, I would benefit by marijuana not being legal. Yet, I am neck-deep in fighting for the rights of those who use or sell marijuana under the laws of the state of Montana because I see the issue as being constitutional governance and liberty, not personal or social morality. As I discussed in a recent article, The Bureaucracies That Marijuana Feeds , I believe governments’ treatment of marijuana strongly suggests they are biased, illogical and self-serving. As a side note to clarify a mistake in the article above, there was in fact a Montana bill (HB 175) introduced by Rep. Keith Regier which would have placed the repeal of the Medical Marijuana Act into the hands of the citizens where it originated. I commend Rep. Regier and those legislators who recognized this need, as opposed to SB423 effectively repealing the Medical Marijuana Act by unilateral legislative action, which I believe violates Montana’s constitution. I (getting back to the point of this article) see governments’ attack on marijuana’s legal use as a means to a much bigger end than the “war on drugs”. I believe it is a “war on the individual’s and state’s sovereignty”.

Unfortunately, even state officials either do not recognize the federal government’s usurpation of constitutional power or do not care and choose to jump on the “war on drugs” bandwagon for whatever reasons they find justifiable. I, however, hold what I believe to be the correct constitutional position on both a state and federal level. That is, (1) the people of Montana (and any state) have the right to choose for themselves (see, popular sovereignty, Art. 2, Sec. 1; Art. 3, Sec. 4&5; Art. 5, Sec. 1, Mont. Const. [1972]) how they will treat their bodies and how they will seek their own medical treatment (as long as it does not violate the rights of others—put differently: with freedom comes responsibility), and (2) the federal government has no authority to circumvent the State’s right in that regard (see, federalism; Amend. 10, U.S. Const.).

To that end, I filed a federal lawsuit on May 10, 2011 on behalf of several medical marijuana caregivers operating under the laws of the State of Montana against the federal government for 26 raids they conducted against the citizens of Montana on March 14, 2011; and because they have conducted further raids since I filed this suit, I will be including those raids as well in this action, as well as additional plaintiffs.

To me, it is shameful that no person within Montana’s executive branch of government seems to have denounced the federal raids as unlawful and sought political and legal redress for this disregard of constitutional rule of law. One would think, of all persons interested in ensuring the power of the State is protected as inviolable it would be the political branches of state government. Yet, these state officials literally hide behind the U.S. Constitution to justify their indifference to the very principles which formed the constitution.

Evidently, James Madison was incorrect in his premise for ratifying the U.S. Constitution when he said, “[The federal government will] be disinclined to invade the rights of the individual States, or the prerogatives of their governments” (Federalist Paper 46). And apparently Alexander Hamilton’s description of a free republic needs to be looked at more closely: “in republics strength is always on the side of the people[.] [T]here are weighty reasons to induce a belief that the State governments will commonly possess most influence over them” (Federalist Paper 31).

Both presumptions are now seen by many in both state and federal government to be extreme and radical concepts, supposedly outside constitutional government. Anymore, the federal government IS inclined to invade the rights of the individual states, strength IS NOT on the side of the people, and State governments possess NO influence over how the federal government treats them. In essence, the “republics strength” is gone, given Hamilton’s understanding (perhaps the most influential man in getting the U.S. Constitution ratified). And it will not return until the people of the states and the politicians within the states recognize the federal government’s actions for what they are: unconstitutional, null, void and worthy to be treated as such: “these will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such” (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 33).

I know of patriots who see marijuana as only being a moral ill and thus worthy of all ill-treatment. While I do not judge them in their personal view regarding its morality, I implore them to see reality as it affects liberty. If the federal government can treat citizens of Montana in such a manner without regard to the laws of the State, then it matters not what the subject matter is: they will trample upon whatever right they feel is inconvenient or impeding their interests at the time. The next one could be your pet right. We better stand together to resist unconstitutional federal actions, or there will be no one around to support yours when they are trampled. Or as Benjamin Franklin put it, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

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9 Responses to “Federal-Raids Lawsuit: Who Will Help?”

  1. WillieG1951 Says:

    Another excellent article Mr. Baldwin, while I as well am not a user of marijuana. I have no problem if someone else uses it, and with the apparent medical uses of it. I see it as a partially moral issue, and partially a money issue.

    None the less I do agree with you on there being no leadership to respond to the medical marijuana raids in Montana. It would seem to me to be politically expedient, or they fear the Federal Government for some other reason. The Federal Government once again has it backwards. . The states created the Federal Government, not the other way around, and until the states wrest control back from this monster we have created, who is safe from their ever encroaching reach?

  2. Caleb Says:

    As a Christian, Patriot, a Veteran, and a Father to 4 children, I am appalled at the total ignorance shown by Montana Legislators with regards to the Federal Raids and the Constitution that they swore an Oath to support.

    I took an Oath in 1985, served 8 Honorable years in the Army National Guard keeping that Oath, and stand by my Oath today. BUT I do not stand by any Usurper in any Public office. In fact I stand on the side of the Constitutional- “We The People” government in both State and Federal branches!

    I saw the Berlin Wall come down in my day, the decline of the “U.S.S.R” in Europe, and the prosperity of the United States of America grow to THE Super Power.

    BUT what I see today is shocking. I see the increase of Socialism in the highest offices of our ONCE great nation. I see State’s Government bow the knee to the Federal Government’s whims just so they can have the POWER and kiss the Federal Hands that dole out the MONEY.

    Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.” I am a good man by the grace of Jesus Christ! I will not fail my children during these days of struggle for Liberty and Justice. I will give my last breath to see my children, your children, all Americans, and the next generations’ children and Americans, FREE!

    After all, is that not what The Founding Fathers of 1776 did for us? Then we can do no less.

    See you at The Liberty Tree or on The Green!

    Bible and Sword!

  3. Wilton Says:

    You’re fighting the good fight. The arguments in your complaint are well-rooted in the Constitution and the Founders’ blueprint. If the federal government seeks to wage a war on drugs, then a constitutional amendment is absolutely necessary, just as it was with Prohibition.

    The very fact that Montana can and does regulate marijuana proves that the federal government cannot, for the 10th Amendment makes state power and federal power mirror images of each other, i.e., complete opposites. State power is presumptive and open-ended, but federal power is enumerated and limited.

    Unfortunately, the modern Supreme Court believes not only that the federal government may duplicate and subsume state functions, but also that amendments are unnecessary because a vote of five can change the supreme law of the land for hundreds of millions. It’s a disgrace. I won’t lie and tell you that your complaint has a good chance of succeeding. I will tell you that you should be proud for drawing attention to the perfidy that our system of laws has fallen into. Ultimately, we will have to seek justice in our own corners of this country, for none will be found in the federal monstrosity.

  4. CR Says:

    You are absolutely correct, Tim. The majority of our entrenched legislators, both state and federal, are living in the old paradigm of doing what they damn well please. Just look at all the sponsored legislation in 2011 attempting to limit the rampant statism in Montana that was shot down by the legislators or vetoed by our statist governor. How has this happened? Via the complacency of their constituents. The people have to be shaken into awareness of the reality that we are like the frog being cooked slowly in the pot. The water is pleasantly warm for awhile, which adds to the temptation of complacency. But, people, the statists are turning up the heat and are destroying our sovereignty. The water is starting to boil. Time to jump out of the pot and take action against the status quo or else become boiled dead meat. What kind of assistance would you like, Tim, in the fight against tyranny?

  5. CC Says:

    Justice is dead in America. The system has been “stacked” against the people. Only God can fix the mess that un-regenerated man has made of this world now. Who can make war with the beast? Satan is running amuck yet for a little while in this world, and his way is, and always has been, that of force, cheating, lying, murdering, and deceiving – not to mention IN-justice. Satan’s ways are the mirror image of God’s ways. He calls good evil and evil good, guilty, not guilty, and not guilty guilty, and this upside down and backwards method of “justice” is the standard by which our courts are deciding cases today. The closer to the “midnight hour” it gets, the worse things are going to become. We all need to pray like never before. Rev 3:10 is what I am holding on to. And NEVER FORGET Rev 13: 9-10! God help us, and pray for miracles. Lord knows…we are going to need them, because LAWLESSNESS IS CURRENTLY ABOUNDING and will continue to abound until the end.

  6. Ed Bland Says:

    I wrecked my bike on 08-30-2008 giving me an 87 day coma, mass bones broken & killing front left of my brain. Eating cannabis is the only thing that has helped bring my memories back. Stroke victoms should be eating to help brain, & Montana is 70% that is 50 & above !
    The GOV. does not reconize this as a medicine & it is all over $$$$. Stroke victoms could be getting a way faster recovery which would be less $ out in health ins. pay outs !

  7. Caleb Says:

    The one thing that the GOVT counts on is that the Sheeple will always divide on minor issues to prevent a cohesive unit of dedicated response to the usurpation of States and Individuals Rights.

    I believe that we should be prepared to do whatever it takes and spend as much as it takes to accomplish the goal of Liberty and Justice for ALL. If false starts and confusion in trying to organize this fight, causes hard feelings and frustration, then forget about it and go about your business. There are many people that have dedicated hundreds of hours and many more hundreds of dollars without an expectation of return to fight for Liberty and Justice for you and them. So let’s just move forward and forget the whining about what was an unintentional mistake. Shall we!

    Bible and Sword!

  8. Tom Hamilton Says:

    Marijuana from puff “1 builds up in the kidneys and does not get processed out, as does alcohol from the liver, a resilient organ.
    Nobody tells society that, too bad…

  9. Timothy_Baldwin Says:

    good to hear from Wilton–a scholar and gentlemen.

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