Monday, August 16, 2010

Truth & Rights in South Dakota

When we break the law, the government has the power to strip us of certain rights. In most cases, judges revoke rights by limiting our physical freedom - jail time or probation - but on occasion, judges can take away our first amendment rights, or freedom of speech. This is what happened to South Dakota NORML activist Bob Newland, who was not allowed to engage in "any public advocacy for Cannabis law reform," says Paul Armamento on the NORML blog, while on probation for marijuana possession. 

Now, after about a year of silence, Newland is once again a free man, and he's already on the job . The enduring activist published an op/ed piece in the Rapid City Journal a few days ago that discusses his legal plight in relation to the drug war, and it pulls no punches.
As for every politician who endorses prohibition, every judge who sentences someone for possession, every cop who arrests someone for possession; they all are awash in the blood of the 23,000 Mexicans who have been killed in the civil war over drug turf in Mexico during the past three years, and in the less visible detritus of the lives they have shattered senselessly.
Amid this carnage, there can not be found a shred of benefit, unless you count (I don't) employment for prison guards, cops, state's attorneys, judges, probation officers, and urine testers. We'd be better off if most of these people were forced into productive jobs.
Bring Medical Marijuana to South Dakota
When we stand for personal rights, sometimes it means breaking the law, and we have to be prepared to endure the consequences if we are convicted for doing so. But we cannot let such hardship hinder our cause. Like Newland, we must manipulate these experiences to fuel our cause.
SSDP's chapters in South Dakota are hard at work to help pass Measure 13 in South Dakota this November.

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