It sounds like a bad line from an old episode of the Dukes of Hazzard, but the Sheriff in this case isn’t Roscoe and Boss Hog isn’t the one spewing anti-American bile. Instead, it’s Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County.
“Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes,” Baca said at a news conference today. The Sheriff says he and his deputies will continue enforcing current marijuana law, even if Proposition 19 changes it.
He claims to have the authority to do this based on his judgment that the proposition is unconstitutional. An interesting take, since his oath of office required him to “uphold and defent it” not “decide what it says.”
Of course, all of this is for our own good, according to Baca. He’s afraid of the “far-reaching repercussions” of marijuana’s legalization, such as increased traffic accidents (despite studies showing MJ does not negatively affect driving) and workplace disputes over safe workplaces (see this argument spelled out and discussed here).
Baca claims that his department targets the “dealers,” not the “users.” My question to the sheriff is where the users are supposed to get their (in this hypotehtical post-Prop 19 world, perfectly legal) marijuana from if there are no dealers. Obviously the LA County Sheriff’s department also considers growers to be dealers and raids them as well.
Maybe, in Baca’s dreamy world of constitutional delusion, the ready-to-use bud just appears magically. Maybe it’s the Tooth Fairy’s side job. Of course, that would make her a dealer too. Uh-oh. Millions of kids are about to have their world destroyed by the sheriff when he busts the Tooth Fairy for trafficking. I guess now we know what pixie dust is really made of. Eh?
According to Baca’s twisted logical train, local law enforcement should ignore local laws and go with the federal law instead. By that measure, medical marijuana isn’t legal either. On the other hand, the sheriff and his department will have to stop enforcing vehicle emissions stickers and smog rules, HOV lane access restrictions, and more because none of those are on the federal books either.
In fact, there are hundreds of California laws that the sheriff will have to stop enforcing and demand that other enforcement agencies do the same. Since those aren’t federal laws.
Sorry, Sheriff. Last time I checked, the people of Los Angeles County, CALIFORNIA paid your salary. Not the federal government. Maybe you should stop kidding yourself and move to Washington, D.C. and get a job at the DEA where you belong. They love jackboots in Treasury and DHS.
Sheriffs are elected by the people of their county. I think it’s time the people of LA County let Mr. Baca know that and tell him to find a new line of work.
On a side note, I guarantee that if I could find a study that shows that marijuana cures male pattern baldness, Baca would turn a 180 and be all in favor of Prop 19. I’ll let you know what I find.
[source LA Times Blogs]