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Voting For Legalized Pot Would Cost Taxpayers

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
In this upcoming election, the citizens of Hailey will be able to vote on four initiatives proposed by the Liberty Lobby, a group led by Ryan Davidson of Garden City, Idaho. Any initiative passed by the voters will become the law of the city of Hailey. The four initiatives are entitled The Hailey Industrial Hemp Act, The Hailey Lowest Police Priority Act, The Hailey Medical Marijuana Act and The Hailey Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance. I will not debate whether marijuana or hemp should be legalized. But as the Hailey city attorney, I just want the voters to be aware of the potential financial costs of these measures.

State and federal laws prohibit the use, possession and distribution of marijuana and hemp. Any local law, such as an initiative adopted by the voters, will be subject to a challenge that the local law is pre-empted by either state or federal law. The courts have clearly decided that a municipal law pre-empted by state or federal law is unconstitutional and invalid. If any or all of these four initiatives are passed by the voters, then I would expect a court challenge. The defense of any of these initiatives would subject Hailey taxpayers to potentially significant attorney fees and costs.

Mr. Davidson presently has two lawsuits pending against Hailey. The first lawsuit, filed in December 2004, seeks $44,000 in alleged damages in federal court because Mr. Davidson claims he did not receive promised compensation from a marijuana advocate group. The second lawsuit, filed in September 2007, seeks to declare portions of Hailey's Initiative Ordinance unconstitutional and to declare actions of the city clerk unlawful. Even after Mr. Davidson was successful in securing 17 signatures on his initiatives, Mr. Davidson is still pursuing the second lawsuit. In the second lawsuit, Mr. Davidson has announced his intention to "circulate other petitions in Hailey, as well as in other cities ( particularly in Blaine County ) that have identical initiative processes." When you vote on these measures, please consider that Hailey taxpayers may be paying the price for these and other proposed measures.

Source: Idaho Mountain Express (ID)
Copyright: 2007 Express Publishing, Inc
Contact: letters@mtexpress.com
Website: mtexpress.com | News, Sports, Arts, Events, Calendar and Classifieds for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey, Bellevue, Carey and Blaine County, Idaho - Idaho Mountain Express Newspaper - mtexpress.com
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