By P J Klosinski
“Section 1. WE DECLARE, That all people are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that all power is inherent in the people; and that all free governments are, and of right ought to be, founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and well-being. For the advancement of these ends, the people have, at all times, an indefeasible right to alter and reform their government.”
The individual inalienable right to life must be one of self-determination. The means by which each determines to maintain their life is fundamentally one of property rights. As sole owners of our own being the right to exercise dominion over our own life includes determining health care needs. A republic has a written constitution protecting inalienable rights from the government even if that government acts upon the will of the masses. Black’s Law Dictionary 6th ed defines a constitutional right as “A right guaranteed to the citizens by the United States Constitution and state constitutions and so guaranteed as to prevent legislative interference therewith.” Is it not the right of the individual to determine their quality of life and how to maintain it without permission from the government?
As each individual is born with the survival instinct what would the ordinary individual believe is the meaning of the inalienable right to life? Does it mean an individual has the right to life determinations only if they obtain a license from Indiana? Do you see any such condition on your right to life? That right to determine medical care for your quality of life has been held hostage through legislative interference known as laws.
The Rule of Law for Indiana is contained in the hierarchy of Law beginning “The law governing this state is declared to be: First. The Constitution of the United States and of this state. Second. All statutes of the general assembly of the state in force, and not inconsistent with such constitutions.” This defines the oath of elected officials plainly stating laws cannot be inconsistent with the constitutions.
SB 255 is government defining who and for what purpose, an illegal substance known as marijuana can be used for medical use. But, this bill is nothing new this legislation has been attempted in the past. And it still is confronted by the fact that Indiana has determined the illegality of a substance without any authority granted in the Indiana Constitution in violation of “Section 25. No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.” State Senators and Representatives take a Constitutional Oath which states: “ Every person elected or appointed to any office under this Constitution, shall, before entering on the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and also an oath of office.: (Indiana Constitution Article 15 Section 4).”
Since the Indiana Constitution delineates exactly the duties and limits of elected officials why are laws passed by these elected persons which violate their Oath, the Constitution and the Law of Indiana?
SB 255 “Establishes a medical marijuana program (program), and permits caregivers and patients who have received a physician recommendation to possess a certain quantity of marijuana for treatment of certain medical conditions”. Your physician determines marijuana will give you relief to live your life while controlling your pain, simple, right? Wrong!
First Indiana “Establishes the department of marijuana enforcement (DOME) as a state agency to oversee the program, and creates the DOME advisory committee to review the effectiveness of the program and to consider recommendations from DOME.”
A DOME Advisory Committee is established. This newly created committee has 4 voting members and 5 non-voting members. These members are appointed by the speaker and minority leaders of the House, president pro tem and minority leader of the Senate, the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue, the Director of the Department of Agriculture, and the State Health Commissioner. Each member of the advisory committee is entitled to receive specified compensation.
Sec.7. Provides authority to the advisory committee which “shall do the following: Review rules adopted by DOME. Review legislative proposals suggested by DOME. Evaluate the medical marijuana research and development program under IC 7.1-9-5. Evaluate the operation of the medical marijuana program. Consider any other matter that has bearing on the operation of the medical marijuana program.”
A New Article 8 MEDICAL MARIJUANA defines all the components of this privilege to be granted to only a few individuals. Statutory definitions would include: adequate supply for treatment, Medical marijuana card, Qualified patient, and Treatable medical condition all mandated by the government.
SB 255 places DOME in charge of the determination for medical treatment use of marijuana, not the individual and not the physician. Under this bill, a person Dome determines to be a “Qualified patient” under the defined covered treatable medical conditions which includes specified conditions and “Any other illness or condition determined by DOME to be a treatable medical condition.” must apply to DOME to receive a medical marijuana card. That application must include a physician recommendation, verification that the physician is licensed, and compliance with any other rule adopted by DOME. In addition, the bill “Authorizes DOME to grant research licenses to research facilities with a physical presence in Indiana.”
The application will be denied if among other things the applicant does not meet the criteria required by DOME. The card can be good for up to two years or shorter if the physician expressly recommends a shorter period. DOME may charge a reasonable fee up to $100 to apply for a card. There is a section specifying the quantity of marijuana allowed to be possessed and a penalty for fraud.
The DEPARTMENT OF MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT is in charge of administering the medical marijuana program. DOME will be:” the DOME committee consisting of four (4) commissioners who shall direct and oversee the operation of DOME who are appointed by the governor; the executive director; and other employees necessary to carry out the duties of DOME. Each commissioner will be compensated with a minimum salary per diem and reimbursement for traveling and other expenses actually incurred in connection with duties. In order to be appointed a commissioner must meet certain qualifications defined in SB 255. DOME shall have the power to employ all necessary employees, determine their duties, and, subject to the approval of the DOME committee and the budget agency, fix their salaries. In addition, DOME is given all the authority of an administrative agency including establishing the program, and adoption of all necessary rules to implement the program.
Sections of IC 35-48-4 are amended to provide defense to an action or prosecution for qualified individuals for possession of an instrument in violation of the code and possession of specified substances in violation of code.
The Constitutions have not mandated that government has authority to determine the quality of life that an individual has the right to maintain unless government provides approval following a qualification and licensing process. This bill would help some individuals who are willing to become compliant with government in order to receive relief from unbearable medical conditions. However, because of the limits of qualified conditions, it fails to comply with the Indiana Constitution “Section 23. The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”
And this bill does nothing to defend the Qualified individual in yet another Right guaranteed protection by the Constitutions. The Right to self-protection through the ownership and carrying of a firearm is automatically denied. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court decision that just by having a medical marijuana card precludes an individual from keeping and bearing arms. Findings were based not only on the federal laws that still make marijuana users criminals even if the individual resides in a state where medical marijuana is legal but also on an “open letter” from ATF stating the federal prohibition from allowing the firearm sale to be completed.
So you could receive relief from a debilitating medical condition but because the federal government considers marijuana an illegal substance you are not allowed to provide yourself with protection. In a Republic, limits have been placed upon government such as those found in the Indiana Constitution. Those limits of government authority protect inalienable rights of the individual which cannot be taken away by government action. The right to Life and the quality of that life is not the possession of any entity except the individual. Life is a right, not a government qualified for compliance privilege. The minority of one is not required to rely upon government permission to sustain or protect one’s self.