The Florida Supreme Court Justices and Pot




If the law was objective, and not personal philosophies, Supreme Court votes would always be unanimous and therefore you would only need one person and not seven or nine justices.

The truth is that discerning the meaning and application of the law is quite often an issue of jurisprudential philosophy masked as an objective analysis of the law.

Nothing says this better than the 4 to 3 decision to allow the voters to decide medical marijuana.

Three conservative Republican justices—ironically, all appointed by Charlie Crist, who supports the idea–Ricky Polston, Charles Canaday and Jorge Labarga, said that the language was so vague and/or confusing that it should not be allowed to go on the ballot.

A majority of the liberal-leaning court — Justices Barbara Pariente, James E.C. Perry, Peggy Quince and Fred Lewis. Two were appointed by Democrat Lawton Chiles. James E. C. Perry was appointed by Republican Jeb Bush, while Peggy Quince was appoined by Chiles and Bush — found no such confusion. They let it go to the people to decide.

Only an idiot would believe that this decision was an honest debate over syntax and vocabulary.  I read the 84-page opinion and they go back and forth about quoting Merriman-Webster and Steadman’s Medical Dictionary.  Total garbage!

The simple truth is that this was the latest battle in the culture wars. This one was masked in legalisms about the clarity of language.

I guarantee you, Polston, Canady and LaBarga believe that “Reefer Madness” is an objective documentary. Each sees himself as having their fingers in the dike, holding back a raging sea of sex, drugs and rock and roll — defending the cultural values of Ronald Reagan, “Ozzie and Harriet” and the world of the 1950’s.

The majority clearly sees the public mood on pot has changed in the same way that it has changed on gay marriage.  Therefore they don’t see it is there job to figure a way to keep this off the ballot.

In case you don’t agree you have to conclude that the same 4 to 3 would allow a ballot measure, with identical language, except that it said “methamphetamine” instead of “marijuana”.

As sure as the sun comes up in the east, there would have been a 7 to 0 vote to deny that proposition a place on the ballot.

Still not convinced? Imagine there was some ambiguity in an amendment that expanded gun rights or narrowed abortion rights.  You can bet your last dollar that Polston, Canady and Labarga would not have seen one millimeter of confusion.

The Supreme Court does not have the final say because it’s infallible.  It’s infallible because it has the final say.

Even if infallibility comes on a four-to-three vote.

2 Responses to “The Florida Supreme Court Justices and Pot”

  1. The Guess Who says:

    EC Perry was the last judge Crist put on the court.

  2. Fort Lauderdale Resident says:

    That’s not necessary. Methamphetamine is already a legally proscribed schedule II drug sold under the brand name Desoxyn.
    That is the real farce here.