Blog My random thoughts

June 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:18 PM

This Day in Future History

September 16, 2019:
It is an unforgettable scene. In what would otherwise be a sadly common standoff between the DEA and armed drug dealers, the arrival of local law enforcement adds increasing intensity to the situation. Sheriff Alvarez calmly steps out of her squad vehicle and kindly requests a DEA agent armed to the teeth to leave or face arrest for false imprisonment.

The tension in that moment was as strong as the cables on the recently finished Lower Bay Bridge. What sparked that brave police sheriff to step into a federal drug siege? The drug of choice for these dealers – marijuana. Since the general legalization of marijuana use in California in 2012, this scene was bound to happen. But it took a California Governor-turned-Presidential Candidate squaring off with the incumbent President and a general election only a month away for an old-school State versus Federal government standoff.

The governor recently ordered all state police to protect citizens from “unlawful” arrests by federal agents for any marijuana charge. To further complicate matters, each side of this tussle had a valid warrant ordering the other to back down. The DEA agents had a federal warrant, the sheriff had a state judge signed warrant. Supremacy Clause and federalism questions lead to a lengthy discussion between all involved. The thick air was finally broken by the drug dealers (or small business owners according to California code) voluntarily lowering weapons and agreeing to be taken into custody by the federal agents.

While this may happen again, it is bound to be a precedent setting case when it comes to trial. One man arrested swore he would take his fight to the California Supreme Court. Thankfully this episode ended peacefully, but there is no telling what might occur if there is no peaceful remedy next time.

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