|Pot debate enters
April 7, 2003 Monday
The Times Union (Albany, NY)
A California think tank is giving "New York State of Mind" a whole
Amid the debate over marijuana, the Center for Cognitive Liberty &
Ethics, a nonprofit group devoted to the "right of each individual
to think independently and to use the full spectrum of his or her
mind," has thrown a new twist into the state's pot debate:
Criminalizing even the recreational use of marijuana is an assault
on free speech and free thought.
A report by attorney Richard Glen Boire, a CCLE analyst, says
anti-pot laws are "equivalent to prior restraint on consciousness,
an act even more disfavored under the First Amendment than a prior
restraint on speech."
Boire's report, sent to lawmakers, acknowledges the state's interest
in regulating people's behavior if it presents "a clear and present
danger to others," but said there is "no legitimate interest, and no
authority to limit the ranges of and types of consciousness that a
citizen is permitted to experience."
The report comes as lawmakers are considering a bill to legalize pot
for medical use, not as far as CCLE would like to go, but "an act of
compassion for sick and injured people," says the group.