To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bong Hits 4 Jesus: My Blackout Lifted

Though Rob touched on the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case, and Jacob Sullum has a nearly flawless take on it today, I thought I'd share my thoughts. I've been silent on it because... well, because I had to. Two weeks ago, as part of the competitive audition process involved in writing for a law journal at school, I (and probably 150 or so of my classmates) each paid $25 to pick up a brutal, 400-page stack of Bong Hits 4 Jesus case history and other related cases, law review articles, news clippings, and assorted nasty bits.

The very severe rules for the competition, which involved writing a case note (which is pretty much a 50/50 text/endnote law article), were pretty much like those imposed on someone serving on a jury in a high profile case -- we were prohibited from looking for, looking at, listening to, talking about, overhearing, or even sniffing any outside sources, including classmates. Thus, I've been on a strict news blackout -- at least as pertains the BH4J -- for two weeks. That all changed last night when, bleary-eyed, I turned in my paper at 9:47pm, thirteen minutes before the deadline.

Since I've determined that the footnote-heavy paper is good enough to post at a blog, possibly good enough to get me on one of my school's four law reviews, and absolutely not good enough to appear in a real law review, and since I'd feel like a douche if the work I put in didn't see the light of day somewhere, I'm posting it here. Feel free to ignore it. And, frankly, the Klosterman piece I linked to earlier today is way better reading.

One final note that I didn't get to work in to my case note, and which I was a little bummed the 9th Circuit had dismissed so easily and that Jacob Sullum failed to note in his piece today -- but which lawyers for the Drug Policy Alliance [disclosure: my former employer] should be commended for including in their amicus filing in the BH4J 9th Circuit Court case four years ago -- is that the plaintiff, Joseph Frederick, was standing on a public street when his principal ripped the BH4J banner from his hands. He hadn't even been in school that day. Apart from the free-speech-in-school angle everyone's rightly taking here, if it's OK for some blowhard school principal to accost students peacefully standing on a public street, I'd really like some justification from the Supreme Court. Seriously.