Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.”     Robert A. Heinlein

February 17, 2007

Colorado Judge Resigns in Protest of Proposed Marijuana Ordinance

by Stephen Littau

Leonard Frieling, associate municipal court judge of 8 years in Lafayette, Colorado says he cannot enforce the city’s proposed marijuana ordinance. Though the ordinance will be voted on next week, by all indications it will pass the city council. The new law increases the maximum fine for marijuana possession (small amounts) from $100 to $1000 and a year in jail. Judge Frieling does not believe pot should be illegal for adults but is willing to enforce the current fine of $100.

It’s a shame that Judge Frieling has to step down because of such a draconian law but he is doing the right thing. A $100 fine is not enough of a penalty to ruin a person’s life but a year in jail looks much worse on a person’s criminal record. Surely Judge Frieling is not the only judge in the country that sees the lunacy that is the war on (some) drugs and its encouraging seeing that there are public servants who will put their principles above their careers.

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10 Comments

  1. America needs for more judges to take this position. It would help end this needless prohibition.

    Comment by Shane — February 17, 2007 @ 5:51 am
  2. Thankyou so much for taking such a stance.

    What a selfless man.

    Comment by Motley — February 17, 2007 @ 6:05 am
  3. In South Africa they (a white magistrate in King Williams Town) put a poor black guy in gaol for trading in dagga (marijuana) for 18 years. The magistrate said “I had no choice – this was his third offence!” My God, 18 years for trading in what is regarded by many (of all races) in SA as part of the South African culture and where kids in the rural areas help their parents stuff marijuana into matchboxes before they can even talk. Speak about draconian laws – we need judges to take a stand against prosecuting victimless crimes.

    Comment by Charl Heydenrych — February 17, 2007 @ 9:27 am
  4. If he was a liberal judge, he would just rule “not guilty” every time a pot smoker came before him. Since the prosecution can’t appeal an acquittal, that would certainly take the wind out of the sails of this one.

    Comment by Nick Kasoff - The Thug Report — February 17, 2007 @ 10:21 am
  5. The gesture (which was not a great personal sacrifice, since I rarely sat as backup judge) was SUCCESSFUL!! With a huge outpouring of support from all over the US (and from outside of the US as well) the City Council of Lafayette Colorado (a GREAT town) on Friday withdrew the proposed harsh ordinance.
    It takes a village to raise a stink!
    Lenny Frieling

    Comment by Lenny Frieling — February 17, 2007 @ 2:05 pm
  6. That is great news Judge! I am very honored that you responded to my post. I’m sure you could tell us a few great stories about your experiences in the legal system regarding the war on drugs. Please feel free to share some with us here.

    Since the ordinance did not pass, does this mean you will continue to serve as a judge or does your resignation still stand?

    Thank you for doing your part; hopefully more judges will follow your lead and take similar stands in the future.

    Stephen Littau
    Denver, CO

    Comment by Stephen Littau — February 17, 2007 @ 2:16 pm
  7. All drugs need to be made legal, but obtained through pharmacies. This will stop drug related crime which is enormous. If you want it, you’re going to get it anyway.

    Comment by Brock Townsend — February 17, 2007 @ 4:45 pm
  8. How stupid can people be. What’s the difference between alcohol and marijuana? Alcohol kills brain cells and causes liver damage when taken in excess. I’ve heard various things about marijuana, I was once told that it doesn’t kill brain cells, but inhibits them.

    Alcohol is also a poison and so are ‘magic’ mushrooms. I’ve heard that mushrooms cause you to be care-free and violent depending on who you are. I’m not sure how much truth that holds, but we do know that some people display that behavior with alcohol usage (for those who are familiar with South Park, Alabama Man anyone?).

    How about tobacco? Depending on what you smoke, it is extremely poisonous and may cause cancer, not to mention second hand smoke. It has also been said ‘kicking the habit’ is harder than quitting coke.

    So, should it be up to the government to enforce personal responsibility on people? Fuck no!
    You have a brain, fucking use it! Look shit up, ask questions and judge for yourself. If you disagree with it, don’t do it. But don’t tell me what the fuck to do!

    It is just as ridiculous as banning fast food, and pop. You know these things are bad for you. As for pot, I can’t say. I’ve never done it; I don’t need to waste taxpayers’ money over a bullshit criminal record.

    Yeah, I have the odd Cuban cigar ever now and then. I know it’s probably not a good idea but if I die of cancer, who’s fault is it? Mine, or the government’s? What’s with making Cuban cigars illegal anyways. You Americans need grow up, you narcissistic fucks (not that all Americans are bad :) ).

    How about we ban all religions for causing the all wars in the world? (For the slow and dimwitted I’m not against religion, I’m illustrating a point).

    Comment by N/A — February 17, 2007 @ 8:14 pm
  9. the best part of this story is the quote:
    “the war on (some) drugs”

    Comment by dorkenstein — February 18, 2007 @ 1:54 am
  10. Is it law Gov’t must defend Insurance Fraud when you have 3 Judges/10 Attorneys resign?

    I am not famous or a movie star, I am a woman health care professional who is supposed to have the same rights as any other citizen. But now, due to insurance fraud and being denied equal protection of the law, my credit has been intentionally ruined by identity theft, my 12 year old Home Care Agency was stolen from me by fraud, my entire divorce was nothing but fraud schemes, I cannot dissolve my California corporation that could have a staged bankruptcy, money from staged sell of business that I did not see a penny from has not been reported to IRS, and I can go to jail for tax invasion for being framed being liable of federal and state corporate taxes that have not been filed because of all the fraud schemes. I have lost everything I worked for all my life due to insurance fraud, identity theft, blackmail and denial of equal protection; my business, my career, my marriage, my homes, my furniture, my two cars, my dogs and my retirement.

    Comment by stephani Johnson — February 28, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

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