My question involves criminal law for the state of: New York
So I got busted in my dorms, in NY, yet I want to talk about the Constitution and law rather than my case. Are there any legal experts here who would care to look at the following and determine whether or not it would have any type of effect in court?
If we are to agree that the Due Process Clause (14th Amendment) makes it so certain rights under the Bill of Rights apply to the States, couldn't one argue that...
Under the 4th Amendment, we have a right to privacy. While the word "privacy" is not specifically written, it is generally accepted to be implied. The courts have ruled over and over again that this is correct (as far as I can tell).
-Stanley v. Georgia"Whatever may be the justifications for other statutes regulating obscenity, we do not think they reach into the privacy of one's own home. If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds."
- Lawrence v. Texas"These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life....The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. 'It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.'”
-Cruzan v. Missouri Department of HealthThe Fourteenth Amendment provides that no State shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The principle that a competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment may be inferred from our prior decisions
Thus, wouldn't marijuana go hand in hand with this? As long as you are not smoking in public, shouldn't you be protected under the 4th Amendment? Couldn't you also argue that if you can deny medical assistance (Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health ), that you can provide your own (medical marijuana)?
The 4th Amendment gives us a right to unreasonable searches and seizures. Seizing me or my property (marijuana, paraphernalia, and my money in court) for marijuana possession or use in my own home would have to be considered unreasonable, simply because of my right to engage in private activities which don't effect the public in the slightest.
-Meyer v. Nebraska."[Liberty] denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."
Common law dictates that I have a right of privacy, and even further generally states that my home is my castle and in my home, my rule goes. How can any court of law, with a straight face, say I was guilty of criminal activity when they themselves state my home is my castle (if common law is to be said to be valid)? How can anyone tell me what I can or cannot do in the privacy of my own home, as long as I am not hurting anyone?
- NYS Constitution§14. Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred seventy-five, and the resolutions of the congress of the said colony, and of the convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred seventy-seven, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered; and such acts of the legislature of this state as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this state, subject to such alterations as the legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this constitution, are hereby abrogated. (Formerly §16. Renumbered and amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938.)
So the common law which founded this country is valid under NYS Constitution, and anything which violates Constitution is abrogated, and the right of privacy under common law does not violate the Constitution. So, shouldn't laws against private marijuana use be abrogated, as they clearly violate the common law this country was founded upon, and subsequently the Constitution according to what I previously stated?
-Black's Law Dictionary.privacy. The condition or state of being free from public attention to intrusion into or interference with one's acts or decisions.
- NYS Civil Rights§ 2. Supreme sovereignty in the people. No authority can, on any pretence whatsoever, be exercised over the citizens of this state, but such as is or shall be derived from and granted by the people of this state
Don't these two seem to contradict each other? We (individually) are the supreme sovereigns, and unless the people grant the government power over us (I never granted the government to have the power to regulate what I put into my body, and even if I had tried to, my rights are inalienable, and what I put into my body is my liberty...thus it cannot be taken away). Yet, my right of privacy states I have the right to be private from the people. So how can the people bypass my privacy rights, by granting away my sovereignty rights?
Edit: Couldn't it be argued that these laws also become null and void due to the fact they were founded on discriminatory principles? What ever happened to "equal protection?" These laws violated the civil rights of Mexicans and Negroes over discrimination, thus how can they be said to stand up to Constitutional scrutiny?
"Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice." (Hearst newspapers nationwide, 1934. )
"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana can cause white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others." - Harry Anslinger
"Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men." -Harry Anslinger
"...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races." - Harry Anslinger
These were the type of arguments given to Congress during the legislative meetings to pass the anti-marijuana bills.