Missouri Family E-News

January 27, 2015

                  
Drive to Legalize Marijuana Gets OK    

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has approved the circulation of petitions seeking a statewide vote in 2016 to legalize the sale and use of marijuana in Missouri.

The initiative petition has been filed by a group called Show-Me Cannabis out of Columbia.  It proposes an extensive amendment to Missouri's Constitution which would take effect on January 1, 2017.

If approved by voters, the amendment would prohibit any state laws that ban the possession or use of marijuana, the purchase or sale of marijuana, or the production and distribution of marijuana by anyone 21 years of age or older.

The amendment would also ban any state law that provides for the seizure of property used in connection with the production, distribution, sale, or possession of marijuana.

"Our major purpose is to prevent needless human suffering," says Dan Viets of Show-Me Cannabis.  "Good people will no longer be treated like criminals.  This prohibition makes no more sense than alcohol prohibition."

In order to get the initiative petition on the ballot, pro-marijuana forces must obtain the signatures of registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast in the 2012 race for Governor from six of the state's eight congressional districts.  Signatures must be submitted to the Secretary of State's office by May 8th.

Curiously, another pro-marijuana group has decided that the initiative proposed by Show-Me Cannabis doesn't go far enough.

A group called KC Norml is submitting an alternative marijuana petition to the Secretary of State that would eliminate any age restrictions on marijuana use, and prohibit drivers from being charged with driving under the influence if they are tested positive for marijuana use.

"I believe that cannabis needs to be as legal as corn or wheat," says the proposal's promoter, Mark Pedersen.  "The use of cannabis is less toxic than baby aspirin."

Pedersen went further to say that "testing positive for marijuana has no bearing on an individual's ability to operate a motor vehicle."

Bills have also been filed in this session of the Missouri Legislature seeking to decriminalize marijuana use.  Representative Brandon Ellington of Kansas City has filed a proposed constitutional amendment similar to the Show-Me Cannabis initiative.

Representative Keith English of Florissant has filed a measure which would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The push to legalize pot in Missouri comes at the same time that liberal Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is bemoaning the decision by Colorado voters to do the same.

"If I could've waved a wand the day after the election, I would've reversed the decision,"  Hickenlooper recently said.  "This was a bad idea."


  

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U.S. Supreme Court
to Rule on Future of Marriage in America

The future of the institution of marriage in the United States will be determined in large part this summer when the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark ruling on the subject of same-sex unions.

The High Court has agreed to hear appeals of a decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the traditional marriage laws of the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.  The Court will review lawsuits filed by homosexual "couples" demanding that marriage be redefined to include same-sex relationships.

In agreeing to hear the appeals, the justices announced that they will render a definitive ruling on two questions:  1) Whether the 14th Amendment requires that states issue "marriage" licenses to two persons of the same sex; and 2) Whether the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize "marriages" between persons of the same sex licensed and performed in another state.

In its decision, the 6th Circuit panel ruled convincingly that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment does not mandate the radical transformation of the meaning, nature, and purpose of marriage.   Writing for the majority, Judge Jeffery Sutton authored a scholarly opinion citing centuries of federal case law that domestic relations and family law are the virtually exclusive province of the states.

"From the founding of the Republic to 2003, every state defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman...," Judge Sutton wrote.  "Nobody in this case argues that the people who adopted the 14th Amendment understood it to require the states to change the definition of marriage."

This is a point we have often made.  There is not a single member of Congress who voted to adopt the 14th Amendment who understood its language to mandate so-called same-sex "marriage."  There is likewise not a single legislator from the several states who ratified the 14th Amendment who understood the Equal Protection Clause to incorporate the perversion of the institution of marriage.

Judge Sutton also took issue with the thoroughly faulty legal concept that there is no "rational basis" for the longstanding definition of marriage.  "By creating the status of marriage and by subsidizing it, the states created an incentive for two people who procreate together to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring.  That does not convict the state of irrationality, but only of awareness of the biological reality that couples of the same sex do not have children in the same way as couples of opposite sexes..."

The legal integrity of the 6th Circuit ruling stood in stark contrast to the corrupt jurisprudence of decisions issued by the 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th federal Appeals Courts.  In each of those circuits, renegade federal judges mandated so-called same-sex "marriage" on the states in their jurisdictions, ignoring U.S. Supreme Court precedent in favor of self-ordained "doctrinal developments."

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal on the merits of any of those decisions, in an apparent collective decision to allow the redefinition of marriage to occur at the hands of lower courts without their direct affirmation.  The 6th Circuit decision, however, creates a canyon-like conflict between the appellate courts which the High Court must now reconcile.    The Justices will likely hear oral arguments in April and release a ruling in late June.
This high-level announcement by the Supreme Court will have an uncertain impact on current litigation in the State of Missouri challenging our state's laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  The Missouri Attorney General's office has asked state and federal courts to put those cases in abeyance until the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court issue a final pronouncement on the subject.

In one case, St. Louis City Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled that Missouri's constitutional amendment preserving traditional marriage somehow violates the federal Equal Protection Clause.  He then dictated in tyrannical fashion that the city of St. Louis must issue "marriage" licenses to  same-sex "couples." 

Since Attorney General Chris Koster refused to seek a stay of that ruling, those licenses are now being issued.  Despite the fact that the ruling only applied to the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County proceeded to issue such licenses as well.  The Burlison decision was appealed by the Attorney General's office to the Missouri Supreme Court.  It is anticipated that state supreme court justices will hold off on issuing a decision in the case until the nation's High Court makes its ruling in early summer.

In the other case, U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith decreed that Jackson County must issue "marriage" licenses to same-sex "couples."  Judge Smith issued a stay of his own ruling, yet Jackson County decided to ignore the judge's stay and issue such licenses anyway.  Judge Smith's decision has been appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judges in the 8th Circuit announced yesterday that they do not plan to wait for "guidance" from the justices on the Supreme Court.  They rejected the state's request for a delay in the case, and instead have set an expedited schedule for briefing and oral arguments.

Pro-family advocates had been hopeful that this case would be taken up by the 8th Circuit soon.  The 8th Circuit has previously ruled in a 2006 decision (Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning) that traditional marriage laws do not violate the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.  Pro-family court observers are somewhat optimistic that the 8th Circuit will reaffirm its previous decision, joining the legal rationale enunciated  by the 6th Circuit. 

All eyes are focused on Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will undoubtedly be the deciding vote on the High Court on this issue.  Justice Kennedy is without question a fervent advocate of "gay rights," yet he has demonstrated so far a reluctance to be the historic author of an abusive ruling forcing the acceptance of so-called same-sex "marriage" on the entire nation.

In order for Kennedy to rule that same-sex "marriage" is constitutionally required, he would have to do a peremptory about-face, and repudiate his very own words as found in his 2013 Windsor decision dealing with the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  In that case, Kennedy wrote that "by history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage...has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the states..."

"The Constitution delegated no authority to the Government of the United States on the subject of marriage and divorce...The definition of marriage is the foundation of the states' broader authority to regulate the subject of domestic relations with respect to the protection of offspring, property interests, and the enforcement of marital responsibilities," Kennedy further wrote.

Justice Kennedy has already left a sorry legacy during his years on the Supreme Court when he voted in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision to make "permanent" the constitutional right to abortion invented in the Roe v. Wade decision.  Please be praying that Anthony Kennedy does not compound that shameful legacy through another reckless decision that corrupts and perverts for generations to come the sacred institutions of marriage and the family.

Joe's Signature