Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Temporary Demise of ,"Stand Up, Speak Up for Your Rights, with Matt Martin"

My weekly radio talk show, "Stand Up, Speak Up for Your Rights, with Matt Martin," a self-described provocative, entertaining and useful talk radio show on the law is at a temporary end. The show was on I25 Talk Radio, 690 AM in Pueblo and 1490 AM in  Colorado Springs. The station underwent a change of ownership. The new ownership group immediately and without warning switched format of 690 AM from talk radio to oldies. 1490 AM, however, was not included in the deal.

I would like to take the show to internet radio, but I am going to take a break, and if the urge hits me, I will plan out every aspect of the show to the smallest detail. And, the existence of show, and the business entity inside of which the show is conceived, produced and distributed, will not be at the whim of anyone but me.

Stay tuned for news on the show, and for other blogs on legal topics.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Miss a little on "Stand Up Speak Up for Your Rights with Matt Martin," and you miss a lot.

I intend that my weekly talk radio show, "Stand Up, Speak Up for Your Rights, with Matt Martin," is a provocative, entertaining and useful talk radio show on the law. When you miss a little, you miss a lot. June 11, 2014, for example, we lampooned the RNC's statement to the press on the impact of legalized marijuana on the GOP's decision on whether Denver will play host to the 2016 Republication National Convention. The Pueblo Chieftain stated that the RNC Chair said "that logistics are more important than local marijuana laws. . . that he’s “not a big fan” of legal marijuana but that party officials aren’t considering it in their decision." On the show, I said one has to read between the lines as to what the RNC Chair really meant, and keep in mind that, despite legalization of marijuana use in Colorado, the GOP is STILL scouting out Denver as a possible site for the convention. 

Anyway, one possible interpretation when one reads between the lines: "We are not boycotting Colorado because of legal marijuana; in fact, we can’t wait to get there."

Another possible interpretation: "Legalized marijuana won’t affect our decision-making until we are actually in Colorado for the Convention and stoned out of our gourds."

Like I said, miss a little, and you miss a lot.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Federal marijuana laws are the supreme law of the land.

Do the feds have to obey state laws legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, such as those laws in Colorado and the state of Washington? The answer is no; the federal government can enforce its laws outlawing possession of marijuana at any time, but they have chosen not to do so in those states permitting the possession of small amounts of marijuana, as long as the “states and local governments that have enacted laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct . . . implement strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems that . . . address the threat those state laws could pose to public safety, public health, and other law enforcement interests.” See the August 29, 2013 memorandum sent to all US Attorneys by the Department of Justice, and an accompanying press release from the  DOJ. 

Federal laws are the supreme law of the land “and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” US Const. Art. VI, Cl 2. Further, the Constitution grants Congress the power to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” US Const. Art.I, § 8, Cl 3. The US Supreme Court, in Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (U.S. 2005), was faced whether a seizure of six medicinal marijuana plants in California by local and federal agents was lawful. In Raich, the defendants’ growth and possession of six marijuana plants was legal under California’s medical marijuana law and illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The defendants claimed in a lawsuit against the US Attorney General and the head of the DEA that the seizure was unlawful under Commerce Clause, the DueProcess Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution, and the doctrine of medical necessity. The US Supreme Court upheld the seizure, holding that “the CSA is a valid exercise of federal power,” Id., at 9 (U.S. 2005), “the regulation is squarely within Congress' commerce power because production of the commodity meant for home consumption . . . has a substantial effect on supply and demand in the national market for that commodity,” Id., at 19, and that this power “includes the power to prohibit commerce in a particular commodity.” Id., n. 29.