Sure, it made little difference to San Miguel County (Colorado)Coroner Robert Dempsey or the business of carrying out his duties. But there seems to have been a little matter of principles. So what did this final straw drive him to do?
He announced November 9 that he recently registered as a Libertarian. He also resigned his position as secretary of the San Miguel County Republican Party, a position he held for over 20 years. Dempsey is currently serving in his fifth elected term.
Ashcroft, weilding all his power as a Federale, does not accept the right of assisted suicide in Oregon, where state law permits doctors to prescribe drugs that assist in ending the life of terminally ill and suffering patients.
Dempsey said, "The decision to use or not use certain drugs is a matter of personal responsibility. People should have the right to use the drugs they think are proper for their bodies, especially after consulting with their doctors. Doctors should have the right to prescribe the drugs they think are best for their patents without interference from an increasingly intrusive federal government."
Astute readers will note that there are other laws, passed by several states, which address private citizens and their physicians. These are refered to as "medical marijuana" laws. Well, there a non-rollover in the Sheriffs seat also.
Sheriff Bill Masters, who chairs the San Miguel County Libertarian Party and has been the County's chief law enforcement official for 20 years,and serves as the nation's only Libertarian sheriff,called Dempsey a "strong proponent of individual liberty and personal responsibility."
It might just be a growth movement. It has a voice in Denver as well, where the Post's Bob Ewegen wrote:
"Libertarians usually want to legalize "victimless crimes" such as gambling, prostitution and drug use. But local governments can't override state and federal laws banning such activities. What Sheriff Masters can and does do is set priorities.
"I certainly still have a duty to do and I tell my deputies never come to me and say: "I didn't uphold the law because the sheriff is a Libertarian.' But there are 30,000 laws in Colorado and we have to triage," Masters said. "If we have burglaries and thefts and drunk drivers and reckless drivers, we're going to go after those first. Rapists are much more important than somebody smoking pot in their
"Still, we got a search warrant the other day when a 17 year-old was selling pot to 14 year-olds. They're not adults and that's not acceptable. "I'm not a perfect Libertarian, I don't think a sheriff can be. But we'll go after people hurting other people or their property as our priority," Masters said.
That sounds perfect to me, sheriff. And I'll be watching Leadville ..."
Another place to watch might be Portland
, Oregon. The acting Chief of Police there has refused to do the dirty business of the FBI, saying that it was in violation of State Law. The FBI had asked for the police to gather info (on CIty time and money) over some possible suspects. The Chief who grew up in Detroit, and had less than favorable relations with aythorities as a youth, called it by it's true name PROFILLING, and decided to obey state law.
Sherrifs, the highest elected official, hows the one in your county?
Liberal use of Bob Ewegen's article in the Denver Post ( http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,146%257E228485,00.html) and Libertarian Victory News! -- November 20th, 2001 ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Libertarian_Victory_News)