Following my resignation as a Lafayette Municipal Court Associate Judge in protest of an unnecessary and drastic proposal to increase marijuana possession penalties in the City of Lafayette, some misinformed officials with the city launched an attack on my character, spurring news stories that suggested I was no longer an associate judge with the city at the time of my resignation. According to a member of the local press who requested my employment history from Lafayette Human Resource Director Pam Spring, my employment status was "active" as of Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. Ms. Spring also informed this individual that , while a new judge had been hired last April, I had not been replaced and retained my position with the City. It is true that I had not been called to sit on the bench for a while. As a result, the message I intended to send with my resignation is still as pertinent now as it was when this story first broke. The City hired me because they trusted my judgment, and I can no longer serve as a judge for a city willing to go to such great measures to ensure they have the ability to punish non-violent adult marijuana users more harshly than the state mandates. I do not pretend that it was a huge personal sacrifice. I am not the issue. The issue is the issue. Thus, I will be standing in opposition to this measure at a press conference Tuesday, the day on which this measure's fate will be determined. More details about this event will follow from Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). I suspect that I will NOT attend the city council meeting on Tuesday evening. The city council SHOULD be informed of the position of the public on this issue. I suspect that they already are aware of my position, and won't benefit from hearing it again. I would be a distraction, and this story is not about me. Lenny Frieling (See Judge Frieling's blog piece written for DRCNet's Speakeasy here.)
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