Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Our rights are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. But words alone don’t defend those rights; people do.

Every day our First Amendment rights to speak out and to petition are put to the test.

A little over a week ago, Dave Roland, the Director of Litigation for the Freedom Center of Missouri, got a phone call at 1:00 am. Two volunteers circulating a petition on a public street in St. Charles had been detained by police, cited for “soliciting without a permit.” The ballot measure they were petitioning for was to legalize marijuana — and tax and regulate it like alcohol and tobacco. Some of their petitions were confiscated.Dave Roland fields a question.

Roland and his wife Jenifer Ziegler Roland, the center’s executive director, went to bat for these two citizens and their constitutional rights, contacting St. Charles City Attorney Mike Valenti.

Faced with the prospect of a lawsuit, Valenti quickly dismissed the charge against the two petitioners.

“Police officers should know that this right may be freely exercised on public sidewalks,” said Mrs. Roland, “but if the police make a mistake, municipal attorneys ought to follow Mr. Valenti’s lead and correct the constitutional violation as quickly as possible.”

When a woman outside Philadelphia’s Constitutional Convention asked Ben Franklin what kind of government had been created, Franklin famously replied, “A Republic, madam, if we can keep it.”

We can keep it. Thanks to people such as the Rolands at Missouri’s Freedom Center.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Robert Johnson says:

    Our rights are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. But words alone don’t defend those rights; people do.

    What “people” are going to enforce the US Constitution when active duty personnel and civilian employees of several branches of service violate it?
    They are denying WWII veterans full recognition by basing their decisions on guidelines not appicable to the time frame these veterans performed their acts and/or were wounded.
    A local attorney, retired USAFR Colonel, former JAG officer provided a 5 page letter of legal opinion. The following is a paragraph paraphrased pertaining to the subject:


    AR 600-8-22 and WD Circulars for BCMR in cases purports to consider guidelines developed after the fact in analyzing such cases. The unfairness of this consideration is obvious. If it were to be applied to all cases, it would call for the removal of the Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman badge from those veterans previously awarded them. In fact application of a later policy to facts surrounding a WWII event constitutes ex post facto application of law, specifically prohibited in the US Constitution by the prohibitions in Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3, against bills of attainder and ex post facto laws. Awards and decorations, like other rights, must be considered as of the date that the benefit was earned. Application of different standards, arising out of different sensibilities in different wars, wreaks havoc on any sense of equal application of laws. The fact that the Army, recently chose to change the policy relating to awards and decorations cannot be applied to the facts of such cases.
    Where is their justice?

  2. Kay Berry says:

    The police made a false arrest so they should suffer some form of punishment like one week suspension without pay and taking a course in citizen rights. The city should be fined for having non- qualified police officers on the street. There should be some compensation to the petitioners too.

  3. Drik says:

    “The city should be fined” and the money is taken out of the taxpayers that live in the city. Like there is this bottomless supply of money to be given away. Instead the financial penalty should be born by those in the system whose job it was to have this not be done. Like when a doctor messes up, the doctor pays for the damages, or gets insurance to cover. Too many mistakes and the mistake-prone doctor can’t afford to do the job any more.

  4. GERRY HALL says:

    I agree with you 100%. We must prove that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights means something to us. We have the right by the First Amendment to speak up what we think is right for our people. So as citizens if we see something like the marijuana being used as an alternative medication and other states have recognized it as a medication, by all means protest is ok. Personally I feel that Alcohol kills brain cells and allows more people to become violent, compared to marijuana. Let’s be perfectly honest, taxing it would be perfect solution. It would stop the DRUG industry from selling it illegally.
    Plus the government would make their fare share, just like alcohol, cigarettes and other addictive substances that create health problems. Besides the government has had marijuana farms in Kentucky and other states testing it since the 1960’s. But since marijuana is and can be grown anywhere, they (the government) is afraid they won’t get the sales tax on it.

  5. Jay says:

    Just curious.

    What would have been the big deal if the petition people had taken the 15 or so minutes and gotten a permit?

    I do not knwo anything about the city where this took place, but in New York City ( where I formerly lived) as wellas parts of Florida, in the cities, petitioners can block sidealks, and hinder pedestrian traffic. No big deal, unless one is NOT interested in the topic, and/or going somewhere of importance to him/her.

    And, as I have said before, I ahve been (personally) harassed by7 petitioners, when i refused to sign their petitions (in NY and FL, including in an area where I told the petition gatherer that-this was for a local issue-I didn’t live there-lived about 100 miles away, and my signing would be invalid).

    So, I have no sympathy for the peopel arrested.

  6. Jay says:

    sorry is any spelling errors. and I do not have spell check here.

  7. Leah Kaye says:

    Those petitions are legal documents, I’m a petitioner for this cause and if ANY of my petitions are lost or destroyed I can get in trouble. Those uneducated cops should lose their jobs.

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