Skip to comments.Real Federalists Need to Step Up to Fight Jeff Sessions' War on Weed
Posted on 01/18/2018 5:42:35 AM PST by JP1201
You would think that the Justice Department has better things to do than to restart a federal war on marijuana or that it would want to stay away from interfering with the will of the people in the 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, that allow at least the medical use of marijuana. But you would be wrong. Thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, we have now an emerging conflict between federal and state laws. That conflict should be resolved in favor of the states.
When he was a senator, Sessions once said during a Senate hearing, "Good people don't smoke marijuana." So nobody was surprised when a few weeks ago, he revoked the Cole memoa document that provided guidance to federal prosecutors about targeting sales to children, money laundering and sales across state lines, as opposed to targeting the legal state sale of medical and recreational pot.
The memo was a poor alternative to revoking the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which, the Cato Institute's Trevor Burrus writes, "defined marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical uses and has a high potential for abuse." He adds, "Despite advances in our understanding of the medical benefits of marijuana, and despite 29 states having legalized medical marijuana in some form, federal law treats marijuana (as if it were) as dangerous as heroin." Note that cocaine, which has recognized medical uses, is a Schedule II drug.
The memo had the very positive effect of providing banks, users and dispensaries with confidence that they could operate legally without arrest. Unfortunately, Sessions' move could signal intent to use federal power to go after individuals and corporations in states that allow marijuana.
Though this is a legal move, it is ill-advised. Whatever one thinks of pot use, I can't imagine a good justification for going back to prosecuting the perpetrators of victimless crimes except that it fits nicely with the AG's outdated and paternalistic views.
It also goes against federalism, a belief that Republicans claim to hold, wherein states should be allowed to make decisions outside federal control on a variety of issuessuch as legalizing marijuana. The Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that distributed political power between the states and a national government. Police powers reside with the states, not at the federal level.
Our nation operates on consent of the governed. An Aug. 3 Quinnipiac University poll indicated that 94 percent of Americans support adult use of marijuana for medical purposes, if prescribed by a doctor. This poll indicated that Republican support for medical marijuana is at 90 percent. An Oct. 25Gallup Poll shows that a majority of Republicans support fully legalizing marijuana. At a time when Republicans are worried about following the will of the voters they'll face this November, they might want to note those lopsided numbers.
States should be allowed to make decisions outside federal control on a variety of issues and let the people, not the federal government, decide what they want.
Right now, many states respect the right of individuals to choose medical marijuana to treat stress, the nausea associated with cancer treatments and epilepsy. In eight states, the people have gone a step further and consented to adults using marijuana without a doctor's prescription. It's the essence of liberty to let people make their own decisions as long as they're not harming others.
This notion eludes Sessions. In 2014, Congress passed the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prohibits the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana businesses in states that allow it. Naturally, the AG wants Congress to pass an appropriations bill removing that language. Now's the time for the real federalists in Congress to stand up and stand by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R-Calif.), and Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), who want this restraint on federal interference to continue.
Will the defenders of federalism stop a new war on drugs? The House and Senate are loaded with members who have parroted talking points and claimed that they're federalists; now we'll see whether their action matches up with their rhetoric. Trying to stop the Justice Department's new war on states that have consented to the use of marijuana is an act defending federalism and the will of the people.
An Aug. 3 Quinnipiac University poll indicated that 94 percent of Americans support adult use of marijuana for medical purposes, if prescribed by a doctor. This poll indicated that Republican support for medical marijuana is at 90 percent. An Oct. 25Gallup Poll shows that a majority of Republicans support fully legalizing marijuana. At a time when Republicans are worried about following the will of the voters they’ll face this November, they might want to note those lopsided numbers.
29 wrongs (+ DC) don’t make a right.
I’m a ConservaTarian. That’s a Conservative WITHOUT the dope smoking. ;)
However, medical use is fine with me. I never have understood why using natural products, as our ancestors did, is such a bad thing.
Oh, wait - when you give power back to the PEOPLE...there’s less money to be made off of them!
Now I remember.
That said, if it’s as loosely controlled as our opioid prescriptions have been, then that IS a problem for me.
The federal government should not be legislating marijuana.
The drug war has caused far more harm than good.
This could be how it ends up:
Medicinal marijuana and autonomous vehicles for some.
Recreational marijuana and autonomous vehicles for all.
OK. Some say that you can obey some Federal laws but ignore others. Some you must obey. Don’t like drug laws and immigration laws, well just ignore them. Horrified by abortion. Too bad. Those laws are strictly enforced. Sorry but a country that behaves in that manner is divided among itself. Some “Federalists” imagined that this issue was definitively settled in 1865. There will be barricades and dissolution unless Congress changes the laws or the current laws are enforced.
I heard Ben Shapiro speak on this recently and he absolutely parroted my position on it:
1. Dope is stupid and those that take it need to grow up.
2. And it should be none of the government’s business.
what the hell is the point
In my opinion, you legalize it all and take the profit out of it. If people want to anesthetize themselves, so what?
The US already has plenty of stupid and lazy people and is busy obtaining more.
Dope makes one stupider and lazier.
Legalizing Dope would require offsetting legislation mandating increased average IQ.
Sessions is just enforcing (selectively) federal law. If the states want to do something different, they should work to have the law changed.
The Federal government clearly has the power to make immigration law under the constitution. What the article is questioning is whether they have the power to outlaw marijuana, and for that matter permit abortion. A true Federalist would say no to both.
So glad Sessions is focused on Weed instead of trivial stuff like Sedition, Treason and lllelgal survalance of a Presidential Candidate and POTUS.
Not to mention the tax payer money spent to find, arrest and incarcerate people. And you can tax it like booze.
I remember a comment being made at a Makers Mark distillery tour (I live near there) about the taxes on hard alcohol. The taxes are enormous before it is even put in the bottle. If the only taxes on booze were the same taxes on all other consumer goods, a “Family sized” bottle of Makers would go for probably around $15 instead of the $47 in Kentucky and, IIRC, $65 in Washington state.
Dope is just another way for the dems to control the masses.
This country has grown too big for a powerful, centralized Federal government. How "representative" are our Congressmen when an average district includes 735,000 people, a population larger than that of any state at the time the Constitution was ratified. States rights cut both ways: conservatives will dislike anti-gun laws in New York or California while liberals will dislike restrictions on abortion in Texas or Tennessee. Brothels are legal in most of Nevada while strictly prohibited in Utah. Wyoming is more permissive on fireworks than Colorado, which is more permissive on marijuana than Wyoming.
Dont blame Sessions for following the law. Just write a new law if there is that much support. That is the truly Constitutional way to proceed.
Now lets talk about how the states unconstitutionally infringe on the 2nd Amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
It really is that simple.
Go to Congress and change the law. Stop writing, do something, stop taking the lazy way out, if it’s that important to you.
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