CO and WA Set Up A Showdown

I think this this is one of Tuesdays  results that will prove to be the most legally debated.

On Tuesday Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize Marijuana.  Not “Medical” Marijuana but legal for recreational purposes.  This is in direct defiance of Federal drug statutes.

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug  these drugs are considered THE most dangerous and are defined as:

Required findings for drugs to be placed in this schedule

  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Except as specifically authorized, it is illegal for any person:

  1. to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or

to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.

For reference purposes Heroin is also a Schedule I drug.

The FDA was originally founded and given its powers under the “Interstate Commerce” Clause of the Constitution, basically giving the Federal government control over anything that crosses state lines.  That power has become very broad in it’s scope.

Now here is where it gets interesting.  As many of you know there are many states with medicinal marijuana laws, all of these states are in violation of federal drug laws and the Federal government CAN (and does) come in and charge people with federal drug offenses in these states.

The Medicinal use has somewhat held the feds at bay though, I mean who wants to put a grandmother with Glaucoma behind bars  for possession of pot?  Now these two states have passed laws that fly in the face of the power of the federal government.

Enter the constitutional challenge.

The Tenth Amendment states the Constitution’s principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.

Now lets say that the Marijuana that people in Seattle smoke is grown, sold and consumed in the state of Washington, it hasn’t crossed any state lines, therefor it is none of the Federal governments business.  The tenth amendment allows the states to legislate it or not.

The feds will say Oh no  that is prohibited to the states by the Federal controlled substances act…a law whose authority is based on the Interstate Commerce Clause.

Now, however you may feel about this there’s a further wrinkle.  Lets say The Supreme Court hears this (and its a solid bet they will)  If they uphold the right of Colorado and Washington to essentially legislate contrary to the Controlled substances Act, that would be seen as making the controlled substances act at least partially unconstitutional…..states would be responsible for making their own drug laws and enforcing them with the feds only being involved if the drugs cross state lines and violate federal law in doing so.

But in reality it generally already works this way, but the Feds still have the power to step in and make federal charges when they see fit.

The easiest and most intelligent move for the feds at this point is to reclassify Marijuana by amending the Controlled Substances Act, but that move simply delays the problem, what happens when a state legalizes Psilocybin mushrooms for headaches? (Psilocybin is a recognized prevention for debilitating cluster headaches)

Now you have an idea of what the courts could be wrestling with….This WILL get interesting….much more so than Measure B, which, constitutionally speaking, is pretty cut and dried.


68900cookie-checkCO and WA Set Up A Showdown

CO and WA Set Up A Showdown

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8 Responses

  1. It needs to be cut and dry. If it grows from the earth naturally, it’s legal. Doesn’t matter if it’s a plant or a mushroom growing on a pile of cow shit, both naturally occur without man so they should be legal to use, possess, and sell.

    You can legally sell cow shit (manure), but you can’t sell or even possess the fungus that grows on it. Doesn’t make sense.

    And to throw the religious twist on it, how could something natural from God’s earth be illegal?

  2. Please explain to me the difference between alcohol and marijuana? Coke, PCP, Crack, and many other harder drugs I can see being off limits but pot and booze are basically the same thing. Every city and state in the country sells booze so whats the big deal with keeping pot out of the mix? That doesn’t even count the fact that Doctors all over the world feel that marijuana has been medically proven to help those with certain diseases and conditions. Some Washington beaurocrat makes the decision that pot is a crime instead of a medical doctor?

    I’m a diabetic so I avoid alcohol. However I do like the occasional responsible use of marijuana. I just don’t see whats the big deal…

  3. Karmafan, the difference between booze and weed is one of control, of taxation, and of course of the ability for the state to monitor it’s use.

    Basically, it follows my personal thoughts on porn: If you can get the state to regulate, tax, and have control over it, you have become legit and the rest is simple. Booze managed to do that (post prohibition) but weed has not. The legalization movement has a simple problem, which is that it didn’t come with meaningful regulation. IE: it’s legal, but you must by it through a state controlled monopoly that will set quality standards, do testings, license establishments, set rules for public consumption, etc.

    The other problem is one of smoke in general. The public’s feeling towards any type of smoking is not good. Most states have enacted laws that make it illegal to smoke in public places. Booze doesn’t directly harm the health of others, but second hand smoke certainly can. That is an uphill battle, one that requires some sort of regulation to make it work out.

    So “pot is legal” isn’t a good way to do, especially when everyone else around you is still illegal. It just turns those states into giant holding pens for everyone else’s pot, and creates a safe place for the traffickers to slide their merch through.

  4. The weed KF, is better than the booze. So roll one and put on one of your pornos and jack off!!

  5. You guys are totally missing the real question you should be asking. The Feds will fight this vigorously, yet quietly. They won’t want to bring any undue attention to the true motivation behinds the drug laws, as well as many other federal laws that simply duplicate or expound on laws already in existence by state and local bodies. I keep hearing about how the government wants to control this or that (choose any hot topic… street drugs, prescription drugs, treatments, guns, finance, etc). But the question I don’t see asked it “WHY do they want to control it?” It’s not entirely about power or control over that individual aspect. As in anything else, look for the most common motivation factor, MONEY.

    Put yourself in the feds position for a moment. You have a manufacturing company that is completely funded by taxpayer money. Your buildings, equipment, property, and support personnel don’t add to your cost of doing business because somebody else (taxpayers) is paying for them. You have a huge variety of products with no specialties and only one thing in common, they’re are produced by low-skilled labor-intensive operations (read “sweat shops”). Now even at minimum wage, considering that all products are “proudly made in the good ol’ U.S.A”, that would be a sweet-ass deal, right? But wait, there’s MORE! Fuck minimum wage, you get your labor at a rate starting at about .50/hour and maxing out at $1.25/hour. Plus you don’t have to offer any benefits, retirement, insurance, or even fairness to that labor force. And while we’re at it, let’s monopolize selling products to those “employees” at greatly inflated prices to make a little extra cash. You can buy items at discounted, bulk prices, with no taxes, mark them up to as much as double convenience store prices, and require the workers to purchase those items only from you. Still not enough? Okay, we know those “employees like to keep in touch with their families, so let’s capitalize on that, too. You, as the benevolent employer, get to choose the phone carrier they use to call home, often charging up to 10 or 20 times more than average rates (note I said TIMES, not percent .. NOT a mistake).

    Now be honest, wouldn’t you fight to keep that set-up going strong? If someone wanted to limit your labor pool by decriminalizing certain otherwise harmless acts, wouldn’t you object? And wouldn’t you want to do it quietly so people don’t realize your real motivation? Of course, you’d need to convince everyone, especially your benefactors (taxpayers), that what you’re doing is good for society. Like most politicians, be vague in your descriptions. “Invite comments” as a form of public awareness, but don’t really promise to answer any questions. The bottom line is MONEY and power (power to create more money, I think).

    What you guys have done so successfully in porn is being done all over society in general. We demonize and criminalize sectors of society that we disagree with. We shun anyone who’s practices and beliefs aren’t in perfect line with ours. We fail to stand up and come to their aid when the spotlight is on them and their rights are being taken away under the guise of socially unacceptable behavior. We think, “well, they deserve it”, or “this doesn’t concern me”. But the truth is, it’s snowballing downhill fast. Each year passes and new laws are created to criminalize larger portions of our society. By the time it gets to the point that it really concerns you, it’ll be too late. You’ll be among those who others are now looking at saying, “well they deserved it, and it doesn’t concern me”.

    Study history people. Understand why the founders of this country designed a coalition of sovereign STATES to protect us from outside threats, not a central government to control and repress us from within.

    For anyone who cares to look further into that sweet employment opportunity I discussed, here’s a couple of pertinent links, straight from the source.
    NOTE that FPI stands for Federal Prisons Inc. Yes, that’s INC, as in incorporated, a company designed to MAKE MONEY.

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