Monday, June 06, 2005

Supreme Court Rules Against Marijuana Use

The Supreme Court has ruled that California's medical marijuana law is unconstitutional. I'm all over the map on this one.

As a political conservative, I'm usually all over the "states' rights" and "enumerated powers" arguments. However, since the New Deal we've effectively thrown those beliefs out, and I refuse to accept them on a piecemeal basis only when they support the position of someone who normally doesn't believe them.

I also support the legalization of marijuana. As someone who's been known to consume an adult beverage every once in awhile, and more often than that in my younger days, I don't see how pot is any worse than rum in its effects, addictiveness, etc.

But I do believe in the primacy of federal law. States cannot make laws that conflict with federal law.

And do we support the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or not? If they say a medicine is not approved for use in the United States, then no doctor in the country can prescribe it. There are plenty of medicines available in other countries, both over-the-counter and under-the-counter, that are not legal in this country. No doctor in any US state can prescribe them.

But for some reason, people think it should be different with marijuana.

It's only grown and distributed in California, say the plaintiffs in this case, and hence it doesn't come under Congress' power to regulate under the interstate commerce clause. But if that's the case, then what is the point of the FDA? Or should people be allowed to have meth labs in their houses?

The states cannot go vigilante and write laws in violation of federal law just because they want to. The correct approach is to sue the federal government over a perceived unconstitutional law or to work to have Congress change the federal law. Anything else makes a mockery of our federal system.

I'd support the medical marijuana law if marijuana weren't a banned substance. What a mess.

4 comments:

thc said...

The Supreme Court left the door open for Congress to change the federal law on this and my guess is, eventually they will. Just as soon as they figure out how to tax pot the way they do alcohol.

Darren said...

As I said, I'd be all in favor of the legalization of pot--in part because of the taxes that would roll in from Phillip Morris!

Quincy said...

"Just as soon as they figure out how to tax pot the way they do alcohol."

That's the thing that's so wrong about this ruling. It justifies the Fed's actions under the interstate commerce clause even though the act in question is not commerce and it does not cross state lines. It would be impossible to tax.

Hamlette said...

As a political conservative, I'm usually all over the "states' rights" and "enumerated powers" arguments. However, since the New Deal we've effectively thrown those beliefs out

States' Rights essentially disintigrated during the Civil War, imho.