And so it starts...

Medical marijuana users in California, who receive a prescription from a physician, can be prosecuted for using that substance legally in their state.

Welcome to the good old USA where we spend our money and efforts chasing people in pain and suffering from cancer and other horrible diseases, and allow all kinds of atrocities to happen LEGALLY. NYT article.

Since I'm sure someone is going to pipe in on how I'm not patriotic enough...here's an add-on: at least we have freedom of speech here....

Comments

Federalism

Let me start out by saying that if the legalization of marijuana was put on the ballot I would vote for it.
 
  Congress made marijuana a Schedule I drug. If people want medical marijuana that need to have congress make marijuana a Schedule II or III drug. Like Demerol or Percoset. I am conservative and for "states rights" but I think the court was correct on this case. The Federal law trumps the state law in this case. Don't blame the court. Just get the Federal law changed. If everyone is so up in arms about this case remember that in the US the people are the sovereign and we should change the law if we don't like it. Instead of complaining about the Supreme Court have congress change the law.

Re:Federalism

OK, I will. I'll let you know when my Congress gets around to agreeing on changing the law.

commerce?

I agree with Bibliofuture and that's speaking as someone who's smoked in the past and would vote for legalization.

What I don't get is why it comes under interstate commerce.

Federalism is on last legs

Why should federal law trump state law in this case? As GregS indicates, it's hard to see this as an interstate commerce issue.There's also the ninth amendment:"Amendment XThe 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."I have to reluctantly agree that this decision is the law of the land; but I hope I hope that individuals and local communities pursue a course of non-cooperation.You have to wonder what powers the States and localities are going to be left with after a few more decades of bipartisan Washington expansion.

Re:Federalism is on last legs

For Congress to make a law they have to have the constitional authority to do so. If you do not think that Congress cannot regulate marijuana because it is not covered by the commerce clause you are basically arguing that all federal drug laws are unconstitional. If this was the case don't you think some attorney representing a drug defendant in criminal court would have raised this argument? From my read of the case the interstate commerce argument is fairly strong. If people want to read the case you can see it here.

Re:Federalism is on last legs

As a matter of fact, I do believe that federal drug laws are an unconstitutional trampling of states rights and a waste of limited federal resources. I can accept federal prohibitions on transporting drugs across state lines since that can be logically construed as a commerce issue.Smiling at the irony of the situation, I draw your attention to Justice Clarence Thomas' dissent on this decision. Two paragraphs I find especially interesting and well reasoned are:

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.

and

In Lopez, I argued that allowing Congress to regulate intrastate, noncommercial activity under the Commerce Clause would confer on Congress a general “police power� over the Nation. 514 U.S., at 584, 600 (concurring opinion). This is no less the case if Congress ties its power to the Necessary and Proper Clause rather than the Commerce Clause. When agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration raided Monson’s home, they seized six cannabis plants. If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress’ Article I powers–as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause–have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to “appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce.� United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, 627 (2000) (Thomas, J., concurring).

So birdie, how does it feel to be on the same side of the law as Clarence Thomas? We live in interesting times!

Re:Federalism is on last legs

Interesting times indeed. This one's got to be an aberration.

Re:Federalism is on last legs

But its the Federal Government that works to keep illegal drugs from coming into the country. I don't see how you can have a situation where Federal Law Enforcement officials are raiding planes and boats bringing marijuana into the country meanwhile California residents are growing it in their backyard. It just doesn't make sense.

Re:Federalism is on last legs

If Justice Clarence Thomas can't explain it to you in his spirited and well researched dissent, there's nothing I can tell you that would change your mind.For federalism to be meaningful, states need to have control over activity occuring entirely within their borders (unless that control creates slavery or otherwise destroys human rights). Otherwise, we may just as well save some money by abolishing our 50 legislatures and elected governors and just have provincial governors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.Personally, I prefer federalism.

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