Let states rule

December 08, 2004

EDITORIAL, West Roxbury and Roslindale Transcript

Whether states should allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes is an interesting question, but whether the federal government should tell then they can't is no question. The federal government has no such right.

The federal government asserts the right on the basis of the Constitution's interstate commerce clause, which exists to facilitate national commerce across state lines without interference from the states. But the states permitting marijuana to be used medicinally specify that the marijuana must be grown locally, not transported over state lines.

Next to no money is involved in its sale.

The case is now before the Supreme Court, and during a hearing the other day, you could hear the justices worrying about such issues as federal regulatory authority and whether medical marijuana will be a means for furthering black markets in recreational marijuana.

Message to the court: Your job is constitutional interpretation, and that means interpreting the commerce clause, and if you really believe in the Constitution, you have just one option. Let the states do as they please.

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