Pot law interpretation

December 13, 2004

EDITORIAL, Ventura County Star

Whether states should allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes is an interesting question, but whether the federal government should tell them they can't is no question at all. 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 interstate commerce clause has been used to justify a vast number of extensions of federal power even when there has been no connection to commerce. This is not only a fraudulent misuse of constitutional language, but a negation of important rights reserved to the states. The people of this land are made less free by the trickery.

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.

The court's job is constitutional interpretation, and that means interpreting the commerce clause, and if it really believe in the Constitution, it has just one option. Let the states do as they please.



Be the first to Comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.