Agenda 21 – Another Enemy of the Constitution

Most of the Tenth Amendment Center‘s efforts since its founding have been focused on opposing the federal government’s usurpation of state, local and individual powers. There are certainly plenty of actions on the part of the federal government in the past century that could fall under that category, with both major parties sharing culpability. Unconstitutional wars, the war on drugs, massive government expansion into health care, education, agriculture…the list could go on and on. However, another threat to local, state and even national sovereignty comes from the international community, specifically the United Nations.

Coming out of the 1992 Rio Summit, Agenda 21 seeks to increase the UN’s power over areas of life ranging from farming practices to housing, all under the guise of environmentally sustainable development. What Agenda 21 really amounts to is a threat to private property rights, free markets and local self-government. Ironically, many towns have been gradually implementing Agenda 21 at the local level through ICLEI, which is an organization of local governments for sustainability. Like many power grabs, it is presented as being for the good of the people, but if one looks at the results of centralization of power at the national level, much less the international level, it is difficult to believe their rhetoric about saving the earth will yield any environmental benefit.

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Two states seek to protect local food commerce from federal regulation

New Hampshire and Utah lawmakers have introduced legislation that would protect local food commerce from unconstitutional federal regulation in their states. HB1650 and SB34, respectively, would protect agricultural products that never cross state lines, not legally subject to federal regulations.

New Hampshire HB1650, sponsored by Rep. Davenport, Rep. Manuse, Rep. Mauro, Rep. Terrio, Rep. Bowers, and Sen. Forsythe, would “allow for locally produced food products to be sold and consumed within New Hampshire and to encourage the expansion and accessibility of farmers’ markets, roadside stands, farm and home based sales, and producer to end consumer agricultural sale.” The New Hampshire Food Freedom Act would protect products labeled “Made In New Hampshire.” It would also make it a class B misdemeanor for State officials, and class A misdemeanor for Federal officials, to attempt to enforce a federal act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation upon labeled products.

Utah SB34, sponsored by Sen. Casey Anderson (R- Cedar City) would also allow for locally produced food products to be sold and consumed within Utah, while providing legal protections for consumers and producers and imposing penalties for officials who attempt to interfere. It would also make it a class A misdemeanor for anyone attempting to enforce a federal regulation upon agricultural products indicating that they are “Made in Utah,” “Grown in Utah,” or “Produced in Utah.”

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Idaho bill would decriminalize medicinal marijuana

On Jan. 17, Republican Tom Trail introduced HB 370 in the Idaho House of Representatives. This marks Trail’s second attempt to address the needs of medical marijuana patients in as many years.

“Representative Trail is a conservative who gets it. He sees that it’s all about compassion. In essence the heart of this bill is true conservatism.” Robert Capecchi of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington D.C. said.

HB370 would provide for alternative treatment centers where very ill patients could obtain cannabis medication to ease their suffering. It is not a legalization bill, but it does contain some interesting statements regarding the relationship between the States and their central government:

“According to the U.S. sentencing commission and the federal bureau of investigation, 99 out of every 100 marijuana arrests in the country are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marijuana.”

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