The degree to which someone will tolerate federal tyranny depends on if it is directed at them or someone else.
Both the left and the right use the power of government to push through their political agendas but nowhere is that more evident than at the federal level. With each new election no matter which side wins, the balance of power always tilts in the direction of more restrictions on individuals and diminution of the states.
In recent years, both parties have effectively used the federal government to cajole, bribe or force the states into submission with unconstitutional laws. But one issue has eluded the left, the elimination of the laws concerning marijuana and medical marijuana in particular. With repeated assurances from candidate Obama, that he would respect state laws legalizing medical marijuana the left felt that the War on Marijuana was over. Then with the election of President Obama and Democrat majorities in both houses of the Legislature, they knew that they had won.
Or had they?
The best-case scenario was the elimination of all federal marijuana laws or at the least non-enforcement. But what has transpired in the last year is the just the opposite, enforcement on all fronts. The more states implement new more lenient possession laws and legalize use for medical conditions the harder President Obama’s DOJ comes down on providers.
The left could not depend on conservatives or those that professed belief in limited government and expanded individual freedom. They knew that those professed beliefs were only for public consumption especially when Election Day was fast approaching; otherwise, it was Big Government Nanny State as usual. But how could the President not only abandon them but also become their biggest foe?
The latest example was a bipartisan amendment’s failure (163-262) in the US House of Representatives, which would have blocked the Justice Department from interfering with states’ implementation of medical marijuana laws.
Where were all the States Rights, small government and individual freedom supporters, then?
In a recent article – House To Vote On Blocking Funding For Crackdown On Medical Marijuana it was stated:
“Both Democrats and Republicans are telling the Obama administration: enough is enough, stop wasting taxpayer money to undermine state medical marijuana laws,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs of the Drug Policy Alliance. “President Obama needs to realize his assault on patient access is not just immoral – but a serious political miscalculation. For more than a decade, polling has consistently shown that 70 to 80 percent of Americans support medical marijuana.”
“I’m tired of seeing friends who stood up to help patients lose their livelihoods after federal raids, some even prosecuted and imprisoned,” said David Borden, executive director of StoptheDrugWar.org. “I’m tired of watching DEA officials continue to obstruct FDA-approved research on medical marijuana, research that could have resolved things through that official process long ago.”
These are not your typical drug raids of years past; this is the use of numerous Departments of the Federal Government in an all-out crack down.
The DEA is raiding many licensed and regulated medical marijuana providers that are legal under state law. The ATF is discriminating against medical marijuana patients by prohibiting them from owning firearms. The IRS is rejecting standard tax deductions from legitimate medical marijuana businesses operating in full compliance with state law. And federal threats have intimidated banks and landlords into refusing to do business with the medical marijuana industry.
Even free speech is under attack – at least one federal prosecutor is threatening to target newspapers that accept medical marijuana advertising.
The natural question is why?
Why the aggressive enforcement of these drug laws?
One would assume that the large majority of these citizens that the DOJ is going after are or maybe were Obama supporters. With the elections coming up why antagonize your supporters?
As interesting as those questions are, how about this more important question. Why with all the evidence pointing to intransigence on the part of the Federal Government does the left keep looking for relief from federal drug laws from the very same federal government that gave us federal drug laws? The evidence shows that supports of more lenient marijuana laws have been far more successful gaining in the states what could not be gained at the federal level.
With Drug Laws in clear violation of the Constitution, – it took an amendment to the Constitution to ban alcohol, but only a law to ban drugs – the States have turned to the Tenth Amendment to set policies on drugs for their citizens.
The 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. – Tenth Amendment
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington state have all reclaimed their Sovereignty. Whether the issue is marijuana or any other federal usurpation, the answer will not be found at the federal level since they are the ones that created the problem in the first place.
The answer clearly lies at the state level and the use of the Tenth Amendment.
For further reading on state actions taken to limit the federal government’s role in “drug enforcement”:
17 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC – Laws, Fees, and Possession Limits
Obama Worst President for Medical Marijuana in U.S. History