You know, with all the focus on Obamacare, and the horrendous decision by the “conservative” Supreme Court, I almost missed this story regarding a recent initiative that qualified for the ballot here in Oregon. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act essentially legalizes Marijuana, and treats it like alcohol. Regardless of how you feel about pot, you should applaud this law.
Not because marijuana is “safer than alcohol” I am not certain of that argument. Not because the war on drugs is a gateway tyranny that allows the feds to justify atrocious behavior that would never be tolerated under any other circumstances. Not because you would enjoy getting high with your friends. You should applaud this because the federal government has acknowledged (by the ratification of the 18th amendment) that they do not have the authority to execute the war on drugs, and they do it anyway! If the Constitution is to mean anything, it must mean what it means all the time. Selective enforcement of the Constitution by both parties is what has brought the republic to the sorry place that it now stands.
Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather this blow be struck by the right. Nullifying Obamacare, or passing a firearms freedoms act would be somewhat preferable to see. Heck, I even wrote an article about the refusal of the Conservatives in Oregon to stand against federal usurpations. Interestingly this article was about the failure of the right, but when I closed with this challenge:
“Why is it that Conservatives have lost their courage where the left so defiantly treaded for Medical marijuana? Do Conservatives have the stones to reclaim their liberties from the Feds, or am I just shouting into the wind?”
This was the teaser used on the national TAC Facebook page. One conservative commented that conservatives would never back medical marijuana because it is “from the devil”. Interesting that a conservative could not bring himself to read an article mostly about conservatism and nullification for long enough to take the lesson that nullification does not equal open revolution.
At any rate, the initiative is a real middle finger to the feds, it is loaded with one liner quotes such as:
“Whereas the people of the State of Oregon find that cannabis does not cause the social ills that its prohibition was intended to guard against; rather, that most of the social ills attributed to cannabis result from its unreasonable prohibition”
“Whereas the people hold that cannabis prohibition is a sumptuary law of a nature repugnant to our constitution’s framers and which is so unreasonable and liberticidal…”
“Violates the state’s right to regulate and tax commerce within the state, as reserved to states under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, thereby abdicating control to illicit markets;”
Also it includes a legal defense fund for state users who are in compliance with the state law, and violating federal law.
If I were to write this initiative, I would do it differently, but some highlights are:
- Use is limited to people 21 years of age and older.
- The use will be managed by a state agency, with taxes applied to discourage any exports, and to prevent abuse.
- It includes a requirement for the Attorney General to defend anyone charged with a crime while they are in compliance with state law.
Even written as it is, I still support this law, because the laws regarding pot in Oregon are no more the business of the other 49 states or the federal government than are the laws that govern healthcare!
Nullify Oregon Nullify!
So this puts the ball back in the court of the Conservatives, Are we as courageous as the left, or again… Am I shouting into the wind?
Tim Reeves (State Chair)
Libertarian Party of Oregon,