The Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values filed a lawsuit with the Arkansas Supreme Court in August to remove Arkansas’ medicinal pot measure from the ballot. Arkansas Matters .com ran the following article on the lawsuit that I feel needs a thorough rebuttal. Seeing as here in Oregon I have heard several of the same false premises argued against our very own measure 80 to legalize pot and hemp statewide. I have taken it upon myself to correct some of the silly assertions made by Jerry Cox of the Family Council Action Committee in the article.
To begin with, Mr Cox asserts that the medical weed law is to use his words:
“… illegal because of federal statute passed by Congress. Only the federal government can change that. The Arkansas Constitution and the United States Constitution both prevent Arkansas from passing laws that blatantly defy federal law.”
Of course this assertion should not fool regular readers of the TAC, nor should it fool any person who truly understands the Constitution (US or Arkansas) or the American federal system for that matter, but for newcomers to the debate I will lay it out once more. The Supremacy clause only renders federal laws “in pursuance” of the Constitution’s enumerated authority the “supreme law of the land”.
If you search the US Constitution, you will find no authority whatsoever in the founding law for “prohibition laws” (this much can be demonstrated by noting the passage of the 18th amendment to enact prohibition in the early 20th century). If it was constitutional to pass prohibition laws, why did America go through such pains to Amend the Constitution the first time? Also note that the Amendment allowing “prohibition laws” has been repealed (I might add with another amendment.) So the authority the temperence movement fought so hard to achieve has been specifically rescinded.
As Hamilton said in Federalist33:
“acts of the large society, which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. Hence we perceive, that the clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union, like the one we have just before considered, only declares a truth, which flows immediately and necessarily from the institution of a Fœderal Government”
It follows then that regardless of the statutes that are passed by Congress, a medical weed law cannot violate the US Constitution so long as it is passed by the state of Arkansas or Oregon and NOT by Washington D.C.. What it does do is affirm the limits placed by the US Constitution on the Federal government in yet another state. So since the federal laws regarding Weed are blatant violations of the US Constitution and not the law at all, Mr. Cox’s statement is false at least, and silly to the people who understand the law.
“This measure has little to do with compassionate care. If medical marijuana proponents had the best interests of patients in mind, they would lobby Congress to pass a legal measure that would let the medical community test marijuana for health applications. They would let the FDA prescribe unified treatment and dosing standards. That’s what the American Medical Association thinks they should do, and I’m inclined to agree.”
So After misrepresenting the US constitutions “supremacy clause” in his previous statement, he wants us to continue the proven non-functional method of getting relief. First as I already stated, the Federal government has no say in the legality or illegality of weed in the state of Arkansas or Oregon, and thus having them pass pass a measure would be of no effect, and having the unconstitutional FDA pass regulations that would be equally unconstitutional is just silly. The idea is to legalize pot for medical use, the necessary regulations are contained in the law, and in that form they are legal which is more than you can say about any federal drug laws or FDA regulations.
Other complaints from the FCAC relate to the length of the measure and the effectiveness of smoking as a delivery method. Thankfully the lawsuit was dismissed in court, so the citizens of Arkansas still have the opportunity to hammer one more nail in the coffin of the drug war. It seems the Arkansas court was no more fooled by such silly arguments than the average TAC reader, props to them.
So in conclusion, there are parts in every law that I don’t like. but nothing in this law can match in evil, the tyranny that we smoked when we tacitly accepted the drug war in clear violation of the US Constitution. The drug war imprisons the non-violent, as it rewards the violent, it has led to more violations of individual rights than any other war in history, it has replaced the businessman in commerce with the ruthless thug, it has replaced safe drugs with poison infested crack, and crank. The War on drugs is in short a gateway tyranny. The states are ending it one at a time, lets allow them continue this brave and honorable work.