The federal prohibition on marijuana doesn’t seem to serve as much of a deterrent to the people of those states who want it legalized within their borders.
Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to prohibit weed. The Supreme Court concurs. But claiming something doesn’t make it so. I can claim I am a unicorn, but I still don’t have a horn. Clearly, the Constitution delegates no power of marijuana regulation to the feds. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.
So, more and more states continue to do exactly what they should do when the federal government tries exercise power it does not legitimately possess.
Eighteen states have done just that, legalizing medical marijuana. That wave continues to build, with seven state legislatures already considering medicinal cannabis legislation in the 2013 session, and more likely to follow suit. Then we have the people Colorado and Washington taking the next step, voting for legalization last November. And at least two more states will consider marijuana legalization in 2013.
Earlier this month, New Hampshire state Rep. Mark Warden (R-Manchester), along with seven cosponsors, introduced HB337. The proposed act “removes the criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana.”
The Granite State joins Hawaii in considering marijuana legalization in the upcoming legislative season.
The bill adds little to current New Hampshire law. It simply strikes all references to marijuana and related paraphernalia from the state Controlled Drug Act.
A Public Policy Polling survey found that 53 percent of New Hampshire residents support full legalization of weed.
Sources indicate the New Hampshire General Court will also consider legalization of medical marijuana. A similar bill passed both houses last year, but was vetoed by Gov. John Lynch. New Governor Maggie Hassan indicated she supports legalization of medicinal cannabis, making it likely that New Hampshire will at least legalize weed for medical use in the next year.
The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully nullify unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people.
It also reveals another fun-fact. For all of their opposition and caterwauling about racism and extremism, progressives believe in nullification too.
If you live in New Hampshire, contact your state representatives and ask them to support HB337. You can find legislative contact information HERE.
The bill was referred to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Contact committee members and ask them to move the legislation on to the House floor. You can find committee member information HERE.
If you don’t live in New Hampshire, you can track marijuana legislation across the U.S. and find model legislation to introduce in your state HERE.