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 sharing an opinion on something doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. You can claim you are a unicorn, but you’re not. 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 even more state legislatures considering medicinal marijuana legislation in the 2013 session, and more likely to follow suit.
Introduced in February by State Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), House Bill 573 would allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Patients would be able to grow up to three mature marijuana plants in their homes or obtain marijuana through one of five non-profit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers.
Gov. Maggie Hassan has expressed support for passing medical marijuana legislation. A similar medical marijuana bill that passed with bipartisan support last session was vetoed by then-governor John Lynch.
The bill moved one step closer to becoming law Thursday when it was approved 14-1 by the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. It will now be considered by the full House of Representatives.
Prior to the vote, Rep. Patrick Culbert (R-Pelham) made an emotional plea to his colleagues, sharing his experience caring for his wife, Judy, as she slowly died of cancer. He recounted how she found relief from her “agonizing” symptoms the sole time she tried using medical marijuana, but did not use it again because she feared being arrested.
“People like Judy shouldn’t have to die like that,” Rep. Culbert said. “She should have died with dignity and she didn’t.”
If it does pass the House, Senator Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, who chairs the Senate Health Committee, said she believes the measure would ‘‘fare well’’ in the Senate this time around.
A Granite State Poll conducted earlier in February found that 79% of New Hampshire adults support allowing doctors to recommend marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses.
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 vote YES on HB573. You can find legislative contact 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.