The Illinois House passed a bill legalizing marijuana for medical use on Wednesday. Passage into law would nullify, as 18 states are already doing, unconstitutional federal bans on the plant.
The 61-57 vote for HB1 was cheered by supporters who say the House has long been the highest hurdle for legalization; the Senate has previously passed similar legislation and Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday he was “open-minded” about the proposal.
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.
Under the bill, an individual could be prescribed no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana over two weeks. A doctor who prescribes marijuana must have had a prior and ongoing relationship with the patient.
Patients would have to buy the marijuana from one of 60 dispensing centers throughout the state rather than be allowed to grow their own. Workers at dispensing centers would undergo criminal background checks, the stores would be under around-the-clock camera surveillance, and users would carry cards that indicate how much they had purchased to prevent stockpiling.
The feds insists Americans can’t use marijuana. That hasn’t stopped 18 states from legalizing medicinal cannabis. And the people of Colorado and Washington voted for full marijuana legalization last November.
“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…none,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “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.”.
HB1 now moves on to the Illinois Senate for concurrence.