SPRINGFIELD, Ill – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will be deciding if his state will become the 20th to defy and nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on marijuana after the state Senate approved legislation on Friday.
The Illinois House passed the bill legalizing marijuana for medical use by a vote of 61-57 in April, and the Senate concurred by a vote of 35-21. on Wednesday. Passage into law would nullify, as 19 states are already doing, unconstitutional federal bans on the plant.
Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. 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.
Nineteen states have done just that, legalizing marijuana for either limited medical purposes – or as done by the People of Washington State and Colorado last fall, legalize the plant for the general public. The wave continues to build, with even more state legislatures considering medicinal marijuana legislation in the current session, and more likely to follow suit this year and next.
The message? When enough people say NO to unconstitutional federal “laws” – and enough states back them up, there’s not much the feds can do about it.
The final vote for HB1 was cheered by supporters who say that this is compassionate legislation which could save patients from the agony caused by illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV – even though the federal government opposes such help for sick people.
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 19 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 Governor Quinn for a signature.