States Continue to step in line to nullify the federal prohibition on marijuana.
Add the Old Line State to the mix. Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer says he plans to introduce the Cannabis Freedom Act during the 2014 legislative session. The bill has been drafted, but not yet introduced.
The act would prohibit the state from recognizing any federal marijuana laws, and would prohibit state agents from assisting in their enforcement.
The legislation follows the model of many nullification bills introduced by lawmakers across the U.S. addressing issues from health care to NSA spying, and relying on the well-established anti-commandeering doctrine. In a nutshell, the federal government cannot force states to implement or enforce its acts or regulations.
Following is what Dwyer had to say about nullifying federal marijuana laws.
State legislatures have begun to decriminalize marijuana. This is very important, even if you don’t support marijuana use, personally. This issue goes beyond simple decriminalization of marijuana because it is not only about the freedom to make your own choices as to what you eat, drink or smoke, it is about liberty and the return to true constitutional governance. The result of the States’ refusal to accept unconstitutional federal overreach has positive implications on the future of Liberty and governance, which the Founders always intended to reside in the States.
The Federal Government has never had the authority to ban marijuana within the states. The clearest evidence of this is the simple fact that it took an amendment to the Constitution, (the 18th ) to prohibit alcohol and another amendment,(the 21st) to repeal the alcohol prohibition. To date there have been no such amendment to prohibit marijuana.
To further support my argument, The 10th Amendment to the Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” This means that any prohibition, regulation or other law regarding marijuana is left to each state to enact, by means of their legislative process supported by the citizens of that state.
What we have instead, is decades of unconstitutional federal “Law” and regulation that has gone unchecked because of the misrepresentation of the Supremacy Clause by the courts. The Supremacy Clause has been used as an argument against nullification. The Supremacy Clause states “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme Law of the Land” The power lies within the states, by way of the elected legislature to determine if a law is pursuant to the Constitution. On the other hand, if the law is indeed unconstitutional, nullification is not only justified, but the duty of the individual states to ignore.
Nullification under the Doctrine of Interposition is the rightful remedy for unconstitutional Federal “Laws” as clearly intended and argued by Thomas Jefferson.
“…but where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that without this right they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them”
Let’s be clear, nullification is not an act whereby a state simply refuses to comply with a Federal law it does not like, it is the claim that the law is not a law at all because it is unconstitutional.
Individual States all over the US are currently exercising this right by considering a number of legislative actions that would nullify illegal, unconstitutional Federal “laws” such as Obamacare, any federal firearms ban, registration or limitations, and the prohibition of marijuana. The debate is not simply about marijuana legalization; it is a debate whether or not to return our country to true Constitutional governance.
For more information on the Cannabis Freedom Act, click HERE.