Farm Bill in Limbo, So is the Commerce Clause

Before Congress vacays for most of August, the 2008 Farm Bill will either be extended or replaced by a new 2012 version. One of the great debates to rise from this issue centers around Congressman Steve King’s (R-IA) amendment which nullifies state laws restricting trade with other states on issues of agriculture and food safety. Get this: some progressives are upset about a conservative citing the “power to regulate”! How does that work?

Typically, when a federal legislator invokes the Commerce Clause, some level of chicanery is afoot. Here, however, Steve King may actually have gotten it right. In 2008, California voters passed an initiative that in 2014 begins stricter regulations on egg production within the state as well as demanding the same level of animal protection from the other 49. The second half of that authority is what King recognizes as a violation of the Commerce Clause.

From steveking.house.gov:

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High Stakes for New York Medical Marijuana Bill

New York is close to becoming the 18th state to reject federal drug laws – and legalize medical marijuana. Perhaps not close enough though. Bill A-7347, allowing a licensed practitioner to prescribe marijuana to patients with serious conditions, passed New York Assembly by a vote of 90-50 on Wednesday.

While this may sound like good news, it’s not the first time the New York Assembly has made progress only to be denied vote in the State Senate. It would be the third time in five years.

Governor Cuomo is focused on his own decriminalization of small possession effort, so he has not taken a position in favor of medical issue. In April, he said the following:

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College Students Stand up for the Bill of Rights

ASUCSD Denounces Drug Enforcement Administration

From April 21 to 25, nobody heard the screams and kicks from Daniel Chong, a UCSD engineering student, as he was dying in a 5-by-10 foot antechamber without anything to eat or drink. No window, no toilet, no nothing. He survived on urine and whatever he could find in the cell, which amounted to unexplainable traces of methamphetamine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego is responsible for this.

Immediately, it is clear there is absolutely no justification for such treatment of any person, no matter the crime. However the swift arm of justice is absent when armed bureaucrats are the offenders. William Sherman of the DEA issued an apology amounting to self-congratulation as “this event is not indicative of the high standards” to which he claims to hold his employees. Now Chong is suing for $20 million, but when their annual federal budget exceeds $2 billion, is this a realistic path to protecting the innocent from DEA desecration?

A wholly unrelated student also attending UCSD, Angad Walia, led the campus response by proposing a resolution to the Associated Students of UCSD condemning the intolerable DEA. The resolution in full can be found here. Read just a few of the highlights:

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