Maryland’s Glenn Cites Tenth in New Drug Legislation

“WHEREAS, The General Assembly enacts this Act in accordance with its police power to enact legislation for the protection of the health of its citizens, as reserved to the State in the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution; now, therefore,”

…And then the bill goes on, letting the world know what will be permitted under Maryland law…in accordance with the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.  Powerful little amendment, I’d say.

It has also been a popular approach to the problem that every American currently faces, that being their central government’s insistence that DC is the ONLY place to approach and solve We the People’s problems.

Maryland House Delegate Cheryl Glenn (D-Baltimore) had found herself fed up with the bureaucratic process she was seeing- a process that had begun in the previous legislative session.  ‘Workgroups’ were assigned to study the problem of medical cannabis 12 months ago and then deliver a proposal to the state house.  Both had flaws that Glenn was not prepared to tolerate.  It’s understandable really, if you consider the number of complaints about drug policy she must hear as a representative of the people of Baltimore.

“As a legislator dedicated to addressing the needs of medical marijuana patients in Maryland, I am very disappointed in both legislative proposals being offered by the commissioned workgroup,” said Del. Glenn. “I am offering a different bill — what I believe is a common-sense approach to this issue, taking into account not only the needs of medical marijuana patients, but also the needs of the larger communities in which they live.”

The radical legislation that this maverick legislator is pushing?  In the big picture it is only a step in the process of addressing cannabis, with the establishment of lawful recognized medical applications.  Compassionate distribution systems are also created in this bill.

Readers of HB 15, the Maryland Medical Marijuana Act, will find a marked similarity in language and concept to a bill recently introduced in Idaho by conservative Republican Tom Trail.

Details

Washington State: Marijuana Regulation Measure Certified For 2012 Ballot

Washington State legislators have approved a statewide initiative for possible November ballot that would allow the legalization of small amounts of marijuana by adults.

New Approach Washington raised over 350,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for this year’s ballot in November. Backers include two former US Attorneys from the Bush and Clinton administrations and Seattle FBI agent-in-charge. This initiative must go to the Legislature where they must either pass the measure as written, allow it to go on the ballot after either ignoring it or rejecting it, or finally put it on the ballot with a legislative alternative.

The main goals as stated in Initiative 502 would require the state to license and regulate marijuana the same as hard liquor and:
… stop treating adult marijuana use as a crime and try a new approach that:
(1) Allows law enforcement resources to be focused on violent and property crimes;
(2) Generates new state and local tax revenue for education, health care, research, and substance abuse prevention; and
(3) Takes marijuana out of the hands of illegal drug organizations and brings it under a tightly regulated, state-licensed system similar to that for controlling hard alcohol.

This measure authorizes the state liquor control board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age and older, and add a new threshold for driving under the influence of marijuana.

This is a step in the right direction taken by the citizens of Washington State to decide for themselves what should or should not be a legal activity in their state. If passed this November it would put Washington State in conflict with federal laws where it is still illegal to use, buy and sell marijuana.

Details

Will Kansans Stand Up for Their Right to Choose? Will YOU?

One of the most active fronts in the fight to push back Federal overreach has been resistance to the Controlled Substances Act- a measure passed long ago that would have been soundly rejected by those who created our American system of governance.

The founders knew that something as important as what we put into our bodies should never be left to a far off group of bureaucrats in the central government.  Constitutional design was intended to prevent Federal lawmakers from deciding such important matters- since those lawmakers could never effectively make decisions for people with whom they have almost no contact.

Details

4 More Governors Bow Down to DC

So now a handful of Governors- one from my current state of WA, have ‘banded together’ to petition the Federal government.

Their demand?

That the Federal Government initiate a multi-year process of examining new evidence that medical marijuana COULD be useful medically.  The process goes like this:

  1. DEA does it’s own analysis on medical cannabis
  2. The FDA does IT’S own analysis, reviewing it’s previous work
  3. The DHHS does the same thing as the FDA
  4. The FDA & DHHS then submit THEIR findings to the DEA for even further review
  5. The DEA, unelected and EXPENSIVE bureaucrats make their decision

And just where does the bidding of We the People fit in the above process?  It doesn’t.

Details

Is the Drug War Constitutional?

At the recent South Carolina Republican debate, Chris Wallace asked Ron Paul how he expected to win the votes of social conservatives by supporting the legalization of all drugs, including heroin. Certainly, that isn’t a position you will find many Republicans endorsing these days. Paul’s answer was not only the funniest moment of the event, it was also the most instructive.

Here’s the bottom line: the Federal Government does not have the authority to pass laws regarding non-violent personal habits. If such laws were to be enacted, it would have to be done at the State level.

I believe that Congressman Paul is the most qualified candidate to speak on the issue of drugs and drug legalization. First, he is a doctor. He has prescribed medication many times since his days as a flight surgeon in the Air Force. He has also testified in the past that, personally, he doesn’t think drug use and abuse is a particularly healthy lifestyle choice:

…the federal war on drugs has proven costly and ineffective, while creating terrible violent crime. But if you question policy, you are accused of being pro-drug. That is preposterous. As a physician, father, and grandfather, I abhor drugs. I just know that there is a better way — through local laws, communities, churches, and families — to combat the very serious problem of drug abuse than a massive federal-government bureaucracy.”

He simply believes it is not compatible with liberty to make criminals out of those who choose that lifestyle.

Second, Ron Paul’s record shows that he has a better grasp of the concept of Federalism and the Constitution than any other Congressman currently in office. He has earned the title Dr. No because very little legislation passes his strict Constitutional test. It’s a simple one, really: Is the proposed legislation based on powers specifically granted to the Federal Government in the U. S. Constitution? Federal drug prohibition does not pass that test.

So, what is it about the drug decriminalization that gets social conservatives so hysterical? Is Ron Paul right about the Drug Prohibition, or is he simply “smoking something?”

Details

New England Nullification Tradition Marches On

Though many living in New England today might be loathe to admit it, there is a long history of nullification being used in the region to defy unconstitutional federal edicts. This week, the town of Sedgwick, Maine voted to carry on that proud tradition by nullifying certain federal agricultural regulations.

They did so through what might be the most legitimate form of democratic expression left in America: the New England town meeting. (Which have been held in the Sedgwick town hall since 1794.)

According to one report, the residents of Sedgwick voted to enact a law that not only permits

“Sedgwick citizens…to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing,”

but declares that

Details

Arizona, South Dakota: A Chance to Advance the Nullification Movement

On Election Day, Arizona and South Dakota will vote on initiatives to partially nullify Federal narcotics laws pertaining to the medicinal use of cannabis. These initiatives are important to the residents of both states for many reasons. They offer a re-assertion of state sovereignty and interposition by the state(s) on behalf of patients and their caregivers.

They affirm the sanctity of the doctor/patient relationship independent of Federal meddling. They provide patients safe access to their medication. And perhaps most importantly, they affirm that Arizona and South Dakota are willing to join the group of states in this Union (as well as the Federal District) and the nations around the world who accept the standard that judges societies by how well they treat their weakest and most vulnerable members.

Details

Prop 19 and Delegated Powers

I was glad to have the opportunity to discuss something that rarely comes up in political debate these days, how the constitution actually applies. This time, California marijuana, prop 19, in the Huffington Post. Here’s how I was quoted: “The federal government is only authorized to exercise those powers that ‘We the People’ delegated to…

Details

Candidates advocate for state and local control

Two Kentucky candidates recently made Tenth Amendment friendly statements.

While Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jack Conway continued to press the issue of rampant drug problems in Eastern Kentucky, saying his Republican opponent doesn’t get it and vocally advocating for federal funds, Rand Paul stuck to his guns, reiterating that he opposes federal funding for drug enforcement and addiction programs.

Paul insists the best way to deal with problems comes through innovating local solutions, adding that Washington siphoning money out of the state makes that more difficult.

“Right now we send money to Washington that comes back to us after it circulates through the Washington bureaucracy. Maybe if we weren’t sending so much to Washington, we’d have more in Kentucky,” Paul said.

Paul’s stand has apparently cost him some points in the polls. But Paul is right. And even if those dollars create some benefit when Washington deems it fit to bless the Commonwealth with a little windfall, the federal government has no Constitutional authority to fund drug programs.

Details

Diverse Groups Call for DEA to End Medical Marijuana Raids

Tenth Amendment Center, Firedoglake Publisher Join Drug Policy Organizations’ Condemnation of Recent Raids

WASHINGTON — Two ideologically diverse advocates last week echoed an earlier call by a coalition of drug-policy reform groups by condemning a series of recent raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration on medical marijuana collectives that were operating legally under state law. The Tenth Amendment Center, a group that advocates on behalf of states’ rights, and Jane Hamsher, the publisher of Firedoglake.com, called on the DEA to respect duly adopted state medical marijuana laws and immediately end these raids.

“The federal government is only authorized to exercise those powers that ‘We the People’ delegated to it in the Constitution. Included among the myriad of constitutional violations from D.C. are federal laws that ban the use of cannabis,” said Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. “It is especially egregious when these laws are used to justify raids in states where the use and distribution of cannabis is expressly allowed by law. How many hundreds of thousands of people are going to be arrested before We the People say ‘enough is enough’? The time to end this unconstitutional, immoral, and costly federal war on people is now.”

Details