The Keystone(d) State?

Last week Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach introduced Senate Bill No. 528, known as the “Regulate Marijuana Act,” which decriminalizes the sale and use of marijuana for persons 21 years of age and older. Citing the efficient use of law enforcement resources, the potential tax bonanza and individual freedom, SB 528 ends criminal penalties and prosecution of cannabis users and small backyard growers, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars per year, according to Leach.

“Lives are being destroyed by prohibition,” observed Leach, making the case that the health and safety of Pennsylvania would be better served if marijuana were regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.

Leach’s decriminalization bill is actively backed by the non-partisan Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Pennsylvania Veterans for Marijuana Legalization and cleverly-named Pennsylvania Hempland Security.

The bill is not without its flaws. Most detrimentally SB 528 gives the state Liquor Control Board a near monopoly on the wholesale and retail distribution of marijuana, in the manner of Pennsylvania’s much maligned government retail sales of wine and spirits. Still, the bill attempts to reclaim state sovereignty against unconstitutional federal regulation, which is a welcome assertion of state rights secured by the Tenth Amendment.

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Nulllification can lead to a State Economic and Prosperity Plan

Hear ye, hear ye.   Pull your chair up to the edge of the precipice. I have a story to tell…

Nullification can imply, if not be the road to  economic and prosperity as an action plan, demonstrating that State Soverignty is good the well being of its citizens.  Putting together three of TAC’s 10th Amendment legislations, plus creating a Health Free Zone in your  State could be the basis for revitalizing and promoting economic and prosperity for all in the State!

Based on a recent article, Create the first Health Freedom Zone in America. a live talk show referencing a couple great health reform ideas, Mike Adams has triggered an Action Plan for any state to move toward sovereignty. I am calling it the 2+2 plan= State Economic & Prosperity Plan.  Whether your State is nullifying ObamaCare or not, this plan opens the health field to competition, and creates a mecca for bringing commerce and prosperity to your State.

The 2+2 is a core strategy for state sovereignty and freedom.  The ‘+2′ part of the plan is a one-two punch for health, wealth and prosperity, but not self-reliance and the full blessings of liberty for you and your progeny.  Together, they are almost invincible.

The first ‘2′ in the “2+2″ is based on sovereignty principles for any state, country or wannabe self-sustaining jurisdiction. The ‘+2′ is viable actions a state can take.  Both 2’s in the ‘2+2′ are things a state can do using legislation, the Tenth Amendment, honor ‘the blessings of freedom,’ and create a viable economy in these trying and surely to become darker times ahead.

There are two fundamental principles for creating a viable self sustaining, self reliant and self standing state:  gaining control of the Purse & Sword. This is based on the solid work of Dr Vieira, the constitutional lawyer who advances this theme (video).  TAC has been tracking this, the Purse idea via the Constitutional Tender legislation and the Sword via the Defend the Guard legislation tracking .

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New York Senate Bill Would Nullify Federal Laws on Marijuana

New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery has introduced a bill (S01682) legalizing medical marijuana in the state.

The bill has been co-sponsored by Senators Liz Krueger and John L. Sampson and it states:

The legislature finds that thousands of New Yorkers have serious medical conditions that can be improved by medically-approved use of  marihuana.  The law should not stand between them  and  life  and health-sustaining treatment under a practitioner’s supervision.  Many controlled substances that  are  legal for  medical  use (such as morphine and steroids) are otherwise illegal. This legislation follows  the  well-established  public  policy  that  a controlled substance can have a legitimate medical use.

The bill has been assigned to committee.

If passed, New York will join 18 other states who have nullified unconstitutional federal laws on marijuana. 

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New Marijuana ‘Controversy’ Being Pushed by Bureaucrats, Newspapers

With the economy struggling and cities going bankrupt left and right, you would think that bureaucrats in the state of California would focus on shoring up the spending problems before expending more precious resources toward a crackdown on medical marijuana. But that is not the case. The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries back in July, a decision that won the ire of voters.

This unanimous 14-0 bipartisan agreement that cut off commerce and jobs at a time when they are so desperately needed was so reviled by voters that signatures were quickly collected in enough time to get a repeal measure on the ballot in November. With marijuana being more widespread and popular than ever, it is very possible that these bureaucrats will have their prohibition overturned and the medical marijuana industry will be allowed to grow without senseless laws stifling them.

But according to a Sept. 23 editorial in the Los Angeles Times, the medical marijuana industry cannot be allowed to

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Do We Have the Stones

You know, with all the focus on Obamacare, and the horrendous decision by the “conservative” Supreme Court, I almost missed this story regarding a recent initiative that qualified for the ballot here in Oregon. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act essentially legalizes Marijuana, and treats it like alcohol. Regardless of how you feel about pot, you should applaud this law.

Not because marijuana is “safer than alcohol” I am not certain of that argument. Not because the war on drugs is a gateway tyranny that allows the feds to justify atrocious behavior that would never be tolerated under any other circumstances. Not because you would enjoy getting high with your friends. You should applaud this because the federal government has acknowledged (by the ratification of the 18th amendment)  that they do not have the authority to execute the war on drugs, and they do it anyway!  If the Constitution is to mean anything, it must mean what it means all the time. Selective enforcement of the Constitution by both parties is what has brought the republic to the sorry place that it now stands.

Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather this blow be struck by the right. Nullifying Obamacare, or passing a firearms freedoms act would be somewhat preferable to see. Heck, I even wrote an article about the refusal of the Conservatives in Oregon to stand against federal usurpations. Interestingly this article was about the failure of the right, but when I closed with this challenge:

“Why is it that Conservatives have lost their courage where the left so defiantly treaded for Medical marijuana? Do Conservatives have the stones to reclaim their liberties from the Feds, or am I just shouting into the wind?”

This was the teaser used on the national TAC Facebook page. One conservative commented that conservatives would never back medical marijuana because it is “from the devil”. Interesting that a conservative could not bring himself to read an article mostly about conservatism and nullification for long enough to take the lesson that nullification does not equal open revolution.

At any rate, the initiative is a real middle finger to the feds, it is loaded with one liner quotes such as:

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Montanans Plead the 10th

Last August, a group of medical practitioners and pharmaceutical manufacturers filed suit against the federal government in U.S. District Court. They claimed the feds violated their rights by sending armed agents into their businesses and, according to a report in the Santa Fe New Mexican “‘seized and destroyed thousands of live plants,’ and ‘took away hundreds of pounds of dried marijuana’ during a March 2011 raid on licensed producers, and stripped certain providers of lights and other equipment used to grow and distribute the herb, which caused […] significant financial damage.”

But the district court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims, saying the issue had “already been decided.”

However, as Daniel Abrahamson notes, medical marijuana hasn’t really been decided by the courts, as most of the relevant cases haven’t actually been argued in court. In nearly all cases, the parties have settled or withdrawn their appeals. So it would appear to be an open question, ripe for such a challenge.

The group hopes they’ll have their chance to advance their case later this year in the 9th Circuit Court. One of the chief complaints raised by attorney Paul Livingston, who represents this Montana group, is that “It is truly astonishing that so much weight is given, so many actions taken, and so much reliance placed on a demonstrably false notion; that marijuana has no known medical uses.”

But the main thrust of their case doesn’t rest solely on the medical science regarding cannabis, the 10th Amendment will also be key to their argument. Livingston will attempt to show that both the power to police and provide safety to the public lie not with the Feds, but with the several states. Such a two-pronged approach ought to be the most effective, insomuch as petitioning the government courts to limit their own powers is concerned.

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Even When You Win You Lose

The degree to which someone will tolerate federal tyranny depends on if it is directed at them or someone else.

Both the left and the right use the power of government to push through their political agendas but nowhere is that more evident than at the federal level. With each new election no matter which side wins, the balance of power always tilts in the direction of more restrictions on individuals and diminution of the states.

In recent years, both parties have effectively used the federal government to cajole, bribe or force the states into submission with unconstitutional laws. But one issue has eluded the left, the elimination of the laws concerning marijuana and medical marijuana in particular. With repeated assurances from candidate Obama, that he would respect state laws legalizing medical marijuana the left felt that the War on Marijuana was over. Then with the election of President Obama and Democrat majorities in both houses of the Legislature, they knew that they had won.

Or had they?

The best-case scenario was the elimination of all federal marijuana laws or at the least non-enforcement. But what has transpired in the last year is the just the opposite, enforcement on all fronts. The more states implement new more lenient possession laws and legalize use for medical conditions the harder President Obama’s DOJ comes down on providers.

The left could not depend on conservatives or those that professed belief in limited government and expanded individual freedom. They knew that those professed beliefs were only for public consumption especially when Election Day was fast approaching; otherwise, it was Big Government Nanny State as usual. But how could the President not only abandon them but also become their biggest foe?

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NH Medical Marijuana Bill Faces Veto

The New Hampshire Senate passed legislation 13-to-11 Wednesday, March 28, 2012 to allow a patient with a “debilitating medical condition” or that patient’s designated caretaker to cultivate and possess up to six ounces of marijuana, four mature plants and 12 seedlings at a registered “cultivation location.” It would allow the patient or caregiver to possess two ounces elsewhere. 

Despite vocal support from several traditional opponents including Senate Republican Leader Jeb Bradley, it failed to gather the two-thirds majority needed for a veto override.

Governor John Lynch has opposed several medical marijuana bills in recent years. He vetoed a dispensary approach in 2009, citing concerns over proliferation and cultivation beyond the dispensaries, and another medical marijuana bill died last year in the Senate after he had promised a veto. 

Following the Senate vote, Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said the bill was even less restrictive than the dispensary approach, and the governor plans to veto it (Boston Globe).

With seven Republicans supporting the bill, allowing the legislation to cross party lines, and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voting 5-0 to approve the bill, Senator Jim Forsythe (R) is leading the charge to build a veto proof majority for the legislation.

If they are successful, the New Hampshire program would resemble those in Maine and Vermont and would end in three years if lawmakers do not renew it, providing an outlet for review and reform.

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Number of States Resisting Federal Drug Policy Could Increase Significantly

The push to resist Federal Drug policy is advancing once again this legislative session with a number of bills and a number of different approaches being taken at the state level.  There are currently 17 states with cannabis legislation this session, despite a new Federal crackdown on cannabis operations in California that were within State and local law.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are now considering a new attempt to address the issue of marijuana, knowing full well that their Governor is not likely to sign anything along those lines.  As Governor Corbett has stated before, he believes that the Supreme Court is the ultimate authority of law and that states cannot freely exercise their power under the constitution until the SCOTUS gives them permission. he’s joined in that view by state Rep. John Lawrence, R-13th of Franklin who said, “I’m not a supporter of the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. This is an issue that should be dealt with at the federal level.”

In Massachusetts, a group of lawmakers led by Representative Ellen Story of Amherst are seeking to establish state level cannabis laws.  The driving force behind “The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act” was a Public Policy Question in the 2010 elections, which clearly instructed Story and others to take this issue on.  This bill will go before the Judiciary Committee March 6th at 1:00, in a Legalization hearing at the statehouse, room A-2.  Anyone is free to attend and address the committee- a prime chance for even those who don’t support marijuana use to explain why in order to be in line with the constitution, cannabis must be addressed at the state rather than Federal level.

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