LINCOLN, Ill. (Oct. 4, 2016) – Last month, the Lincoln City Council voted to decriminalize marijuana within the city limits, a step toward effectively nullifying federal prohibition in practice.Details
BATON ROUGE, La. (Aug 5, 2016) – On Monday, a Louisiana law specifically exempting medical marijuana patients and caregivers from state prosecution goes into effect. Along with another measure that was signed into law earlier this year, this gives Louisiana a basis for a functional medical marijuana program, setting the foundation to nullify federal prohibition in effect.Details
BATON ROUGE, La. (May 23, 2016) – Last week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law that will serve to resurrect the state’s dormant medical marijuana program by making an important technical change to current statute. The move is an essential step for the state to reject the unconstitutional federal prohibition on cannabis in practice.Details
State laws legalizing marijuana take a first step toward nullifying federal prohibition, but they don’t do the job alone. Effective marijuana reform policy requires everyday people to take action and remain vigilant.Details
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Apr. 29, 2016) – A Missouri bill that would have legalized medical marijuana was voted down by the Missouri House of Representatives last week. Had the bill been signed into law, it would have set the stage to nullify in practice the federal prohibition on marijuana. But the fight for medical marijuana isn’t over with a push to put the issue on the ballot gaining steam.Details
the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 170-162 to pass H.B. 492, a bill that would effectively nullify federal laws on marijuana by legalizing it in the state for the general public.Details
After an embittered presidential election, a never-ending kabuki on Washington finances, and now a fierce debate over property rights, many would be surprised to know that members from opposite sides of the political spectrum have found some common ground. Betsy Woodruf at National Review Online sure was. She was shocked to find agreement between the Republican Governor of Illinois, Mitch Daniels, and Tom Dickenson of Rolling Stone magazine regarding medical marijuana and federalism. Both, it seems, favor letting the states determine their own drug policy, even though they may not agree on what each state ultimately decides.
First, note that agreement between the two parties happens more often than not. In principle they all agree on war, debt, entitlements, taxation, police statism, drones, the central bank, socialistic healthcare, prohibition, and many other issues. Of course they disagree on just how much debt there should be; if the military ought to bomb the people of third-world countries or drop bombs and machine-gun them; and whether individuals should forfeit 35 percent of their income or only 33 percent. Some diversity of thought.
But what’s noteworthy about this particular case is that each can agree because neither is trying to force the other into submitting to a single policy. Here we see one of the great things about decentralized government: it tends to reduce conflict by allowing various groups to “live and let live.” This is isn’t possible when all policy decisions are made by one body, when a polity becomes too big.Details
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 toDetails
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.Details