Michigan Legislators Taking Action To Nullify Prohibition

Michigan is following the lead of Colorado and Washington as their State Legislature has proposed a bill that would decriminalize possession of marijuana and another that would affirm the right of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate.

House Bill 4623 was introduced in April by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and was co-sponsored by six other legislators as well. This bill would reduce possession of small amounts of marijuana to a civil infraction punishable by a small fine and would serve as an important rebuke of the war on drugs, one of the federal government’s most evident ongoing policy blunders.

Although this bill does not completely legalize marijuana for possession and cultivation, it does prevent people found with up to an ounce on them from being prosecuted criminally. Instead of potentially facing jail time and heavy fines, first time offenders would be fined no more than $25 dollars with second time offenders fined a maximum of $50 and offenses from that point on would be fined no more than $100.

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Will DC be the next “State” to Nullify Federal Prohibition?

Oh the irony to think that the capital city of these united states will be nullifying their own law even while their agents are raiding dispensaries in the states.  The voters in the city of DC approved medical Marijuana in 1998, and finally all of the licensing is complete.  The dispensary by the name of Capital City Care will be the first to open on the 22nd of April within blocks of the White House, and with a clear view of the US Capital.  This will be a hugevictory for the forces of liberty, in the face of the growing police state.

After resisting the clear will of the American people for so long, DC could have to call it quits and accept the demise of the war on drugs (police state), as they join the 18 states that have already nullified the war on pot (as a legal drug) .  As I have always said, weed is much like the war on drugs.

Respectable opinion on weed seems to be that it is a “gateway drug”.  This is meant to give the impression that one puff of it will lead one through a gateway and down a path towards desperation, and dependence upon drugs for daily functioning.  Doing unspeakable things for the next hit of your current drug of choice.  Theft and violence will become the life of the addict or so says this paradigm.  In reality it is the war on drugs that is the gateway, it is a gateways towards tyranny, and authoritarianism.

It is ironically the so called “Constitutional” Conservative who are the biggest cheerleaders for this insane policy.  Even as they hold the correct position on so many policies that you should not pile additional laws on already illegal behavior (such as opposing gun control because murder is already illegal, or opposing hate crimes because the crimes they punish are already illegal.)  None the less they point towards the culture of crime that surrounds the drug trade (as surrounds all black markets regardless of the banned items for sale) and say “look drugs cause murders and robberies.”  Murder and theft are already illegal, so why is that an argument for prohibition?

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Left and Right Agree to Disagree

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.

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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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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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