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 In nearly all cases, the parties have settled or withdrawn their appeals.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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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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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.

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Question for Jason Chaffetz

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Jason Chaffetz is working to “overturn action by the D.C. City Council that would allow medical marijuana usage in the nation’s capital.” Here’s what he had to say: “Marijuana is a psychotropic drug classified under Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act as having ‘high potential for…

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MD Senate: “Don’t Bogart that Joint, My Friend!”

On April 10, the Maryland Senate voted 35-12 to allow marijuana use by prescription. The bill now moves to the House. Fourteen other states currently allow medical marijuana use. California is taking a step further and will allow its voters to choose to legalize marijuana use for all adults on this November’s ballot. Alcohol was…

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10th Amendment at Work: Will Ohio Legalize Medical Marijuana?

The Tenth Amendment codifies in law that “We the People” of the several states created the federal government to be our agent for certain enumerated purposes only – those powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution. An honest reading of the Constitution with an original understanding of the Founders and Ratifiers makes it…

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South Dakotans to vote on legalizing medical marijuana

From the Associated Press: South Dakotans will be asked to vote on legalizing marijuana for use in treating pain, nausea and other health problems. The secretary of state’s office has approved a petition seeking a statewide vote on the proposal in November. A similar measure narrowly failed in the 2006 election, when it received 48…

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An Unlikely States Rights Ally Medical Marijuana!

Editor’s Note: Scheduled to be introduced in Maryland next week – a bill to make medical marijuana legal within the state. This is classic federal government paint with a “broad brush” methodology and it’s good to see my home state taking a stand.  While I am firmly against drug misuse, the federal government really has…

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Medical Marijuana in South Dakota?

Not known for being a liberal state by any stretch, we may soon see how people on the left and the right in South Dakota respond to a proposal to decentralize away from D.C. – and legalize medical marijuana in the state. An organization promoting the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in South Dakota…

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Medical Marijuana and Constitutional Confusion in Virginia

From CBS affiliate WTVR.com in Richmond: Delegate Harvey Morgan, a Republican from the 98th district, is introducing legislation that would give more patients access to medical marijuana, as long as they had a doctor’s prescription. This could be another positive step toward ending decades of incredibly costly and embarrassingly futile prohibition efforts, at least in…

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