Monday, June 06, 2005

Mary Jane and the Court

Today's Supreme Court decision that federal authority supercedes state authority in laws regarding the medical (tee-hee!) use of marijuana.
Have you ever had the experience of seeing what happens when a hornet's nest gets hit by a rock? It's not a pretty sight. I just love this observation from P&C...

The case of Raich vs. Gonzales has been decided. The decision as far as this non-lawyer can figure out says that there are no limits to what Congress can regulate.

So let me see if I get this.

Water is sold in interstate commerce.

Does this give the Congress the power to legislate all uses of water in America? For instance it may be used for brushing your teeth but not be used after flossing? It may be used for one minute showers but not baths? If Congress so decides? You can drink it out of a tap (which is paid for) but not from a stream for which no price has been paid?

Slam dunk for sure.


So let me ask my Republican friends who used to think that Wickard was an over reach by FDR into areas the Federal Government had no authority to regulate. Do you agree with the ever flexible Constitution theory? Your most vaunted conservative Judge, Scalia, concurs with the opinion and substantially agrees that the Federal Government has regulatory power over items that are not actually sold, and do not cross state lines.

So where is the Conservatism of the Court? Thomas. He says that there are well defined limits to Federal power. He goes back to the original understanding of the Constitution.

And to my lefty friends, is Thomas still your Uncle Tom? Scalia's water boy?

The Federal government now has unlimited police powers in the nation. It could prosecute simple theft. Why? Well the object of the thief could be sold in interstate commerce. Thus the thief is interfering with interstate commerce. Thus thievery could be a Federal crime. This is especially true for shoplifting.

There are now no understandable limits on the Federal Government. The limits are whatever five Justices decide (they decided for States Rights in Lopez). God help us all when Congress is in session.

Glenn Reynolds, as usual, has the latest scoops.
After all, he does teach law when he's not too busy.

None of this affects me. My smoking days are long past. What I think about now is the unbelievable fact that so much time, money, energy and valuable prison space is being dedicated to a so-called "war on drugs," a never-ending travesty that is as much a failure as prohibition. You would think that a country that is as dedicated as the US to commerce and free enterprise, whose exhaltation of the marketplace approaches religious extremes in other areas, would grasp the obvious tax and control potential of legalizing the sale and use of weed.


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