Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana was the best thing to happen in American politics since our fledgling country’s 13 colonies decided to tell England and their overbearing monarchy to pound sand, oppress and overtax someone else.
In doing so, they were committing high treason. Tired of being the butt of England’s cruel joke, “taxation without representation,” we went to war in order to beat back the tides of tyranny.
The correlation between the American Revolution and today’s marijuana legalization battle is profound. In our political system greed has been defined as “good.” Where lobbyist stuff special interest money into the pockets of politicians who create bizarre, lopsided legislation that favors big business over common sense, and greed over civil rights. Meanwhile the federal government tours our great country crushing state sanctioned medical marijuana collectives, and imprisoning anyone bold enough to believe they had protection under the 10th amendment. I get why today’s hipsters have lost their sense of humor, their trust and motivation to go outside, let alone be politically active.
Our ancestors, who founded this great country in 1776 on the backs of the cannabis seed, understood that occasionally “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” i.e. occasionally you have to get off your ass… and fight for what’s right, regardless of any laws that may be broken.
Obviously, this is where marijuana legalization debate comes in.
On this Fourth of July, as the medical marijuana industry in California feels the heat from the federal government and the DEA. Some of the slightly more astute stoners are wondering how the federal government can supersede California’s jurisdiction, and impose federal laws over state law.
They can’t… Or at least they shouldn’t.
Remember way back in the bad-ol-days, during alcohols prohibition? In order for politicians of the day to keep the scourge of alcohol from destroying the moral fiber of the American public, they didn’t just create a federal law which “banned” alcohol. No, that would be lazy and stupid. Instead they wrote and implemented the 18th amendment to the Constitution, which established the prohibition of alcohol in the US. Why would they go through all of that trouble if they didn’t have to?
Keeping the feds in check, James Madison once explained that the federal government would have only the powers given to it by the Constitution. And those powers would be “few and defined,” Madison explained, while the rights remaining in the state governments would be “numerous and indefinite.” Fearful that the new federal government would overreach, and infringe on their states’ rights. The individual states banned together and demanded amendments to the Constitution which specifically banned Congress from creating laws which superseded their own.
Enter the 10th amendment, “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
So, in accordance with our founding fathers wishes, if medical or recreational cannabis is grown, sold and smoked within state borders… And that same states government has decided, for whatever reason that smoking weed is not illegal, by what authority does the federal government override those state laws? How can medical marijuana in 2013, suffer the same persecution as alcohol did in 1919 – minus an amendment to the Constitution?
Americans are frustrated by these heavy-handed tactics, and have shown their support for marijuana in poll after poll. Deaf, dumb, and blind to the public sentiment, our federal government and the Supreme Court may find themselves confronting this issue much sooner, rather than later. Freedom, equality and States rights are a primary focus as this great country celebrates 4th of July 2013, and If the people of each state choose to decriminalize, or even legalize marijuana…they should be free to do so.
After all, the tools are all there in the Constitution and it’s Amendments…and they were put there for a reason.