June 6, 2005

Supreme Court Supports Federal Thugs

In Gonzalez V. Raich the US supreme court ruled in favor of the federal thugs, justice department and congress, who would deny individuals living in the land of the supposedly free the authority to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes.

They had an opportunity to fix years of misapplication of the commerce clause and to reaffirm the concepts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as they recently did in Lawrence. They failed.

There is more The Volokh Conspiracy, How Appealing, Scotus Blog and I'm sure all over the media and blogosphere as the day goes on. The full decision is here (PDF).

Update: Information on using so-called democratic means as called out in the opinion can be found at the Marijuana Policy Project site.

Update2: Zombyboy has a somewhat less radical reaction than the above and concludes with:

What we get today is two irrational decisions rolled up in one: the decision to expand commerce control over increasingly non-commercial endeavors and the decision to continue to insist that marijuana is a more dangerous drug than any of the opiates that are commonly prescribed to relieve pain. Sorry, but I just donít see it.

Finally, this from Justice Thomas via NRO:

If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything--and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers."

Unfortunately, that sounds about right to me.

I have not always agreed with Thomas but I sure agree with Zombyboy.

If the federal government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers should it be retained?

Update 3: Radley Balko has a lot to say about this. And will probably say more than what I've linked.

Note that in a free society the debate would not be about federalism, whether the feds or the states have the power (they certainly don't have the right) to enact laws impinging on indidual rights, but whether the state at any level should have this power. My answer is that neither the federal government nor a state government has any valid reason to tell someone whether or not they can grow grain to feed their animals or cannabis to ease their pain.

A state that abuses its power by enacting such laws or regulations has abdicated its legitimacy.

Posted by Steve on June 6, 2005

You mean the government won't allow people to grow their own grain to feed their animals? You've got to be exagerrating a bit here. Although I'm so confused by the actions of the current junta that I consider the possibility and have to ask the question...

Posted by (: Tom :) at June 7, 2005 3:26 PM

Well, not entirely exaggertion. That was a reference to the Wickard decision which was the major precedent relied on by Stevens in this opinion.

Quoting from Reich:

"The regulations established an allotment of 11.1 acres for Filburn's 1941 wheat crop, but he sowed 23 acres, intending to use the excess by consuming it on his own farm."

In Wickard the court ruled that Filburn could not grow the extra wheat.

Reading this opinion and the quotes from Wickard is sobering. And frightening. If they wanted to they could regulate your garage sale or any other exchange of goods that you participate in.

Posted by Steve at June 7, 2005 7:56 PM
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