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Supremes rule against medical marijuana

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2005 11:46 am
Thomas wrote:
I don't understand the "necessarily". In Wickard, the tradeoff was between the federal government's powers to regulate commerce against Wickard's right to grow as much wheat as he wants. In Raich, the tradeoff was between the federal government's power to regulate marijuana production, Raich's right to grow weed, and California's power to regulate its own marijuana production. I can see that the issue is the same from the US's point of view, but the other side of the tradeoff is different, so why would the outcomes "necessarily" be the same?

Because California's power to regulate marijuana production is a side-issue; in Raich, it was barely mentioned. That's because of the supremacy clause: if congress has the power, under the commerce clause, to regulate marijuana, then it has that power exclusively. There's no need to consider the California law if the federal law takes precedence, which is exactly what the majority in Raich held.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 11:24 am
It is a given that a state law cannot override a federal law. Maybe we need more members on the court who a) have the gumption to tell Congress when it is passing a law that should be a sole prerogative of the states, and b) refrain from writing opinions themselves on matters that should be a sole prerogative of the states.
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HofT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 03:00 pm
With some delay wish to thank Joe for reviewing Scalia's opinion in this case.

As a general principle it's unwise to pass unenforceable laws -- and this one is so widely flouted by so many (not all of them ill by any means) that general contempt for the law must surely ensue, as it did for the alcohol prohibition mentioned earlier here.

Vox populi, vox Dei, as some Latin observed.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 03:18 pm
Quote:
Vox populi, vox Dei

Perhaps I read a desire for "activist judges" who reflect what is the actuality of the society?
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HofT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 03:28 pm
No, you didn't - all I noted was the overwhelming (see also the Schiavo brain-dead case) desire of the people, as evidenced in opinion polls, to get rid of nanny state regulations on what we can and cannot do while alive or even after we're dead!

For the record on the topic here - I've never been able to touch marijuana OR beer because they both stink. This doesn't mean that I advocate that truly ill people should go without whatever remedy is best suited for them any more than I would advocate that people should undergo surgery without anesthesia.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 03:30 pm
Ok just wanted to make sure I understood your postion and I can easily say that I don't.
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HofT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 04:06 pm
Dyslexia - yours is a question asked before you by (among others) Tocqueville and Bagehot. The first got the answer right, the second got it wrong - for much the same reason you did. You're in distinguished company in this error Smile
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 04:52 pm
so then, I take it, french fries won out over chips? Laughing
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HofT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 05:09 pm
Like, duh, you never heard of the 1783 Treaty of Paris - that's where the menu was decided Smile
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 05:25 pm
I am not now nor have I ever been a vegan.
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BubbaGumbo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2005 11:24 pm
Here is a novel idea, why doesn't Congress spend less time worrying about the potential side effects of Marijuana if used as a pain killer and instead, concentrate on increasing regulation over pain killers (and other prescription drugs) that have documented life-threatening side effects (Vioxx). Neutral
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2005 11:05 pm
john w k wrote:
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:



Mankind has always sought altered states of consciousness and I suspect we always will …Medical marijuana is something of a joke…..while I have no doubt that there are a handful of individuals who actually receive some sort of therapeutic benefit ………..The use of marijuana as well as any other drug, for purely personal enjoyment, should be legalized…will dry up, billions of dollars in tax dollars will be saved, and billions more in taxes will be gained….Take a fair portion of this saved money and spend it on educating children ….There is a legitimate argument that drug abuse is not truly a victimless crime,…Based on my experience and observations (admittedly not scientific), Pot is only a gateway drug for those who suffer with addictive personalities. …………Outlawing all of the substances and practices to which people have become addicted will not put an end to addictive personalities and they will find new substances and new practices.


The above is totally irrelevant to the constitutional question of whether or not Congress has been delegated authority to enter a state to forbid the growth, use and transportation of a specified agricultural product within a state's borders and prosecute those who abide by state law, but ignore such federal legislation.

You're right, but I think we're allowed to roam a bit from the central point of a thread.

Finn d'Abuzz wrote:

Having staked out my position on the legalization of drugs, I have to agree with the Supreme Court's ruling.

The SC did not make drugs illegal, the legislature did.




And by what authority does Congress legislate to prosecute the people within a state's borders who comply with state law concerning the growth and use of an agricultural product? Without such power being granted by the people to Congress, the Court would be aiding and abetting in the subjugation of the limited powers granted by the people to Congress. Why do you support the subjugation of our constitutionally limited system of government, a system in which folks in government are not free to impose their whims and fancies upon the people?

By authority of the Constitution as confirmed by the Supreme Court.

It is you who are characterizing federal anti-drug laws as the "subjugation of our constitutionally limited system of government." I don't accept that by agreeing with the SC decision that I am supporting the subjugation of anything.


Finn d'Abuzz wrote:


…the American people, through their representatives, have endorsed it


The American people have not endorsed what you suggest until they do so via the prescribe manner as outlined in Article 5 of the Constitution, which is the adoption of a constitutional amendment delegating such power to Congress as they did via the 18th Amendment with regard to a particular subject matter, but was later repealed.

Congress has passed laws that regulate and prohibit all sorts of practices. Are you suggesting that a constitutional amendment is required before any such regulation or prohibition is valid?

Constitutional amendments are, clearly, not the only means by which the American people express their will or endorse federal legislature.

The test of whether federal legislation is consistent with the Constitution is not whether you or I conclude that it is, but whether or not the Supreme Court does.

This, of course, doesn't preclude you or I having a difference of opinion with the SC, but since the law is, inarguably, open to interpretation, someone's interpretation must rule.


Finn d'Abuzz wrote:

One can only hope that the Feds will invoke this decision only when they perceive that there is significant illegal commerce taking place rather than when some poor soul wants to make his dying days a little less unpleasant by getting high.


Do you have any idea what was intended by the people in their grant of power to Congress to regulate commerce "among" [not within] the states?

I think I do, and you think you do. We're even.

Gonzalez (Ashcroft) v Raich is not about "medical marijuana"

To understand what the case was really about see:

A most formidable domestic enemy: the SCOTUS!

Sorry but I don't happen to acknowledge you as the Constitutional scholar of our times and therefore a link to one of your postings is hardly authoritative.

Make no mistake, the Supreme Court decision in Gonzalez (Ashcroft) v Raich is not about "medical marijuana" or the use of drugs as portrayed by the establishment media. The case is about the unauthorized exercise of power by the rich and powerful via the federal court system and their undoing of the limited power granted by the people to Congress to regulate commerce among the states. What this case really boils down to is one simple question: What did those who framed and ratified our Constitution intend by granting power to Congress to regulate commerce among the states?

I agree that it is not about "medical marijuana" and I doubt anyone on the SC would suggest that it was.

It is about the federal government's authority to regulate commerce among the states. Clearly, the majority believed that the federal ban on marijuana supersedes a states allowance of marijuana use for the reason that such state laws interfere with the authority of congress to regulate commerce among the states.

I really don't see how the interests of the rich and powerful are supported by this decision, but perhaps you can explain further.

While, in principle, I may be sympathetic to decentralization of power, the fact remains that federalism does mean the elimination of or serious diminution of central power, it means that power is divided between the central government and the states. It also remains a fact that more Americans vote for federal representatives than they do the state and local variety. It may signify an acceptance of a poor level of democratic participation by the electorate, but I tend to believe that the broadest will of the people is expressed through federal rather than state and local elections.



JWK

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State."
Gonzalez (Ashcroft) v Raich is not about "medical marijuana"
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2005 11:44 am
Finn writes
Quote:
While, in principle, I may be sympathetic to decentralization of power, the fact remains that federalism does mean the elimination of or serious diminution of central power, it means that power is divided between the central government and the states. It also remains a fact that more Americans vote for federal representatives than they do the state and local variety. It may signify an acceptance of a poor level of democratic participation by the electorate, but I tend to believe that the broadest will of the people is expressed through federal rather than state and local elections.


I rarely disagree with Finn, and in fact may not be in serious disagreement here. After participating at length in spirited discussion related to these heavier 'social issues', I have come to the conclusion that if you don't like the local law, you want the federal government to decide it, and if you don't like the federal law, you want the states or local government to decide it. This seems to be true in issues as apolitical as speed limits and emission controls for cars to weightier matters such as abortion, stem cell research, or creches on the courthouse lawn.

I'm not sure that the broadest will of the people is expressed through federal rather than state and local elections. The candidate bound for Washington DC is going to spend a lot more money and will be much higher profile than will the local county commissioner or precinct chair. Thus, though many (most?) people cannot name the congressman from their district, many more can name that person than can name their state representative or senator. That doesn't mean the people are any happier or more miserable under the laws that affect them whether local or federal. It just means they frequently praise or blame the wrong party for their situation. Smile

As the old saw goes, all politics are local. But I think many people overtly or subconsciously trust the federal government more than they trust their local government. I think this is true even though the people have more control over their local government.

So, in the poll, I think those who want medical marijuana legalized have mostly voted for the federal government to legalize it everywhere. I think this group includes people who all or mostly want marijuana legalized period.

The strongly anti-marijuana people also want it to be illegal everywhere.

Those of us who are more ambivalent either way mostly prefer for the local people to decide for their own communities. While not pro-marijuana, many of us think it ridiculous that it is criminalized to the extent that it is.

The ambivalence of the American people overall, however, is such that not enough people care enough one way or the other to push the issue. The Supreme Court did. I think the minority got it right and the majority erred on this one. But I doubt enough people will care enough to push for a change in the law that would force them to look at it again.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2005 12:33 am
Foxfyre wrote:
Finn writes
Quote:
While, in principle, I may be sympathetic to decentralization of power, the fact remains that federalism does mean the elimination of or serious diminution of central power, it means that power is divided between the central government and the states. It also remains a fact that more Americans vote for federal representatives than they do the state and local variety. It may signify an acceptance of a poor level of democratic participation by the electorate, but I tend to believe that the broadest will of the people is expressed through federal rather than state and local elections.


I rarely disagree with Finn, and in fact may not be in serious disagreement here. After participating at length in spirited discussion related to these heavier 'social issues', I have come to the conclusion that if you don't like the local law, you want the federal government to decide it, and if you don't like the federal law, you want the states or local government to decide it. This seems to be true in issues as apolitical as speed limits and emission controls for cars to weightier matters such as abortion, stem cell research, or creches on the courthouse lawn.

An accurate assessment of the manifestation of human nature. What is important to consider, is that the imperatives of human nature do not always align with the social constructs of societally acceptable human behavior. Politics is selfishness. Democracy is a way in which the selfishness of the individual is not eliminated, but redirected towards the good of the whole. It is, at best, a precarious balancing act, but there has yet to be a superior system.

I'm not sure that the broadest will of the people is expressed through federal rather than state and local elections. The candidate bound for Washington DC is going to spend a lot more money and will be much higher profile than will the local county commissioner or precinct chair. Thus, though many (most?) people cannot name the congressman from their district, many more can name that person than can name their state representative or senator. That doesn't mean the people are any happier or more miserable under the laws that affect them whether local or federal. It just means they frequently praise or blame the wrong party for their situation. Smile

As the old saw goes, all politics are local. But I think many people overtly or subconsciously trust the federal government more than they trust their local government. I think this is true even though the people have more control over their local government.

The old saw may be that all politics are local, but I defy anyone to produce statistics that suggest that a greater percentage of eligible voters participate in local elections rather than State elections, and State elections rather than Federal elections.

Local authorities may, on occassion, seek to kill the fatted goose but the local electorate usually sets them straight in short order However, there are a myriad of local ordinances tha do not imact the majority of ocal voters and therefore it the minority of voters who decide the direction of the municipality in question.



So, in the poll, I think those who want medical marijuana legalized have mostly voted for the federal government to legalize it everywhere. I think this group includes people who all or mostly want marijuana legalized period.

Such voters don't, in the case described, get to express their will on a federal level. I am all for legalized drugs (of any kind) in this country, but I make no mistake of tagging my argument to the case before the SC.

Apparently, to achieve a status which seems logical to me (legalization of any and all drugs) is a Herculean effort. For now I can retire, knowing that eventually currently illicit drugs will be legalized.

Unfortunately, the topic of drugs results in a viceral reaction which has no partnership with a reasonable reaction to a set of hard cold facts that are not ging to change irrespective of the enlighted efforts of am UBER ADMISTRATION.

The strongly anti-marijuana people also want it to be illegal everywhere.

Those of us who are more ambivalent either way mostly prefer for the local people to decide for their own communities. While not pro-marijuana, many of us think it ridiculous that it is criminalized to the extent that it is.

The ambivalence of the American people overall, however, is such that not enough people care enough one way or the other to push the issue. The Supreme Court did. I think the minority got it right and the majority erred on this one. But I doubt enough people will care enough to push for a change in the law that would force them to look at it again.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2005 08:18 am
Finn writes
Quote:
An accurate assessment of the manifestation of human nature. What is important to consider, is that the imperatives of human nature do not always align with the social constructs of societally acceptable human behavior. Politics is selfishness. Democracy is a way in which the selfishness of the individual is not eliminated, but redirected towards the good of the whole. It is, at best, a precarious balancing act, but there has yet to be a superior system.


No argument from me here.

Finn writes
Quote:
The old saw may be that all politics are local, but I defy anyone to produce statistics that suggest that a greater percentage of eligible voters participate in local elections rather than State elections, and State elections rather than Federal elections.

Local authorities may, on occassion, seek to kill the fatted goose but the local electorate usually sets them straight in short order However, there are a myriad of local ordinances tha do not imact the majority of ocal voters and therefore it the minority of voters who decide the direction of the municipality in question.


Yes, I agree that there is a higher percentage of voter turn out for federal elections than there are for the local school bonds or school boards. In fact here in Albuquerque, the school district usually avoids bundling their initiatives onto the federal or state election ballots but rather hold a separate election on the (valid) theory that few will show up. That way they can stack the vote with a small number of interested persons.

In most things we simply don't care enough to be bothered and are happy to leave such decisions to others. Put an issue out there, however, that a large number in the community do care about--an unwanted Wal-mart super center for instance--and you're likely to get a much higher voter participation.

Foxfyre wrote:
Quote:
So, in the poll, I think those who want medical marijuana legalized have mostly voted for the federal government to legalize it everywhere. I think this group includes people who all or mostly want marijuana legalized period
.

To which Finn responded
Quote:
Such voters don't, in the case described, get to express their will on a federal level. I am all for legalized drugs (of any kind) in this country, but I make no mistake of tagging my argument to the case before the SC.


Well we don't get to vote on the house or senate floor, it is true, but we can vote for people with common sense and courage of their convictions. And expanding that 'selfish motive' you cited, it would be a rare politician indeed who would ignore the will of the people vigorously and extensively expressed. Again, I don't think enough care enough about the issue of medical marijuana at this time to make a difference, and I think a majority of Americans would probably vote no on legalizing all drugs.

Quote:
Apparently, to achieve a status which seems logical to me (legalization of any and all drugs) is a Herculean effort. For now I can retire, knowing that eventually currently illicit drugs will be legalized.

Unfortunately, the topic of drugs results in a viceral reaction which has no partnership with a reasonable reaction to a set of hard cold facts that are not ging to change irrespective of the enlighted efforts of am UBER ADMISTRATION.


Prohibition of alcohol was rescinded because a law must be enforceable to be feasible. Too many Americans were not willing to obey that law and it was repealed in the face of widespread passive anarchy. I think ultimately the national 55 mph speed limit was rescinded for much of the same reason. It is possible that laws prohibiting possession or use of certain drugs will go the same way should a large enough percentage of Americans use them. Currently I think the number of people using illegal drugs is significant, but the overall percentage is too small to force the issue in most cases.

When enough people care enough, a law will almost always be changed.
0 Replies
 
HofT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2005 10:26 am
The liberal wing of the Supreme Court (plus Kennedy) strikes again:

"So, in just two weeks, the Supreme Court has rendered two major decisions on the limits of government. In Raich v. Gonzales the Court said there are effectively no limits on what the federal government can do using the Commerce Clause as a justification. In Kelo, it's now ruled that there are effectively no limits on the predations of local governments against private property."

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006862
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