In a recent article in Human Events, author Teresa Mull makes a claim about the current administration that is simply not true. Ms. Mull claims that the federal government is only being consistent in being inconsistent, by claiming that the federal government’s decision to not file suit against the two states that have legalized marijuana, is inconsistent with their stance taken on other important issues. Ms Hall goes on to write:
The Obama administrators have determined to let the states have their way when it comes to cannabis because they have their reasons for being lax: a stoned electorate is more easily duped than a sober one.
Her premise is not based upon any fact. The White House still takes the position that drugs are bad, that marijuana is bad and that use of marijuana should be stifled.
Recently, there have been increasing efforts to legalize marijuana. The Obama Administration has consistently reiterated its firm opposition to any form of drug legalization. Together with Federal partners and state and local officials, the Office of National Drug Control Policy is working to reduce the use of marijuana and other illicit drugs through development of strategies that fully integrate the principles of prevention, treatment, recovery, and effective supply reduction efforts. Proposals such as legalization that would promote marijuana use are inconsistent with this public health and safety approach. (emphasis added).
So, why the public announcement that the DOJ will not bring suit against Washington State or the State of Colorado?
Because the federal government knows that prosecution of federal marijuana laws is a losing battle. The States (People) have effectively nullified the federal government’s unconstitutional Act in regards to marijuana by using the 10th amendment guarantee codified in the US Constitution.
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. (Amendment 10).
The decision of the DOJ has nothing to do with an actual decision on their part. The decision was taken away from them by the many states (22 so far) that have passed medical marijuana laws and decided that states’ rights trump federal power, especially in areas where power to enforce was never granted.
What does this decision-non-decision tell us? It tells us that the more we use the power of federalism and the more we recognize the power of the Tenth Amendment, the more we will begin to see a shrinking of federal power from our daily lives.
James Madison, in his Federalist #46, wrote these words concerning the powers granted federal and state governments:
Many considerations, besides those suggested on a former occasion, seem to place it beyond doubt that the first and most natural attachment of the people will be to the governments of their respective States. Into the administration of these a greater number of individuals will expect to rise. From the gift of these a greater number of offices and emoluments will flow. By the superintending care of these, all the more domestic and personal interests of the people will be regulated and provided for. (emphasis added)
The federal government was never granted power to regulate our lives. They were never granted power to restrict our interstate policies on guns, religion or education. They were never granted power or authority in regards to our health, our modes of transportation, our internal policies regarding voting (with a small exception).
As more people wake up to the grave nature of our out-of-control federal government, more States will be called upon to nullify even more unconstitutional acts. It is not that the government will make future “decisions” to not prosecute a State that does not tow the party line: it is that they won’t be able to stop us.
Judge Andrew Napolitano, a popular, liberty minded judge, gets it right when he says in this interview, that States can pass laws that prohibit their local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal officers who are tasked with enforcement of unconstitutional acts that have been nullified by State law.
The People and the States, not the federal government, are the party that makes the decision on what powers are granted the federal government.