A “Hail Mary” Pass by our Political Opponents

For those of us in the business of changing public policy, sometimes we judge our progress on what we have accomplished; and other times we judge our effectiveness by the desperate acts of our opponents. The federal law suit filed late last week by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, seeking a declaratory judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court holding Colorado’s legalization provisions to be unconstitutional, clearly falls in the latter category.

This suit is more political theater than a serious legal challenge. These two conservative state attorneys general know they are losing this fight in the court of public opinion, so they are hoping the Supreme Court will step in and overturn the will of the voters. Desperate times lead to desperate tactics, and the plaintiffs in this action were clearly feeling desperate.

To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com

59 thoughts

  1. Why are you so confident that they will not succeed in the supreme court? I really hope the supreme court sides with the public, but what makes you think they will?

  2. This is a PATHETIC attempt by two losers in loser states who are basically robots just trying to scare us into obidience like most repugnicant’s. It’s THE LAW in that state (Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon) What power do nebraska and oklahoma have in those states? NONE! They are not doing this to protect us(cause it obviously does’nt do ANY good) Just makes good-law abiding citizens deal with the Cartels to get drugs they need/want/and deserve cause we’re not like these two shitsacks and inherited mommys and daddys money. They are only doing this to satisfy their own egos and not “lose” a war on AMERICA. And they are going to pay karmically if not in life? Than AFTER it. Marijuana was “invented” by 2 Gods, 1 male 1 female and it was’nt for bad purposes. They are LOSING this war and will try to win/sabotage it to the very end. DO NOT vote republican. Keep this fight up. We are winning and will get our way. Marijuana and all drugs were legal for the last 50,000 years and were legal in the time of Jesus. George Washington puffed upon it and grew herb as a way to make money. Follow his lead.

  3. I Have an idea for a movie that shows us the cultural, industrial, political, and personal significance of cannabis. This movie would be supported by todays research of this plants versatile characteristics and its vast variety of practical applications in order to solve and adapt to the worlds issues through the history of man kind.

  4. The state of Colorado passed the law making Cannabis legal. The people of Colorado voted yes and isn’t that what voting is about? Voting is using our voice to say what we want and do not want. What right do these state attorneys have to interfere with what the people want? If they don’t think they have drug traffic in and out of their states, they don’t need to be state attorneys. Give it rest, I am sure you have more important things to do besides worrying about Colorado and if you don’t, maybe your paycheck should be adjusted accordingly.

  5. It’s really too bad that the AGs for those states refuse to look at the evidence that the sky has not fallen in any states that have legalized cannabis. In fact, according to statistics I’ve seen, those states have less crime and less teen usage.

    What else do these bozos want? Kevin Sabet says there is still a thriving black market in Colorado. Even if he is correct on that point, I’d reply that the illegal market is smaller than it would be if not for legalization.

    They really need to get over themselves because they are not anybody’s big brother and we certainly don’t need their backwards morality/mentality screwing up the lives of the majority.

  6. I know how to end any and all resistance. The 2 attorney generals in Nebraska and Oklahoma and all there family and friends should have to forfeit any cannabis access and when they get auto immunes ,cancers etc. Should have to relie on chemo and radiation. Which we all know doesn’t work. When we all eliminate our ailments those folks will be suffering as they should for denying everyone else the access they should have.

    I hate when someone bad mouths cannabis for any reasons and years later they or a loved one is dieing without hope or chance and then switches there mind and uses cannabis to save lifes but didn’t care until they had someone dieing. Its not right to stand up and deny others access until hypocritically they need it.

  7. “These two CONSERVATIVE state attorneys general know they are losing this fight in the court of public opinion, so they are hoping the Supreme Court will step in and overturn the will of the voters. Desperate times lead to desperate tactics, and the plaintiffs in this action were clearly feeling desperate.”

    I wish I could feel as confident that this tactic is a loser. Remember Dr Craker, the guy who sued to get marijuana from somewhere else than the official government grow at ol’ Miss? He won his case by any scientific definition. The government bad guys ignored him and the decision of the court.

  8. Let us not jump to conclusions, I am sure these suits are based on an accumulation of scientific data just like the rest of the laws governing marijuana….!!??!?!?! hey wait a minute these guys are full of SHIT and no doubt out of ideas …good job NORML

  9. I see it in a positive light. In that the Supreme court will see the absurdity in the plantiff’s argument and realize where they should have stood all along.

  10. We’ll see if the California court removes cannabis from Schedule I or what it does that will make it harder for the Supremes to rule for Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas. (I hear Kansas wants to ride bike holding on to the speeding tractor trailer lawsuit, too.) I don’t see it ending well for the prohibitionists in this lawsuit.

    The momentum is for legalization, as elections and public support for legalization indicate.

    Everyone knows, whether they will admit it or not, that the U.S. can NOT arrest its way out of the marijuana problem that the prohibitionists have with the plant. They can’t incarcerate enough people to turn back legalization. People will continue to consume cannabis regardless of its legal status. Period.

    States and local governments are hurting for cash for annual budgets AND to fix their underfunded pension systems. If your city or town isn’t Detroit yet, ask how long at this rate before fire, police, EMTs, government employees are asked to take a Governor Walker style pay cut, pension cut, and benefit cut?

    The prohibitionists have no idea where to get the money from. The only ones who are willing to pay more in permit fees and taxes basically is the cannabis community.

    Prohibitionists, you don’t have anything better about where to get the money from so why don’t you just sit down and shut the fuck up. You’re wrong about cannabis anyway. So if you can’t admit you’re wrong then just shut up and get the hell out of the way.

  11. I’m having good luck with posting “cannabis cures cancer” on any news story about cannabis. I even consider down because I made the people respond.

    Look up the evidence so you can back up your claim if necessary. Dr. Donald Abrams is a good resource. He is head of oncology at a hospital.

  12. These two states are in the process of shaking down Colorado for money to cover extra policing that is necessary because of the dangerous drivers streaming across the border from Colorado. I know Nebraska and Oklahoma are going loose tourism dollars and turn people like me off enough to not visit either state. I saw a police officer being interviewed about the problem he was facing from cars leaving Colorado. He stated someone is going to have to pay for all this trouble landing on the shoulders of his great state and it will be the taxpayers. Actually these states are trying to prey on the cars leaving Colorado for extra revenue. But the corker is they are going to try to get Colorado pay them as well. These states face no more damage than they did before weed was legal. They want to use media to propagandize a big danger that they will protect us from in exchange for police jobs and profit.

  13. These two AG’s are not filing this lawsuit out of prohibitionist political beliefs. It seems pretty straightforward that the supply of cannabis in Colorado is abundant and the profit motives for moving it to bordering states where demand is not being met is great. These two AG’s recognize that this is putting an unnecessary burden on law enforcement officers in their states and it makes sense for them to be upset about it. It is not within their powers to change their laws, but what they can do is address the unconstitutionality of their neighbor’s laws to the Supreme Court. In order for the legalization movement to be successful it needs to occur at the national level, in accord with the constitution and all federal laws. I hope the two AG’s win and the rule of law is continued to be respected nationwide.

  14. Sounds like they got a small amount of road salt in their bearded clams! Actually there’s probably a few sources lining their pockets one way or another to give the suit a shot…

  15. Dosent the federal spending bill stop this trial. Federal funds can’t be used to argue against a state approved cannabis program?

  16. If Oklahoma has nothing better to do, which they don’t . Try taking care of your Meth trafficking. You are the main hub with all the trucks on I-40. On the other hand cannabis treats. PTSD, seizures, chronic pain , cancer , malnutrition from alzheimer’s. Patients, get comfort from chronic pain, MANY liver’s and KIDNEYS are being saved. Drug cartel’s/bankers/politicians , are corrupt. And so are. Correction corporation of America. I know you have contracts with them to fill prison beds. which disgust me. As I was a prison nurse/jail nurse, I never saw, a marijuana user emaciated. But Crack, meth and ICE which is trafficked through your state KILL’s.The LAW your state is so passionate about is 100 years old. And you insist on wasting TAX payer’s money, for what? And FYI, our tribes are NONE of your business, the FEDS. already made that LAW. Stay in your lane. If you can’t fulfill you contract’s, with Corrections corporation . I don’t care. EAT that loss that’s what happens when you go to bed with with them.

  17. The fact that Kansas, the state likely having the most traffic, didn’t sign up for this circus should say something. I think the Supreme Court should not hear the case in anticipation of changes to federal law regarding cannabis. Just my opinion.

  18. I am sad to say it will be all over soon.Congress has not change the banking gude lines. When the file there tax the goverment kind not take there money. The suppring court will not be frindly to us marijunan user. They are still afrade of the marijunan boogman. Our next presdent will be a { R ). They will tell us that feds should stay out of state busnnes. But that just talk to get us to vote for them. Look at the native american. They can get out of poverte. lower there crim rate and lower the D,W,I. But they wont sell it because of the marijunan boogman. As loog as America stays the way it is it wont chang. Colorado O how i wish Icould go there be for fed shut it down.

  19. I would take this threat seriously consider that other states like Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming might also file lawsuits.

  20. The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 was a quick political scam with no time for a medical review, political debate, or any reactions from the media. Once it was pass, anyone who opposes it would be teased, taunted, and humiliated by the President Nixon’s own political mob. It was a way to do it without considered it as a short lived executive order. He foretold the media that he was planning to do something about those trouble makers during his reply on the Kent State massacre (May 1970).

  21. Oklahoma & Nebraska are bitching about people going to Colorado and bringing it back, whether driving through Oklahoma or Nebraska or Kansas.

    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/07/05/large-oklahoma-bust-nets-pot-products-from-colorado/

    Big fuckin’ deal! You could have a big bust like this coming from California or Mexico or wherever because prohibitionist states have outsourced the demand for cannabis in their states, and either their citizens or organized crime will fill it one way or the other.

    Nevada is getting on board. Oklahoma and Nebraska police organizations are likely behind this as a way for them to increase their budgets.

    Do NOT give in to them, Colorado. Do NOT give them any money. Colorado law enforcement is working with neighbor states to prevent large scale shit like this, but you know it’s going to hit the headlines once in a while and the prohibitionists will play it up. The Supreme Court should stay the fuck out of it, refuse to hear the case. It has no merit anyway, based on the sheer amount of overwhelming scientific and medical evidence that cannabis does NOT belong in Schedule I.

    Nobody gives a shit what the Supremes except for prohibitionist politicians. The everyman will keep on taking his chances with cannabis. They can’t arrest their way out of it. They see that, but won’t admit it, instead want to keep on pissing away money on cannabis prohibition. So the money to maintain and increase law enforcement’s budget is coming from other areas where people are going to have to take cuts, I guess, but what happens when the pension cost shit hits the fan? Then, red states are going to come arunnin to blue states who pay more into the federal government so that red states can get more out of the feds than they pay in, and then the red states will bitch, piss and moan about where that money comes from, file lawsuits against states and look a gift horse in the mouth.

    Oklahoma and Nebraska ain’t doing shit except wasting money. They ain’t slowin down the legalization train, and if a R prez gets elected he’s gonna hafta arrest his way out of legalization in these states? Call in the national guard? S H E E T! That kind of a situation is just gonna make that prez (R or D) look like a big asshole who’s out of touch with a growing majority of people.

    What can you do to make sure the R party implodes so that Billy’s scenario does NOT come true? Trouble is at the national level we continue to have a Do-Nothing-Congress when it comes to making cannabis legal, and instead have baby steps. Inaction at the national level has led to states taking caring of regulation on their own because cannabis prohibition is an unfunded mandate from the feds. It’s total fucking bullshit to insist legalization has to happen at the federal level. To think that these AGs winning against Colorado will make that happen is utter nonsense. What will make the prohibitionists legalize is if you leave them on choice, and no choice is so many states legalizing that anything Congress or a (R) prez does to stop it will end in utter expensive failure. It’s high time to stop exhausting every other possibility except for the correct one, and the correct one is legalization.

    Stop wasting time and money!

    More importantly, stop ruining people’s lives with cannabis prohibition!

  22. “More importantly, stop ruining people’s lives with cannabis prohibition!”

    They hardly “wasted” the money by ruining people’s lives, the was and still is their goal. It is time people take back what is their to start with. Prohibitionists are thieves, racists and various other kinds of control freaks and it is time to treat them accordingly and isolate them from positions of authority.

  23. Billy Says:

    “These two AG’s recognize that this is putting an unnecessary burden on law enforcement officers in their states and it makes sense for them to be upset about it”

    Nobody is forcing these law enforcement officers to go out and profile suspect individuals,except the police themselves.Their the ones that have the response ability to monitor their own behavior as far as using discretion when pursuing a suspect.So if they are being “overburdened’ Thats their own fault.
    If you let you’re dog out of the house and it eats every cat in the neighborhood, should the owners of the cats be sued by the dog owner because their dog couldn’t help itself and the cats where nearby and available? No,you keep you’re dog in the house,or on a leash. The same concept with the police,you could call it behavior modification or adaption.quit chasing everybody that might fit the “profile”,problem solved.

    “In order for the legalization movement to be successful it needs to occur at the national level”

    One step at a time,some people don’t have the patience to wait a thousand years,especially the victims and future victims of you’re DRUG WAR.

    “in accord with the constitution and all federal laws. I hope the two AG’s win and the rule of law is continued to be respected nationwide”.

    Where in the Constitution does it say that cannabis or any other herb should be prohibited? and if the “rule of law” can be changed by a Majority of its citizens with the power of a VOTE,then so be it.

  24. The Supreme Court could say that since marijuana prohibition is causing some States to turn against against other States, then that prohibition goes against the Full Faith and Credit clause, therefore it should be annulled.

  25. The supreme court lost its credibility when they agreed to separate but equal segregation. AG seeking aide from the SC is just another attempt to evade patient rights, and continue chemical companies profits even if misuse causes thousands of deaths annually.

  26. What can you do to make sure the R party implodes so that Billy’s scenario does NOT come true?

    Work to make cannabis and racist enforcement THE issue in 2016. Hit medical – HARD. And don’t wait. Start now.

    I pass this one around. “Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year.” And if you don’t like that one pick your own point of attack. Keep it short. Simple. Easy to remember. Be prepared to answer counter attacks.

    And one other thing – support Rand Paul. The least Prohibitionist of all the candidates running D or R.

  27. The Nebraska AG is an ass, and was a law school classmate. No one I’ve talked to backs him on this, including the two members of the legislature I’ve talked to. Just a political stunt and waste of tax money, and all just two weeks before he leaves office. With luck it’s the end of his political career; he seems to be running for something every two years.

  28. Although, I am for the legalization of marijuana, one has to give credit to the other side for trying to keep this harmless substance out of our hands. They are dedicated individuals with a firm belief that they are absolutely correct on keeping marijuana illegal and will go through extreme measures to show this act. As these people use their techniques such as using the Supreme Court to make a final decision, we the people (you and I) are using the same weapons of choice to defend on what we believe is to be correct, even using some extreme measures of our own. In all, the decision has been made and voters are taking their stand. Let’s be realistic, the government is losing a war that they started and no one likes to lose so, let’s give whatever dignity the government deserves for they tried their asses off. My question to all of those politicians though, who is going to be the first to apologize for………will let you finish off this sentence. Peace and Love ya’ll!!!

  29. This could be a dangerous lawsuit. If federal law differs from state law to the extent that it undermines federal law; then if the federal law is valid, it trumps the state law. This was exemplified by Andrew Jackson’s struggle with S. Carolina’s failure to enforce federal tariffs, and the states subsequent loss on the issue.

    The place where the suit OUGHT to fail, is the Tenth Amendment. Any power of the federal government that is not granted in the Constitution, the federal government is prohibited from wielding. Thus, e.g. the government has no legitimate business in drug prohibition (nor health care, for that matter) – until a Constitutional amendment is passed granting them such powers.

    It will be interesting to see what reasoning is used in the final decision. Perhaps the current legal fiction or fictions that were probably used in court challenges to these laws are tenuous enough that a state that simply declines to pass laws paralleling (unconstitutional) federal laws is in conflict with a very shaky federal law to start with; and some legal fiction will be found to justify the co-existence of such state with such federal laws. Perhaps there is useful Supreme Court precedent for such co-existence.

    States rights have been a very contentious and fractious issue in US history. I urge people to take this issue seriously; because a loss on this case could trump all we have gained. On the other hand, I don’t think the Powers That Be would allow things to progress this far, if they didn’t intend to tell their minions to find an excuse to let legalization in these states stand – whether due to intention on their part, or due to the new-found popularity of the issue. If they do not, however, then we must focus our efforts on opposing laws that the federal government has no rightful Constitutional authority for in the first place; no matter how twisted and strained the interpretation is that has supposedly justified the federal drug laws so far. If on the basis of protecting the welfare of citizens, then recent medical studies that have broadly shown that psychoactive hemp (=MJ) does not cause cancer, and that it is far less harmful than legal alternatives (e.g. alcohol & tobacco) OUGHT to undermine them for this plant, anyway. There’s no way, knowing what we know now, that such prohibition, by allowing it to remain on Schedule I, based on false claims, is Constitutional: especially when the evidence is so clear these days.

  30. I am on pic’s side, make a movie with the real facts about mj, not another 1 like reefer madness full of lies. Those 2 states need to take care of their own crap and leave everybody else alone. They’re just mad because they don’t get the revenue that the 4 legal states do. LEGALIZE NOW!!!!!!

  31. I was born.and raised in Oklahoma. I got the hell out cause it is a conservative police state. Now i live and breath the salty air of Hawaii, while enjoying foliage of momma gaia ania. I think the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma are also concerned about the growing of hemp. One point they need to be educated on is on,.. marijuana can’t be grown in between hemp crops they seed outwith no bud.

  32. itle 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act
    SUBCHAPTER I — CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT
    Part F — General Provisions
    §903. Application of State law
    No provision of this subchapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operates, including criminal penalties, to the exclusion of any State law on the same subject matter which would otherwise be within the authority of the State, unless there is a positive conflict between that provision of this subchapter and that State law so that the two cannot consistently stand together.

    The domestic and international legal nature of these treaty obligations must be considered in light of the supremacy of the United States Constitution over treaties or acts and the equality of treaties and Congressional acts. In Reid v. Covert the Supreme Court of the United States addressed both these issues directly and clearly holding:
    [N]o agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution.
    Article VI, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, declares:
    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . .”
    There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result. These debates, as well as the history that surrounds the adoption of the treaty provision in Article VI, make it clear that the reason treaties were not limited to those made in “pursuance” of the Constitution was so that agreements made by the United States under the Articles of Confederation, including the important peace treaties which concluded the Revolutionary War, would remain in effect. It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights—let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition—to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government, and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and the Senate combined.
    There is nothing new or unique about what we say here. This Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty. For example, in Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U. S. 258, 133 U. S. 267, it declared:
    “The treaty power, as expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited except by those restraints which are found in that instrument against the action of the government or of its departments, and those arising from the nature of the government itself and of that of the States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the character of the government, or in that of one of the States, or a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter, without its consent.”
    This Court has repeatedly taken the position that an Act of Congress, which must comply with the Constitution, is on a full parity with a treaty, and that, when a statute which is subsequent in time is inconsistent with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict renders the treaty null. It would be completely anomalous to say that a treaty need not comply with the Constitution when such an agreement can be overridden by a statute that must conform to that instrument.[19]

  33. Just curious. Isn’t it the conservative states screening states rights most of the time. Am I missing something?

  34. Timing is everything… Between making this a case the Supreme Court wont even touch… To a backfire of epic proportions. The state of Colorado has the opportunity to counterclaim for evidence of damages in the failed drug war spilling over state lines to its citizens. As i said in the last blog, Colorado should Federally sanction the attorneys generals of Nebraska and Oklahoma for willfully pursuing a fraudulent case for the purpose of harassment, flush out their evidence, then drop the sanction and counterclaim on the same constitutional grounds as the U.S. Government v. Picard et al for the unconstitutional scheduling of marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act AND/OR… For collateral damage to the citizens of Colorado for the spill over of rapists and murderers from Nebraska and Oklahoma due to failed prohibitionist policies in those states prioritizing nonviolent marijuana arrests over the investigation of rapes and murders.

    With recent evidence of marijuana’s medicinal use, N.I.D.A.’s own research with the University of Michigan of the drop in use of marijuana among teens in states that have legalized marijuana, the study remains of the real violence or even potential physical harm that people caught with possession of marijuana present to society, or specifically flowing out of the state borders of Colorado which forms the basis of this fraudulent suit.
    Then we have to present a thorough analysis of the threat that prohibitionist policies in Nebraska and Oklahoma pose to the safety and health to the citizens of Colorado by prioritizing non violent arrests of marijuana while backlogging rape kits and DNA analysis of murder-related evidence. How many rapists and murderers escaped the attention of law enforcement in Nebraska and Oklahoma causing harm to the citizens of Colorado within the last year alone ?
    The beautiful irony is that instead of having the DOJ crack down on Colorado by violating guidelines, the blame for crossing marijuana across state borders can be a cross-fault of individual possession and conflicting state policy… A subject i highly doubt the DOJ will even touch leading up to 2016 elections.
    And the real irony is the DOJ can help the defense by leading investigations into the counterclaim related to prioritization of drug cases over violent crimes like murder, and more importantly, whether the negligence of this drug-prioritization caused any murderers to escape through states with prohibitive policies and cause murders and rape in states that have legalized cannabis and prioritized investigations of murder and more violent crimes than possession of marijuana.
    One case springs to mind of a serial rapist and murderer from Austin Texas who escaped authorities there, crossed through Oklahoma and made it to Denver several years ago, targeting University towns, trolling bars and entertainment districts for his victims. Colorado authorities eventually caught the perp after several personal losses in the state. The problem is we need evidence from a case like this from the last year while Colorado marijuana legalization has been enacted. For this, we will need the help of the attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, before he officially retires.

  35. Oklahoma is home to some of the largest Native American reservations which are now federally granted immunity to grow, process and SELL cannabis. Depending on the tribe, these will become new tourist destinations. I don’t see how colorados law suit or even repeal will change trafficking.

  36. As noted by “Dusty Relic:”

    Title 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act
    SUBCHAPTER I — CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT
    Part F — General Provisions
    §903. Application of State law
    No provision of this subchapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operates, including criminal penalties, to the exclusion of any State law on the same subject matter which would otherwise be within the authority of the State, unless there is a positive conflict between that provision of this subchapter and that State law so that the two cannot consistently stand together.

    Couple that withSCOTUS decision “Reid v. Covert:”

    The domestic and international legal nature of these treaty obligations must be considered in light of the supremacy of the United States Constitution over treaties or acts and the equality of treaties and Congressional acts. In Reid v. Covert the Supreme Court of the United States addressed both these issues directly and clearly holding:
    [N]o agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution.
    Article VI, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, declares:
    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . .”
    There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result. These debates, as well as the history that surrounds the adoption of the treaty provision in Article VI, make it clear that the reason treaties were not limited to those made in “pursuance” of the Constitution was so that agreements made by the United States under the Articles of Confederation, including the important peace treaties which concluded the Revolutionary War, would remain in effect. It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights—let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition—to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government, and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and the Senate combined.
    There is nothing new or unique about what we say here. This Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty. For example, in Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U. S. 258, 133 U. S. 267, it declared:
    “The treaty power, as expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited except by those restraints which are found in that instrument against the action of the government or of its departments, and those arising from the nature of the government itself and of that of the States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the character of the government, or in that of one of the States, or a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter, without its consent.”
    This Court has repeatedly taken the position that an Act of Congress, which must comply with the Constitution, is on a full parity with a treaty, and that, when a statute which is subsequent in time is inconsistent with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict renders the treaty null. It would be completely anomalous to say that a treaty need not comply with the Constitution when such an agreement can be overridden by a statute that must conform to that instrument.[19]

    So Federal law trumping state law is not a given. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the 10th ammendment after the Civil War.

    This is what is so significant abouut CSA Title 21 subchapter 1 and “Reid V. Covert” that all laws/treaties must conform to the “Bill Of Rights”/”The Constitution that allowed for the Supremacy Clause and all teaties created by that instrument.

  37. Bobby says:

    “Nobody is forcing these law enforcement officers to go out and profile suspect individuals,except the police themselves.”

    That’s not true at all. The thing you’re missing is that these Attorney Generals are doing their job. Agree or disagree with the statutes, it is their job to enforce the laws as they are written. Per the Federal Government marijuana is illegal, end of story. These AG’s have the legal authority and responsibility to enforce all State and Federal laws. The analogy you drew up is faulty at best, ignorant at worst. A better equivalent in your hypothetical situation is if someone’s dog was coming into my yard and eating my cats. It’s not unreasonable to expect the proper legal authorities (i.e. the courts) to take care of the issue. Following your logic you seem to be suggesting that this would be somehow my fault.

    “One step at a time,some people don’t have the patience to wait a thousand years,especially the victims and future victims of you’re DRUG WAR.”

    Hyperbole aside, there is no progress being made anywhere. Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon are all violating federal law. This is unconstitutional, and all it takes is a new administration or a single court decision to put an end to this psuedo-legalization. If permanent change is going to come it must happen by repealing the laws passed by Congress, not by passing new laws in violation of them by authorities that are subservient to them. Furthermore, you say it is one step at a time and people don’t have time to wait, but one step at a time is inherently a slow process. What I’m advocating is a swift change of governmental policy that would immediately impact every person in the country. Lastly, it’s “your drug war” (as in the drug war you have erroneously attributed to me) not “you’re drug war” (because I am not a drug war).

    And, the Supreme Court has justified Congress’s prohibition on cannabis through their constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. This is the definition of an interstate commerce case. There is no reason to expect them to ignore the precedents that have already been set. And believe it or not, a state-level referendum cannot change the constitution, I suggest you read article V.

    And seriously, I’m not against legalization. I smoke a ton of weed. I just would rather have my government work together on issues such as these while giving proper respect and redress to all constituents, regardless of ideology. We have a system in place to change bad policy, and it can actually work if it is given a chance.

  38. Hyperbole aside, there is no progress being made anywhere. Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon are all violating federal law.

    Well yes and no. Legal sales (medical, recreational) is a violation. But if they go after recreational they have to go after medical. That would be very unpopular.

    But the Federal government can’t force states to arrest people.

  39. So Colorado might as well wave the white flag before SCOTUS even agrees to hear the case?

    As noted the CSA grants the U>S> AG to maitain schedules as such AG sees fit Also the CSA recognizes “Reid v. Colvert. that is case law and in keeping with the CSA as I quoted in my previous post.

  40. Billy says:

    ” The thing you’re missing is that these Attorney Generals are doing their job. Agree or disagree with the statutes, it is their job to enforce the laws as they are written’

    Okay,agreed.My point is that since Colorado has legalized,these neighboring states have shifted their “focus” on prioritizing drivers coming out of Colorado as a target,and now that their court system is being ‘overwhelmed,” their acting like their being victims.If you want to blame the Attorney Generals for this conduct that’s fine with me.It would be interesting to know the amounts of contraband (on the average) these people are getting charged with,since out of state visitors are only allowed to purchase no more than a quarter ounce at a time,if most of these offenders are bringing back remnants of whats left of their 7 gram bags..oh no the sky is falling! That seems like a waste of resources that could be better prioritized.

    “Hyperbole aside, there is no progress being made anywhere. Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon are all violating federal law”

    Interesting how the 18th amendment(for alcohol prohibition)witch was a Federal Law,was overturned by Amendment 21, 14 years later,both where done by individual State Ratifications. And if you think that 32 medical marijuana states and 4 recreational states isn’t ‘Progress’,well, you must be on a different planet!

    “Furthermore, you say it is one step at a time and people don’t have time to wait, but one step at a time is inherently a slow process. What I’m advocating is a swift change of governmental policy that would immediately impact every person in the country”.

    Sounds great,fill us in on the details? Until then, i think that voting in individual states, should still be a high priority as a representation of its citizens,as well as “getting things done” and be respected as such.

  41. Great debate everyone. But don’t hold your breath; As badly as SAM would love to push this case through, I predict that the Supreme Court will not hear this case or any other marijuana related case until during or right after 2016 elections, after California fully legalizes medicinal marijuana. I have an intuition that SCOTUS is planning it this way, right up to the end of Obama’s term and right around elections in order to avoid a Constitutional catastrophe that will no doubt rebound right back into court.

    @Raven,

    Reading your analysis of SCOTUS, treaties and the Constitution convinces me of why both our Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written on Hemp paper.
    I have long been fascinated as to how cannabis has unwittingly created human Democracy, using our feet to reproduce itself and causing us to contemplate and speculate on governmental questions I dare wonder if we would even be asking ourselves if cannabis had not co-evolved with us throughout the history of civilization.

    Ironically, we are all analyzing our government not primarily for the interest of its function to provide justice, but primarily to manage our pain, cost of living, quality of life, and… the pursuit of liberty and happiness we have written into our Constitution. Justice appears to be a byproduct of marijuana consumption… what a trip.

    Look how cannabis inspires us to seek deeper Democratic solutions; to understand the function of the three branches of government, and even how to zone and properly tax the myriad uses of the diverse species of cannabis sativa. Would we even care about these things without the use of cannabis? Or how many of us would even care about Democracy without freely regulated and fairly taxed cannabis? How can we begin to measure the arrested development of our society due to prohibition? As we slowly legalize, how will our court system and Constitution handle the inevitable tidal wave of domestic and international law suits seeking compensation for the humanitarian tragedy known as cannabis prohibition? The wrongfully imprisoned? Victims of cancer such as brain tumors reported in the Shaffer Commission as treatable using cannabis way back in 1970? Automobiles built with deadly steel and corrosive fuels when Ford and Diesel had vehicles all figured out built and fueled entirely out of sustainable, more accident-resistant hemp more than a century ago? How about the millions of casualties of Drug Wars fueled by prohibition that toppled Democratically elected governments to confiscate assets and drug money that continues to this day? How in the Hell is SCOTUS going to deal with this mess?

    First, I continue to prioritize education of the People before looking at SCOTUS for answers.

    I applaud the martyrs of our Prohibition-era “Canniversities” like Oaksterdam, that suffered so many raids by the DEA looking for asset forfeitures in a school dedicated to cannabis education and filled with the sick in need of the healing only herbal, natural grown cannabis provides.
    Going into the list of things we need to focus on next year for NORML, I believe Cannabis Education must be a TOP priority. Universities, now free from Federally funded intervention with the study of hemp or medicinal marijuana, need to partner up with their Departments of Agriculture and Institutions abroad from Israel to Iran to continue the important work and research into the study of agricultural, medicinal, industrial and culinary Cannabis. Government classes must dedicate their courses to the history of cannabis prohibition as a tool to help students understand how our government works… or doesn’t work… so that we can not only end prohibition, but prevent it from happening again.

    It’s easy for us, myself included, to get caught up in the unholy drama of our American Cannabis Tragedy while there are still Congressman, Federal Judges, students and teachers that need further, CONTINUING education over cannabis science and history. This is part of what NORML does for our nation, but we need this part of our educational efforts subsidized and institutionalized by our government. ( I know, public education funded by private cannabis revenue… I think I just heard a Libertarian squeel…) Mexico has subsidized health care and education and their health care and education systems continue to draw Americans like myself to their institutions. Subsidizing American health care and education with recreational and industrial cannabis revenue just makes sense. Clearly, the message the herb tells us about ourselves and our government is integral to a functioning Democracy.

    So let’s fund Canniversities subsidized by recreational marijuana taxes and industrial hemp revenue. I certainly don’t want my children to grow up just to have their children fooled by the same fear tactics that passed the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, especially after we worked so hard to get rid of it. Knowledge will make our children brave and prepared to recognize future fear campaigns. The people on this blog or memebers of NORML can’t be the only ones with the knowledge to correct prohibition. We have a responsibility to share our cannabis education and research, in the same way that patent #6630507 must be made open source. Without affordable cannabis education, I don’t see how SCOTUS, or the best Constitutional scholars alive today will ever help us figure out how to keep prohibition away for good.

  42. My point is that any amount of voting at the state level is meaningless until some change occurs at the national level. All the effort that has been put in to lobbying, educating, voting, and legalizing at the state level will be for nothing if the Federal government changes their priorities. In order for the marijuana legalization movement to achieve genuine success rather than arbitrary non-enforcement is to get Congress to change the laws as they are written. As of now, all the “legalizing” that is taking place is a sham and is very vulnerable. Any “progress” that has been made is merely superficial. No progress can legally occur until Congress decides to act.

    I completely agree that it is a waste of resources to actively police people bringing a couple of grams across the border from Colorado, but it is the law. And honestly, if the government is willing to write laws, I would hope that they would be willing to enforce them. I’m sure the AG’s of these states would agree that their policing resources would be put to better use elsewhere, and that is precisely why they are turning to the Supreme Court. It makes no sense for these states to have to waste their police officers time at the expense of people who genuinely need their services due to Colorado’s non-enforcement of Federal law. I disagree with their position, but I agree with their cause.

Leave a Reply