Monday, January 8, 2018

If You Don't Like the Law, Change It

1/8/17 USA Today article by Instapundit:
Legislative powers are the power to make and repeal laws. Those powers are not vested in the executive branch, which includes the president and, more relevant to this discussion, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recently announced that he will no longer follow an Obama-era policy of not enforcing federal laws against marijuana. Some states have repealed their own laws against marijuana, but marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and will stay that way unless Congress legislates otherwise.
Unlike Instapundit, I no longer support decriminalization because of the increased risk it creates for schizophrenia, which most young people know nothing about.   But this is the right answer.  If Congress does not like the law, repeal it, do not administratively ignore it, or find a previously unknown constitutional right to get stoned.


  1. I say the Courts got it completely wrong in Raich by rewriting the Commerce Clause to cover in-state non-commerce, and thus "anything at all".

    The Feds have no more Constitutional power to ban weed inside a state than they did to ban liquor - without an Amendment, which is exactly why Prohibition needed one.

    Whether or not one things the policy outcome of "banned weed" (or "weed banned for people under 21", which seems like, from what I recall of previous posts on the schizophrenia issue, and assuming it's not all self-medicating selection effects, would prevent most of its harms to young people), there's just ... no enumerated power that allows it, not properly.

  2. Th advocates will tell you to look under "Pursuit of Happiness."

  3. The harm marijuana causes is miniscule compared to the harm alcohol causes. Yet alcohol remains legal for two reasons: for the sake of liberty, and because it's criminalization resulted in the creation of massive criminal cartels. Remind you of something?

  4. Unknown: I am not sure that doubling schizophrenia rates is miniscule compared to alcohol's dangers, and alcohol causes enormous harm. Prohibition was clearly badly thought out. Many states still have substantially more alcohol regulation than they did before it. Some likely works, some clearly does not.

    Sigivald: Completely agree that Raich was wrongly decided.

  5. Clayton,

    I am not in favor of marijuana, but I am in favor of FEDERAL deregulation. In general, matters like this should be left to the state, as the constitution prescribes.

    I would also question the effectiveness of the current drug bans. Marijuana has been banned at the federal level since 1937, yet people seem to have no trouble acquiring it. If a complete federal ban for 80 years is insufficient to eradicate the drug, maybe we need to question the efficacy and need for the ban.

    I found the satirical research at particularly insightful.

    I wonder if the purpose of the "War on Drugs" has anything to do with drugs. It seems to be used primarily as an excuse to give the government more power over the people.


  6. I am hard pressed to see how the federal government has this authority. Their current strategy relies on a very bogus use of taxing authority and interstate commerce.

    The "War on Drugs," was a mistake in both language and insanity. The most effective strategy is educational in nature.

  7. Sigivald: Some of the studies controlled for symptoms pre-existing use.