Monday, November 19, 2012

Duelling Editorials: The Legalization of Pot in Colorado and Washington Creates a Sticky States Rights Policy Dilemma

Shouldn't proponents of state-based immigration and land rights policy experimentation and reform be cheering on the Obama administration to lay off interfering with "statewide regulation of the emerging [marijuana] industry" in states like Colorado and Washington?
If Colorado and Washington are allowed to defy federal law, the federal government will lose moral standing in its efforts to enforce its primacy in areas such as immigration and land rights. Why should Utahns who wish state control of federal lands give pause to federal intervention if marijuana legalization is deemed a state’s right? Also, why would federal courts defer to the U.S. government on issues of immigration or land rights if the federal government abdicates its responsibility on enforcing drug laws?
Standard-Examiner Editorial
Our View: Pot clashes with the feds
November 18, 2012

“It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system,” Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote (in dissent) in 1932, “that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Not one but two courageous states have chosen to serve in this way. President Obama should do everything in his power to allow them to do it right.
Ethan Nadelman - Via Alternet
5 reasons the feds shouldn’t crack down on pot
November 16, 2012

There's an interesting juxtaposition of philosophies emerging in the national political discussion over the past couple of days, in the wake of the November 6 general elections, wherein two states, Colorado and Washington, became the first states to legalize marijuana. It comes as no surprise, of course, that the generally conservative-leaning Standard-Examiner, in yesterday's strong editorial, enunciates what appears to be the knee-jerk conservative philosophical position. "The feds can easily quash these new laws; hopefully that will be a priority next year," says the Standard-Examiner:
In contrast, here's an interesting set of counterarguments, which we stumbled upon on on the liberal-leaning, whilst feverishly googling this morning. To our great fascination, this thoughtful op-ed piece adopts a well-reasoned position which favors a "policy of [federal] restraint regarding the new laws in Colorado and Washington":
Oddly enough, Mr. Nalderman's liberal argument, which proposes federal deference to the "clearest expressions of the will of the people," looks suspiciously to be a "states rights" argument, doesn't it? And the Standard's position, which urges the full exertion of the federal government's prohibitory powers, doesn't even remotely resemble the pro-10th amendment argument which we would expect from a conservative Utah newspaper which would view "immigration" and "land rights" reform to be among the rights at least implicitly reserved to the states under the U.S. Constitution.

Proponents of state-based immigration and land rights policy experimentation/reform ought to be cheering on the Obama administration to lay off interfering with "statewide regulation of the emerging [marijuana] industry" in states like Colorado and Washington, or so it seems to us. Federal deference to the states on the issue of local marijuana regulation will only create the kind of precedent that state "immigration" and "land rights" regulators in states like Utah  have long been looking for, no?

Maybe the Standard editorial board and needs to "rethink" its Sunday editorial.

So what do YOU say folks? Has the Standard-Examiner jumped aboard the wrong bandwagon?


Marco said...

Face it Rudi.  Ste Standard's "square" editorial stance has more to due with this than anything else.

Marko said...


Danny said...

Now that two states have legalized hemp, it will be much harder for the government to propagandize and to demonize it.  In the end, the antidote for lies is truth.

And the truth is this:  The adverse effects of hemp pale in comparison to the adverse effect on society of the war on drugs.

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