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Medical Marijuana Decision May Come Back to Haunt the Right

American University law professor Herman Schwartz, writing in the Nation, opines that conservatives may rue the day the Supreme Court ruled that the feds can arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers in states that have legalized medical marijuana use:

The Supreme Court decision may actually encourage abuses. Those who need marijuana to ease their suffering will still manage to get it from illegal sources, and federal officials have indicated they are not likely to prosecute individual users. But California will no longer be able to justify continuing its current efforts to tighten dispensary regulation and to restrict access to the truly needy, for how can a state justify regulating and implicitly approving what the Supreme Court has found illegal? The decision will discourage more states from permitting medical use of the drug, no matter how carefully controlled.

This small victory for federal authority will do little to stem the right-wing campaign to shrink federal power and undermine the welfare and regulatory reforms initiated by the New Deal. Instead, the vital state experimentation on a common problem, which the federal system is supposed to encourage, will be choked off. More people will be forced into the illegal market, and victims of cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses will be made even more miserable.

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    But O'Connor, Renquist and Thomas dissented. There's something to be said for not construing the interstate commerce clause as covering privately grown pot that is neither bought nor sold. After that case and Kelo, it's liberals like me who are haunted by justices who are happy to take a pick axe to the Constitution. I like it when they swing it in favor of abortion rights or striking down interracial marriage bans. But I hope we don't regret the day we encouraged giving the justices a pick axe in the first place.

    Re: Medical Marijuana Decision May Come Back to Ha (none / 0) (#2)
    by SeeEmDee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    With regards to this disingenousness about 'liberal' and 'comservative', both camps have been guilty of allowing the so-called "War on Drugs" to escalate to the point of absurdity. The supposed 'conservatives' (as opposed to 'paleo-conservatives') who wanted to punish the 'liberals' for their supposed immoral, libertine ways saw cannabis as a symbol of the mores they hated so much and attacked like a bull in the ring does a red cape. But what's worse was when the 'liberals', out of fear of appearing too wishy-washy and namby-pamby as compared to the 'conservatives', began assisting the 'conservatives' in this punishment by helping to ratchet up the penalties for possession and trafficking. All this happened against the backdrop of one inarguable fact: the Right won the 'culture war' long ago with Ronald Reagan's ascension to the seat of power, or, as it was framed in the movie "The Big Lebowski": "The bums lost." The war against cannabis is the Right flaying a dead horse...and the Left standing by, handing them the whip. Isn't it time to stop the insanity?

    Re: Medical Marijuana Decision May Come Back to Ha (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    With regards to this disingenousness about 'liberal' and 'comservative', both camps have been guilty of allowing the so-called "War on Drugs" to escalate to the point of absurdity. The whole liberal/ conservative characterization is just a smoke screen. Democrats (pseudo liberals that repugs see as the real thing) have been enabling the WOD all along out of fear and big money for their local law enforcement. Liberals my ass. No true progressive would ever consider putting pot smokers in jail.

    Re: Medical Marijuana Decision May Come Back to Ha (none / 0) (#4)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    This small victory for federal authority will do little to stem the right-wing campaign to shrink federal power Ö
    It seems Schwartz hasnít seen the new face of the right.

    Re: Medical Marijuana Decision May Come Back to Ha (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jim Strain on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:13 PM EST
    I agree with Pigwiggle. The whole premise of Schwartz' article seems to rest on an assumption that the right is motivated by some sort of principle. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!