Pubdate: Tue, 15 May 2001
Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)
Copyright: 2001 WorldNetDaily.com, Inc.
Contact:  http://www.worldnetdaily.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/655
Author: Joel Miller

SUPREME COURT'S REEFER MADNESS

In the rush to cure all the ills to which humans are heir, liberty is
too often an innocent bystander -- and an accidental casualty. --Barry
Goldwater, 1964

The Supreme Court handed in their black robes for brown shirts
yesterday, as that formerly august body decided 8-0 against medical
marijuana, ruling that federal law trumps state initiatives to
legalize the substance for treatment of illnesses such as AIDS,
cancer, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.

"It is clear from the text of the [Controlled Substance Act] that
Congress has made a determination that marijuana has no medical
benefits worthy of an exception," Clarence Thomas wrote for the
unanimous majority.

Had Justice Stephen Breyer not recused himself because his brother,
U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer, presided over the initial
case, it probably would have been a 9-0 ruling. Charles Breyer sided
with government lawyers against medical marijuana when he heard the
case.

"The Supreme Court's ruling against medical marijuana was no surprise,
and it shouldn't be held against the court," wrote Andrew Sullivan in
his May 14 Daily Dish column at AndrewSullivan.com. "The ruling
clearly defers to a congressional statute, which clearly outlaws
medical use of marijuana."

The ruling may be no surprise, but Sullivan is still wrong about at
least one thing: Of course it should be held against the court.

Apparently, Clarence Thomas and Co. forgot a slightly more important
statute than the Controlled Substance Act -- the Constitution of the
United States! Remember that one? I think it's still mentioned in
high-school civics classes.

Grab a copy if you have one handy and open that grand, national
operating manual to Article 1, Section 8. This section lays out in
very clear terms the enumerated powers of Congress -- what our
representatives are permitted to do. (Pay attention, Clarence.)

There are not many items listed, and you'll probably notice the
striking absence of anything about regulating marijuana -- or any
drugs for that matter. It's not in there. Establishing postal roads,
declaring war, coining money -- that much is enumerated, but not a
word about dope.

The reason why this is important can be found by thumbing back a few
pages to the Preamble. It states that "We the people  do ordain and
establish this Constitution of the United States." In other words, the
federal government's power is delegated to it by the people; as far as
the Constitution is concerned, we set up the central state.

Those enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8, limit the government
precisely because they are enumerated -- that's all the power we the
people delegated. And just to make sure the Congress would mind its
manners, the founders -- most of whom trusted the state as much as a
pack of wild dogs -- reiterated what they meant in Amendments 9 and 10
to the Constitution.

Amendment 9: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the
people."

Amendment 10 (the one Bob Dole claimed he kept a copy of in his suit
pocket but obviously never read while in Congress): "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."

In short, the Supreme Court got it exactly backwards. The right to
control substances for any purpose, medical or otherwise, is nowhere
given to the feds in the Constitution -- which means it's up to the
states to decide, not Congress. The Controlled Substance Act can't
trump state initiatives to legalize pot because the states trump the
feds wherever a governing role is not clearly given to the boys of the
Potomac, and none is. Instead of siding with government lawyers, the
Supreme Court should have simply ruled that no federal law has been
broken because there's no legitimate federal law.

So I say Sullivan is wrong. We should blame the court. We must blame
the court.

The Supreme Court did much more than rule against medical marijuana
yesterday. It validated and empowered the bastard state -- the
illegitimate, ham-fisted authority that is slowly choking the life of
our constitutional republic.

Tarring and feathering the noble justices in effigy might be a place
nice start in response to this outrage -- it's a very founding fathers
sort of thing to do, in fact. But where we need to focus is where
Sullivan is dead-on right, in saying this ruling is "a pretty obvious
case of conservative hypocrisy on states' rights."

States rights, said Barry Goldwater, "is a check on the steady
accumulation of massive power in the hands of national bureaucrats. In
these days of 'instant crisis,' both real and manufactured, it may be
the only effective check."

Not effective enough apparently. These days, when jackboots replace
wingtips on the bench, states rights get the heel, and statist
absolutism kicks genuine federalism out the door into the cold dark
night.

"Let us never forget that it was our sovereign states that joined in a
compact of defined and limited national powers to forward the general
welfare, and to preserve and enhance the freedom of every single
American," said Goldwater. "We must not now abandon this wise
blueprint of freedom and balanced authority."

Goldwater said that back in 1964. I only hope we're not too
late.
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MAP posted-by: Andrew