Pubdate: Fri, 18 May 2001
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2001 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Martin T. Ingham


The Supreme Courtís decision to overrule state-approved medical
marijuana laws has fired me up. I see this as yet another display of
the federal government flexing its bureaucratic muscles to usurp the
rights of local governments. I have seen the judicial branch of our
government slowly whittle away our regional rights, so there is
nothing shocking about this particular decision. It is merely disturbing.

What bothers me most about this ruling is one conveniently overlooked
fact: It is unconstitutional. The 10th Amendment stipulates that
powers not granted or denied by the Constitution shall be left in the
hands of the state government and the people to decide. Nowhere in the
Constitution is there any prohibition on marijuana; therefore, it is a
state government matter, and no business of the Supreme Court or any
other branch of the federal government.

I am one of the few young adults to have never used marijuana and I
hope I never need it for medical purposes. But it is wrong for the
federal government to step in and deny Maine citizens this treatment.
I have seen its benefits when administered to those with serious
medical problems and I know far more people will suffer by being
denied this treatment than will benefit by its prohibition.

If the federal government wishes to prohibit the use of marijuana once
and for all, it had better hold a constitutional convention and amend
the Constitution accordingly. Otherwise, they may wake up one day to
discover the Supreme Court has ruled their drug laws unconstitutional.
Such controversial rulings have occurred many times before.

Martin T. Ingham, Robbinston
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