Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The USSC's medical marijuana ruling

Isn't the Supreme Court's ruling on medical marijuana and criminal prosecution interesting? We saw an interesting alliance formed in the 6-3 ruling which stated that states with medical marijuana laws could see their citizens federally prosecuted for breaking federal drug laws.

The three dissenters were O'Connor, Rehnquist, and Thomas. These three (correctly so) pointed out that the 10th Amendment allowed these pro-medical dope states to set their own guidelines, and these states put it to a referendum to their citizens. If they were voting on something clearly unconstitutional (e.g. reinstituting slavery, revoking the First Amendment, etc.), then the federal courts would have had cause to invalidate the state laws.

The remaining six were the four liberal ideologues on the court (Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens), a conservative (Scalia), and a who-knows-what (Kennedy). Scalia normally applies the Constitution in his rulings, but it seems to me that he may have let his conservative views on drugs cloud his legal reasoning. Maybe that's unfair, since I didn't read his opinion yet...I'm just speculating, and I could be wrong.

By the way, I found it absurd and outrageous that the USSC outlawed the capital punishment of juveniles based on (in part) "international opinion", "foreign law", and "evolving standards of decency." Considering that many foreign countries have legalized marijuana (if not other drugs, too), one would think that the USSC would have applied that same "globalist" rationale in this medical dope case. Nope. Tells me that the liberals on the USSC (with Kennedy) had their minds made up about the capital punishment case and simply looked for a rationale for it. But since this isn't a post about the juvenile death penalty thing, let me stop my digressing...

I have never so much as taken a drag off of a joint, much less experimented with any other drug. However, I think it's "high time" (pun intended!) we legalized drugs in this country. If a man wants to get himself stoned in his apartment, how is it a compelling government interest to stop that? Do the feds need to be concerned that he may bug Domino's at 1:00 a.m. after puffing on a doob?

If someone gets coked up and kills someone, then charge him/her with killing someone...not with being coked up. Our drug war has been a failure, and if we spent even half the money that's spent on interdiction, incarceration, police stings, drug raids, etc., on simple treatment of drug problems, we'd save a ton of money and be a lot better off. Simply put, I just cannot be convinced that criminalizing drugs is a federal role, responsibility, or even interest.