In Bellingham Washington yesterday:
I keep waiting and wondering what the Federal government is going to do about the enforcement of the Federal laws against marijuana. And I wonder how that resolution will be reconciled with the states which have passed Firearms Freedom Acts.
These are two “elephants in the room” which the politicians appear unable to see.
Politicians see dollar signs. Washington State alone will collect a billion dollars in pot tax this year. The Feds see the large, metastasized and entrenched DEA and all the money, the power and the supporting premises that go with it. All of that will steer their minds away from reality to such an extent that reality will have become their enemy. They’ll be like John McCain, mocking, with real hatred, the conservative/libertarians who speak up in defense of the American Principles.
They will do everything within their considerable power to prevent those principles from becoming mainstream again.
One of the more libertarian-ish presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, was completely on board with the War On Drugs, able to recite the premises reflexively, even passionately, ignoring all his own talk of liberty, individual responsibility and the dangers of an over-reaching government.
All the principles, all the rationale for liberty and limited government, even the Bill of Rights to which they are sworn, are thrown aside when the D-Word is invoked. It’s as if, and I’ve said many times that in fact, they are under hypnosis and therefore cannot see their own gross hypocrisy. Point out that hypocrisy to them and they’ll lash out at you as enemies.
We are therefore, in every sense that matters, dealing with the criminally insane.
Self interest can overcome a great deal of reason and principle. The former is tangible, palpable and immediate while the latter two are ethereal, speculative and long term. I’ve often brought up the possible number of pink slips, budget item losses and office closures which would result from a true end to the War On Drugs. Not just in the DEA, but all throughout the country at all levels, down to the rural, small town cop shops.
And don’t forget the black budgets which are in part funded by clandestine, international drug trade. There are governments which run, significantly, on drug money and foreign “aid” in supposedly fighting against drugs, and they’ll kill to maintain the status quo.
And so it is that, like petty theft verses income taxes, governments worldwide are in the same business (with all the corruption that goes with it) as the small time drug dealer, on a much larger scale.
Understand that and you’ll understand that they aren’t going to give it all up after hearing pleas for morals and principles. Morals and principles are their enemies. But those arguments are all that we have, and the more people who hear them, the more people will be ready for the proper change when the opportunity arises.
Also, the War On Drugs is too deliciously evil for the anarchists, sowers of chaos, the authoritarian climbers, and the various and sundry haters to give up. Just imagine; promoting some great evil, making it ten times, a thousand times worse, all while making billions of dollars off of it at the same time, all while pretending to be against it! No; it’s just too sweet a gig to let go. It has everything any bitch and any son of a bitch could want, all tied up in a pretty package with a nice label on it, and it WORKS!
But, the question I really want answered is, “Are the Feds going to enforce the Federal laws against people producing, selling, and using marijuana in states which have legalized it?”
probably, at least to start out.
i’m coming to the quiet, private conclusion that federal jobs — at very least on the higher pay grades, where decisions are made — are pretty much inherently political. so the answer to your question is, “yes, if some sufficiently highly placed federal bureaucrat thinks they can derive political advantage from it; no, the moment it becomes a political liability; and a coin-toss, if neither is the case.”
the political climate is changing towards making marijuana enforcement a political liability, but it seems to be moving pretty slowly and i’m fairly sure it’s not there yet. some highly enough placed paper pusher might still get some benefit from picking on the grungy unwashed potheads, or at least believe that they can, so a few more potheads will still be put in prison. if opinions keep changing, that will eventually cease.
I think the answer to your question lies within your post.
Politicians see the “elephants”, but as long as they don’t talk about them they don’t have to do anything about them. If a politician won’t accountably talk about something, it effectively doesn’t exist as a legislative matter.
If you game out the logical Fed actions to counter/control/eliminate the state ventures in legal drug use, and the state and involved personnel’s reactions to counter them, things get very interesting.
Raids by Fed agents will probably be countered fairly quickly by armed groups, however I expect that it will escalate to proactive hunting of any Fed agent within the state. Attempts to grab agents before they get to a target, either individually or as groups, will commence when they cross a border, or arrive at airports. (Lots of back-country, with earthmoving equipment common, seems to be a fixture of the states that are getting involved in legalizing drugs.)
At some point, the Feds will resort to attempts to crush those involved by using the IRS and the banking industry. The states will respond by going back to regional banks, without Fed connections. THIS is where the Feds will get hammered, as the nation, and the rest of the world, reacts to the banking upheaval that will result. If the Feds are smart, they will never do this, but it will look so easy they won’t be able to resist. The domino effect on the world banking may be epic.
Any banking subject experts around?
Sounds like a sequel to Unintended Consequences – have you been talking to John Ross?
The Federal and state governments, as well as the two controlling parties, are in a bit of a mess. There are three laws here that the states and Feds are disagreeing over: Illegal immigration, firearms, and marijuana. To begin enforcing one of these three at the Federal level has a high probability of some case law coming out that would throw a monkey wrench in how the other three are enforced.
For example, let’s say that the Feds pick marijuana. There are only two ways this can go: either Federal law is supreme and supersedes state, or not. If it does, and the courts say so, then so-called sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants are also illegal. If the reverse should happen and the state wins, then states are free to set up firearm sanctuary cities, where citizens can own whatever weapons they wish.
Neither side wants to risk a loss, so they just avoid the issue altogether.
“Federal law is supreme and supersedes state” where it involves powers granted the federal government by the Constitution. Otherwise, per the 10th A, it’s the province of the states.
What’s the Constitutional basis for federal drug prohibitions?
fabulized. though i suspect you knew that.
The Constitutional basis for federal drug prohibitions (and drug regulations, for that matter) is the same as the basis for 99.44% of what the Federal government does: non-existent.
well, seriously, just in case some reader doesn’t know this; it’s the “regulate interstate commerce” clause of the constitution that gets shanghaied into covering drug prohibition.
in one of the SCOTUS’ most disgraceful opinions on record — Gonzales v. Raich, 2005 — the Rehnquist court held, 6-3, that marijuana that had never crossed a state line nor been exchanged for money was nevertheless involved in interstate commerce, and hence the feds could seize and destroy it. if i’d had any respect left for the supreme court at that point, that decision would’ve sunk it.
The Supreme court has actually been un-respectable a lot longer than twelve years. In 1942 the Supreme Court held in Wickard v Filburn that wheat that was grown, harvested, processed and consumed all on the same farm was nevertheless part of interstate commerce and could therefore be regulated (the farmer could be compelled to pay tax and/or not grow it) because the use of that wheat could affect the sale and consumption of wheat that was in interstate commerce.
So in the case of Gonzalez v Raich, 2005, even if the pot had been grown for the use of the grower, so that in addition to never crossing state lines or being exchanged for money or even exchanged, the incredible, ever expandable elastic interstate commerce clause would apply.
There are a number of Constitutional clauses that get abused by dishonest politicians. The Commerce clause is one of them; the General Welfare one is another. The latter has the interesting distinction of being called out by Madison (Federalist #41) as benign, in a manner that has long made me believe he was being totally dishonest. And this abuse goes way back to the 18th century; you can find a litany of abuses in St. George Tucker’s book published in 1803. The Alien & Sedition Act is the best known example, but not the only one by a long shot.
It’s too bad that County Clerk in Kentucky didn’t proclaim that her county was a “sanctuary county” re marriage licenses. That would have made some Leftist scum heads pop. And maybe the issue of federal supremacy would have been further along the road to judgment.
They do enforce the federal laws against firearm owners with proven drug use (there was a supreme case against an owner with a medical marijuana card that disqualified him from ownership, and a few days ago “FPS Russia” landed in hot water over drug possession which got all his guns confiscated pending drug test results – https://gizmodo.com/everyones-favorite-gun-loving-youtuber-is-having-a-hard-1798426406).
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The underlying problem is that there are few people out there, and only one or two politicians, who have any sense of principle and Constitutional integrity. The Constitutional answer is very simple: the Federal government has no authority to mess with our right to carry arms, nor does it have any authority to mess with our right to ingest, inhale, or drink whatever we choose. Nor do the states (thanks to the 14th Amendment), apart from the authority to protect others if and only if we abuse these rights to injure others.
The historical reality is that the purpose of the War on Drugs is continued employment of worthless government parasites, and a continued flow of bribe money to those in power. We know the answer; the 21st Amendment made it quite clear.