Federal ban: urgent constitutional conflict
Justice Clarence Thomas is one of them The most conservative justice In the Supreme Court. One of the core supporters of his conservatism is a firm belief in federalism—a political principle that puts state sovereignty above the sovereignty of the federal government. His firm beliefs led to some interesting deviations from the conservative majority of the country and the courts.
It’s like calling for federal cannabis policy reform.
Scotts Refused to listen recently A case in the Tenth Circuit challenged the constitutionality of refusing to provide federal tax incentives to cannabis companies. Thomas used the rejection of the rollover permit as an opportunity to call on the court to reconsider his previous position on the federal marijuana ban.
Thomas’ argument challenges the Supreme Court’s Gonzalez v. Reich. 545 US 1 (2005).The plaintiff is Gonzalez Be a California citizen who grows marijuana plants on private property in accordance with state law. The federal government confiscated these factories to enforce the federal ban.
The question is whether the plaintiff’s activities are considered a form of “interstate commerce” subject to federal law enforcement.The Commerce Clause grants power to Congress, only for Interstate highway Commerce, the flow of economic activities between countries, not the activities that occur within State (intGo outNational Business).
This GonzalezWe believe that the federal marijuana ban constitutes a “comprehensive” regulatory system.To fully implement the system, supervise two internationalYes- And integerOut- State activities are both “necessary and appropriate”. ID In 13. This is a reference to a necessary and appropriate clause that authorizes Congress to act in any way it deems necessary and appropriate to perform the powers and duties it has delegated. Therefore, the government has the right to “prohibit the local cultivation and use of cannabis” under commercial terms and necessary and appropriate terms. ID At 5.
Thomas believes that the federal ban policy no longer constitutes a comprehensive regulatory system. On the contrary, as more and more countries legalize and legalize marijuana, the current ban is more like a “half-in, half-out” system. Thomas continued to emphasize the dangers of the federal government’s hodgepodge policies and inconsistent enforcement efforts. Although the Tenth Circuit case raises an important issue for cannabis companies, the lack of federal tax incentives is the least of these dangers. Thomas is particularly concerned about the unforeseen legal traps that plague the gray area between federal and state laws, such as the use of marijuana and possession of a gun that may make you a federal felon.This blog previously solved some legal pitfalls Here, Here, with Here.
The timing of Thomas’ comments couldn’t be better.Just like me Written before, The MORE bill is unlikely to get the 60 Senate votes required to pass. But Thomas’ opinion highlights an important contradiction between conservatism and the federal ban, which may affect some people in the Senate.
However, don’t mistake Thomas’s opinion for an endorsement of legal marijuana or a prosecution of the war on drugs. Thomas was only concerned with eroding the integrity of the commercial clause, which was once a restriction on federal power and later became the most powerful constitutional tool of Congress. But it only focuses on resolving conflicts between local and federal laws, ignoring the harmful effects of the ban on communities of color and impoverished communities.
There were many major constitutional conflicts at the beginning of the drug war. The marijuana ban raises issues of equal protection and discrimination because law enforcement disproportionately targets communities of color. The impact of the anti-drug war is obviously discriminatory. According to some constitutional doctrines, this may be evidence of the discriminatory intentions of the government. The ban also raises issues of privacy and personal autonomy, especially with regard to the decisions we make about our bodies and healthcare. Rowe v. Wade with Family Planning v. Casey Privacy and personal autonomy are established in the medical decisions we make. Lawrence v. Texas Privacy is established in our activities at home.Before this blog solve The ban on cannabis may violate the anti-expropriation principle in ways.Most importantly, many people think Cruel and unusual punishment Sentenced to a number of years of imprisonment for possession of ordinary plants.
Thomas’ opinions will almost certainly have an impact on the process of federal decriminalization, but if our goal is to finally and completely end the drug war, it is still necessary to raise these larger and more complex constitutional issues.