10th Amendment at Work: Marijuana in New Jersey
From the 10th Amendment Center
The Tenth Amendment codifies in law that “We the People” of the several states created the federal government to be our agent for certain enumerated purposes only – those powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.
An honest reading of the Constitution with an original understanding of the Founders and Ratifiers makes it quite clear that the federal government has no constitutional authority to override state laws on marijuana.
All three branches of the federal government, however, have interpreted (and re-interpreted) the commerce clause of the Constitution to authorize them to engage in this activity, even though there’s supposedly no “legal” commerce in the plant. At best, these arguments are dubious; at worst an intentional attack on the Constitution and your liberty.
Currently, 13 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, and soon, New Jersey may join them.
Today, both houses of the New Jersey legislature voted in favor of a Medical Marijuana bill – approving use of the plant for medicinal purposes in direct defiance of federal law which states that it’s illegal in every circumstance. The State Assembly voted in favor, 48-14, and the Senate approved by a vote of 25-13. The bills will now be reconciled and sent to Governor Corzine, who’s already stated that he’d sign it into law.
The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.
It’s long past time for people to demand adherence to the Constitution – every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses.
Thirteen (and soon more) states standing up to resist DC and refusing to comply with unconstitutional federal laws have rendered the feds incapable – and unwilling – to enforce their mandates. Pick an issue and put it into practice in your area – the marijuana activists have done it right.
Michael Boldin is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.