• Pot – Federalist Battleground

    You can talk Republican and Democrat all day long until it gets boring. You can argue states’ rights till you’re blue in the face, but what does it really matter? In the days of i-phones and breaking news by Twitter, does anyone even remember Publius?

    The Federalist Papers were ground breaking even in their day, and now they remain fighting words, revolutionary to be sure. Some would say treasonous and others would still die rather than give them up.

    Our nation thinks it is arguing about its first black president or its first orange one, but they are not. They are arguing about what we’ve always argued about…freedom.

    It boils down to this found in Federalist #1:

    It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.

    There it is then. Are people capable of governing themselves or must they be forced into submission by political constitutions?

    I believe we are capable of ruling ourselves with “reflection and choice”, but I prefer to stay armed just in case.

    The issue of the day is Pot. Mary Jane. Whacky weed. Marijuana. Bill Clinton was the first president to admit he’d smoked it, but of course, in true Democrat form, he didn’t inhale it.

    No one ever believed him on that. If we knew the details of that night…they could make a movie about it, but it would be rated R to be sure. Just like he never had sex with that woman. The use of marijuana for societally beneficial things has evolved way past Cheech and Chong. This argument has nothing to do with getting stoned.

    It’s grown to much more than a “Rocky Mountain High” as 29 states and DC have approved medical marijuana in one form or another.

    To the point and the battle of our day – should states be allowed to regulate medical marijuana as they see fit or should the federal government impose its will upon all of America?

    The Federalist answers a resounding, “Hell yes the states should have the power”.

    It does get personal for me. A little over a year ago my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It’s one of those diseases that makes you say the “F” word when you find out you have it. There currently is no cure.

    It’s simply a game of managing symptoms to the end. Guess what has been shown to be pretty effective for some people at managing those symptoms. Gee, let me think…medical marijuana.

    My home state of Iowa recently approved an initial measure allowing the use of medical marijuana for a list of conditions and Parkinson’s is one of them. Which was great news as I had personally watched people move to Colorado to simply be able to treat their baby who was riddled with seizures without worry of being arrested.

    Now that my dad could literally benefit from this law…I have skin in the game.

    Federalism takes on a whole new meaning when it matters to your family. My dad is not out there getting stoned like some high school idiot. He simply could benefit from a very effective medical breakthrough.

    The Feds outlawing the use medical marijuana is about as brilliant as the Volstead Act. You know…how everyone quit drinking during prohibition. Yeah…it’s like that only worse, because the people who NEED medical marijuana aren’t just looking for a beer and a good time. They are actually facing something terrible and the Federal government is hellbent on taking it away. That would be a tragedy.

    The Republicans have a real opportunity staring them in the face. Will they claim it?

    The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment comes before the House soon and it simply must be passed with Republicans proudly signing on. What is it and what does it do?

    Essentially, it prevents the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana businesses that comply with their state’s laws. It’s been a temporary but necessary fix to address a fundamental contradiction: that even though 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, the drug is still prohibited under federal law.

    Will President Trump follow through?

    According to Townhall:

    Keeping promises made to the American people is also important. Candidate Donald Trump made a solemn promise to the voters that he would “make medical marijuana widely available to patients, and allow states to decide if they want to fully legalize pot or not.”  That promise has already been violated by his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions who sent a letter to Congress on May 1, 2017 demanding they not include a provision that has been in appropriations bills since 2014 that defunds the Justice Department prosecution of states that have allowed the use of medical marijuana.

    It’s time to leave this to the states once and for all. On May 18, 2017, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi put out a press release that they were committed to the idea of federalism. Federalism is not a Republican or Democrat issue…it’s an American principle integral to our thriving culture and economy.

    If the Republicans want to be on the side of bigger government then they should take away people’s medical marijuana and spend billions more enforcing it on the states who are in non-compliance.

    If they want to stand up for a core belief in minimizing government intrusion in citizens daily lives, then they should de-fund enforcement of medical marijuana infractions and permanently make it a legal states issue.

    S.C. Sherman

    Senior Editor

    Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online for Townhall, Human Events, Clash Daily, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, Forbes, NRATV and others. All of his novels including his most recent tome, Lone Wolf Canyon, a modern day western that infuriates the left and all "Snowflakes," are available here.

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