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Sat May 31, 2014, 03:21 PM

Republicans Forsake Federalism to Support Big Govt. Nanny State Prohibition


...By a vote of 219 to 189, the House of Representatives approved an amendment aimed at stopping federal interference with state laws that “authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” If it is included in the appropriations bill passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the amendment would prohibit the Justice Department, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from spending taxpayers’ money on dispensary raids or other attempts to stop medical use of marijuana in the 22 states that allow it.

Similar measures have failed in the House six times since 2003. This year the amendment attracted record support from Republicans, 49 of whom voted yes, compared to 28 last time around. “This measure passed because it received more support from Republicans than ever before,” says Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project. “It is refreshing to see conservatives in Congress sticking to their conservative principles when it comes to marijuana policy. Republicans increasingly recognize that marijuana prohibition is a failed Big Government program that infringes on states’ rights.”

Yet Republicans still overwhelmingly opposed the amendment, by a ratio of more than 3 to 1, while Democrats overwhelmingly supported it, by a ratio of 10 to 1. Given the GOP’s frequent lip service to federalism, the party’s lack of enthusiasm for letting states set their own policies in this area requires some explanation. So does the need for this amendment under a Democratic administration that has repeatedly said it is not inclined to use Justice Department resources against medical marijuana users and providers who comply with state law. It is hard to say who is being more inconsistent: a president who promised tolerance but delivered a crackdown or members of Congress who portray themselves as defenders of the 10th Amendment but forsake federalism because they are offended by a plant.

(This post further discusses the fits and starts from the Obama administration Justice Dept - specifically the DEA - for those who find this issue the most perplexing. The author assumes Obama was sincere but was surprised by just how STRONG support for ending prohibition actually is across this nation and the response to the Ogden memo by citizen entrepreneurs was greeted with a backlash by the JD/DEA)

...While Obama seems like a feckless and halfhearted supporter of marijuana federalism, most Republicans seem utterly unprincipled on this issue. Here is an opportunity to defend something they supposedly believe in—state autonomy under the Constitution—while simultaneously criticizing a Democratic administration and siding with a majority of Americans. In a recent Politico essay, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, argue that opposing federal interference with medical marijuana is politically smart:

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that nearly three in four Americans—including 78 percent of Independents, 71 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans—believe that efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth. Similar numbers—80 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Independents, and 61 percent of Republicans—favor making medical marijuana legally available.

As the author notes, the demographics in the U.S. do not bode well for Republicans on this issue either. The voting bloc they represent on this issue will not remain on this earth for too many more election cycles. Then Republicans will be faced with yet another label of "outdated" -- one that deals not only with social/culture war issues, but also the will of the people to get unwanted law off the books and the DEA off our backs, the hypocrisy of claims of "states rights" if the issue doesn't reinforce 1960s-era right-wing "values" -- that indicates not only do they not have a finger on the pulse of the American voter, they are using CPR to keep the stereotype of "hippies" alive.

What's next, Republicans? Zombie Nixon?

... ... ... ... ... ...

Do you remember, your President Nixon?
Do you remember, the bills you have to pay?
Or even yesterday?
Have been the un-American?
Just you and your idol sing falsetto
'bout Leather, leather everywhere,

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Reply Republicans Forsake Federalism to Support Big Govt. Nanny State Prohibition (Original post)
RainDog May 2014 OP
Uncle Joe May 2014 #1
RainDog May 2014 #2
Uncle Joe May 2014 #3
RainDog May 2014 #5
RainDog May 2014 #4

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 03:49 PM

1. It isn't state power which the Republicans truly support so much

as it is corporate/oligarch power, wealth and the division/diminishment of the American People's power via criminalization.

Their proclamation of supporting states rights is just a ruse used to divide the people along geographic lines, divide and conquer is all they know.

Thanks for the thread, RainDog.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #1)

Sat May 31, 2014, 03:51 PM

2. True dat

And they love laws they can use to impose their nanny state hate on Americans.

Republicans - why do you hate Americans?

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Response to RainDog (Reply #2)

Sat May 31, 2014, 04:06 PM

3. They hate Americans because of guilt.

" They whose guilt within their bosom lies, imagine every eye behold their blame."


"The sin lessens in the guilty one's estimation, only as the guilt increases."


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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #3)

Sat May 31, 2014, 06:36 PM

5. I think they hate Americans because Americans are more liberal than they are

They are so far outside the mainstream of what Americans want for this nation. They know they've gerrymandered their way into control of the House...

When Americans don't attach labels to ideas, they also want income/wealth distribution like Scandinavian democracies. They've just been taught by Fox, etc. that all taxes are bad. No. Taxes that level the playing field are good.

That's how we can avoid more Bush Jr.'s in the future - by making it possible for talented and smart people to create policy, not the son of the son of the Yale legacy.

I'm really looking foward to seeing how the vote goes for the Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) appropriations bill. Now with Amendment 25! (to defund DEA raids for mmj facilities.)

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 04:16 PM

4. Reason magazine calls Republicans "advocates of a meddling, overweening federal government."

LOL. One of the major libertarian-leaning publications in the U.S. has no patience with Republicans on the issue of marijuana prohibition.

Republican legislators have repeatedly criticized the Obama administration's response to marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, arguing that the president is constitutionally bound to crush these experiments. "Federal law takes precedence" over state law, Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) told Attorney General Eric Holder during a congressional hearing last week. "The state of Colorado is undermining...federal law, correct? Why do you fail to enforce the laws of the land?"

Republicans like Smith not only accept the fanciful notion, which is no less absurd for having been endorsed by the Supreme Court, that interstate commerce, which Congress is authorized to regulate, includes marijuana that never crosses state lines, down to a bag of buds in a cancer patient's drawer. They also argue, as Smith does, that "state law conflicts with federal law" if it does not punish everything that Congress decides to treat as a crime.

This insistence that only one policy—prohibition—can be allowed with respect to pot and poker is not just unprincipled but politically perilous. Polls indicate most Americans think marijuana and online poker should be legal, and that view is especially common among young voters.

...That is a "conservative reform agenda" of sorts, I suppose. But it is not at all "new," and it aims to reform us rather than the government.


So, which Republicans hate Americans so much they want to sue the President to uphold federal prohibition and INVADE the states of Colorado and Washington (and, soon... Alaska and Oregon)...not to mention they WASTED tax payer money on the bill itself, which does not represent the will of the American voter.

Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the ENFORCE the Law Act (H.R. 4138) would allow the House or the Senate to sue the president for “failure to faithfully execute federal laws,” including those related to immigration, health care and marijuana.

I guess this looks good for the 70 year old crank in a barcalounger Fox News watching constituency, tho. Hey, they don't even have to change their battle cry too much.. "been ganja"... nah, that foreign word might rile the anti-immigration coalition.


Co-sponsors of this waste of tax payer money:

22 cosponsors (22R) (show)
Bachus, Spencer [R-AL6]
Black, Diane [R-TN6]
Chabot, Steve [R-OH1]
Chaffetz, Jason [R-UT3]
Collins, Doug [R-GA9]
Duncan, Jeff [R-SC3]
Forbes, Randy [R-VA4]
Franks, Trent [R-AZ8]
Gerlach, Jim [R-PA6]
Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA6]
Issa, Darrell [R-CA49]
Jordan, Jim [R-OH4]
Kelly, Mike [R-PA3]
Labrador, Raúl [R-ID1]
Sensenbrenner, James [R-WI5]
Smith, Jason [R-MO8]
Smith, Lamar [R-TX21]
Poe, Ted [R-TX2] (joined Mar 06, 2014)
Wagner, Ann [R-MO2] (joined Mar 06, 2014)
Westmoreland, Lynn [R-GA3] (joined Mar 06, 2014)
Rigell, Edward “Scott” [R-VA2] (joined Mar 07, 2014)
Sessions, Pete [R-TX32] (joined Mar 07, 2014)

Feel free to contact your state representative to ask why they are wasting the time and money of American citizens with an Act that ignores the very real issue of prosecutorial discretion, not to mention the overwhelming opinion of the majority of Americans, as well as the so-called "federalism" of nanny state Republicans.

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