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Is it Illegal to Legalize Marijuana?

It may sound like a dumb question, but opponents of marijuana reform have been arguing for years that federal law somehow prevents states from enacting their own marijuana policies. Eric Sterling has a helpful post looking at how the feds might respond if Prop. 19 passes in California.

To sum it up, we could see federal interference when it comes to distribution, but Prop. 19 will protect recreational users regardless of how the drug warriors in Washington feel about it. Moreover, the personal grow spaces permitted under Prop. 19 will be too small and too numerous to target under federal law. Any effort to thwart retail sales will simply translate into more people growing their own supply.

There have been plenty of complaints from marijuana activists about what Prop. 19 doesn't do, but what it does do is awesome.

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Send 'em a message!

The biggest thing prop. 19 does is send the federal government a message that support for the prohibition is *over*. If prop. 19 fails however, the government will read into it confirmation that they're doing the right thing in keeping marijuana illegal.

Legalization will spread rapidly across this country once it gets started and will improve the lives of millions of people by ending the 800,000 annual marijuana arrests and the 7,000+ cartel murders committed every year to protect their marijuana smuggling routes into the U. S. Non-smokers will benefit also through less criminal activity in their neighborhoods, less chance of being mistakenly raided by a SWAT team, and a much reduced chance of their kids coming into contact with drug dealers and being offered pot.

Seize this rare chance now while its available and fix the details later!

Things That Won’t Change If Prop 19 Passes

The Market Demand and Availability for Marijuana

Anyone who wants to smoke cannabis can smoke it now.  Anyone likely to smoke cannabis will smoke it anyway.  Cannabis use is an easy and accessible lifestyle choice that remains forever embedded into American culture.  No amount of prohibition will ever make it go away.  

How People Drive

Marijuana use is ubiquitous.  Anything that could happen with marijuana within the last 6000+ years of its known use by humans has most likely already happened, which isn't much if anything.  Various studies that go all the way back to the 70s concerning people who drive under the effects of marijuana conclude the same thing:  not much happens.

Thinking for Oneself

For people who fear those who think for themselves, marijuana’s soothing introspections and creativity enhancing properties are a potential threat to asinine authoritarians, bumbling bureaucrats, conspiring corporatists, putrid politicians, and thickheaded theocrats.  May the threat remain, and may it be a pox on their faces forever.


well said.

youve singled out the most important reason its illegal. marijuana is a social drug. it brings people together and helps them to step out of the box, it causes introspection/outrospection :), commune, philosophizing, debate, sharing, empathy, understanding, TRUTH and LOVE. the last two scaring them the represents revolution, opposition,  and independent thought. and thats why its illegal.


well said. nice play on words

undrgrndgirl's picture


one could argue that marbuy v. madison - the case that sets the precedent that federal law trumps state law is applicable here...i, however, find it ironic that the same people who argue for state regulation of abortion turn around and argue in favor of federal regulation of cannabis...can't have it both ways...


Scott, I know you are begging the question here but the answer of illegality of state law vs. Federal is simply that states have a right to nullify laws which are obviously outside of constitutionality. Those on the left love the idea of states legalizing marijuana, however, when it comes to say states determining whether or not to allow gay marriage they cry for the overreaching arm of the feds to squash any attempt to block gays privileges.

The arguers against prohibition commonly refer to the 18th and 21st amendment as showing that it takes more than a simple act of congress to prohibit the sale of marijuana. However the CSA is authorized under the commerce clause according to the government, which uses New Deal case precedent to claim federal authority.

This is where the controversy entails. So much of the "progressive" accomplishments are based on the same precedence, see Wickard v Filburn, West Coast Hotel v Parrish, Gonzalez v Riach, where things like the Civil Rights Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, the FDA, etc. are tagged onto the commerce clause basically giving it free reign to intrude into the every day actions of our lives. So they are caught in constitutional catch 22 where if they claim states rights then they are logically inconsistent with programs they believe at necessary.

Sadly few people understand how we have gotten to where we are, and do not understand our constitutional foundations. I would suggest to everyone to read Tom Wood's newest book Nullification: How to resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.

i have 2 replies to previous

i have 2 replies to previous repliers to this post. first re. giordano: i've long suspected that one of the biggest and most insidious, unacknowledged reasons why pot is demonized and criminalized is because of it's capacity to stimulate thought, a quality that doesn't go well with an orwellian, authoritarian culture such as ours. and re. lexie: read book titled MARIJUANA MYTHS, MARIJUANA FACTS. it covers and debunks 20 common negative myths regarding marijuana's effects, including the one u brought up re. it's supposed (not true) quality of making people lazy.


I just want to say that marijuana was made illegal back in the 1920's because scientist couldn't figure out the purpose for the sativa. Unlike other drugs that can cause aggressive behavior, marijuana had no signs of aggression and behavior altering effects. It's true that marijuana socialized people and jolts their thinking which inturn allows the sativa consumer to think freely.

I'm pretty sure the reason

I'm pretty sure the reason marijuana was made illegal was because big company lobbyist made it illegal to offer their product as an alternative. which worked incredibly well.

Basically go here

if you think you have a good explanation of why marijuana should be legal, this will double it.


Just follow the lead of Madison and Jefferson and pass a law to nullify the Federal law.

Also, if you get called for Federal jury duty you can nullify there as well.

States should not allow themselves to be bullied by the Federal government when it oversteps its Constitutional bounds.

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