Will States Legalizing Marijuana Trigger A “Constitutional Showdown” With Federal Government?
Joe | Oct 15, 2012 | Comments 2
So what happens if a state legalizes marijuana for recreational purposes, like Colorado, Washington and Oregon all have a chance to do this November? Will it, as former Drug Czars and DEA heads say, cause a “Constitutional showdown” between the feds and the states?
Obviously some of it depends on who wins the Presidential election. Mitt Romney has vowed to be hostile to all marijuana law reform, even if it’s medical. President Obama has been hostile to medical marijuana, but many hold out hope that a second term will bring a softer stance.
It’s hard to imagine President Obama launching attacks against states who have passed marijuana legalization in his second term, but who could have foreseen what’s happening in his first term?
Or will things just continue exactly as they are now, except with added targets? The Feds have already raided dispensaries and farms in Washington, Oregon and Colorado; will they raid other marijuana distributors as well in those states if legalization passes?
One thing is for sure, something is going to have to give. Either the feds will back off or they will cripple the medical marijuana industry nationwide. If they continue on their current course, there is no reason to believe that they would not simply add recreational targets in states that legalize marijuana, and cripple that industry before it is even up and running.
A “showdown” somehow implies that the states can effectively fight back, but we haven’t seen much of that yet. The federal government holds a lot of power over the states, including the ability to withhold federal grants. Some would say that federal officials wouldn’t be so petty as to destroy the budget of a state that fights back, but does anyone really believe the feds incapable of that?
Beyond that, there is little states can do when the DEA sweeps in and performs raids. What are they going to do, have the federal agents arrested? Very unlikely.
Advocates have to make enough noise to show whoever is President that a crackdown is not worth it and that they should move on to other things, like ending the wars and balancing the budget and creating jobs. Making a lot of noise is really the only thing in our power besides our vote.
Make your voice heard.
- are you registered to vote? If not, get to it!