Wednesday, July 18, 2018 by Vicki Batts
Where the federal government’s rights end and states’ rights begin has become a gray area over the last few decades. The issue of medical marijuana has made this abundantly clear, as the feds continue to butt heads with states that have legalized cannabis for medical and/or recreational use.
This is where the Tenth Amendment should come into play: As Town Hall contends, the federal government doesn’t have the specific authority to prohibit marijuana – or any medicine, for that matter.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
In other words, because the Constitution does not explicitly grant the federal government the power to regulate substances, that power should be in the hands of the states. While federal law may be “superior” to state laws, the fact remains that many people question if the feds have the right to regulate such things.
Recently, members of both the House and Senate joined forces in a bipartisan effort to end federal marijuana prohibition. As Townhall reports, “[C]onservative Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and liberal Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a bill that would allow the citizens of the states to control decisions on medical and adult use marijuana.”
The new bill, named the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act,” or simply the STATES Act, aims to make changes to the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) – changes that would essentially enable to states to “opt out” of the CSA.
As sources explain, the STATES Act would allow “states and tribes that comply with a few basic protections and removes the application of that law to persons in those states or members of those tribes who are acting under the color of state marijuana laws. The federal law would exempt compliant marijuana transactions from trafficking laws and would remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances.” Of course, there would be some restrictions; adult-use cannabis would be prohibited for minors under the age of 21, just like alcohol. Working in cannabis manufacturing would also be explicitly for adults aged 18 and older.
More importantly, however, is the fact that the STATES Act could set a new precedent regarding states’ rights – especially when it comes to medicine.
Federal administrative agencies like the FDA, CDC and DEA have proven time and time again that they are over-inflated, ineffective bureaucracies that are more keen on protecting corporate interests rather than the American people. While the DEA claims that cannabis has a high potential for abuse and “no medicinal value,” the FDA has already approved one cannabis-inspired drug (Marinol, based on THC) and another (Epidolex, based on cannabidiol) has been given the green-light for fast-tracking.
Clearly, the plant has medicinal value if Big Pharma is literally using it to make drugs. But in the land of unelected officials, accountability is virtually nonexistent. The FDA recently came under fire for deliberately hiding test results regarding glyphosate residue in food.
Never mind the fact that these authoritarians rely on industry-funded data to make decisions, or the fact that they abuse their administrative power to skirt around the legislative and judicial processes laid out by the Constitution.
What exactly do we need these people for, again?
If the Tenth Amendment can be applied to cannabis, and the STATES Act is intended to strengthen that amendment, substantial questions about states’ rights regarding all medicine are suddenly on the table. If cannabis becomes a states’ rights issue, all medicine should be. Why can’t states have their own regulatory bodies, comprised of elected officials? Our federal agencies do not have the best track record – perhaps it is time for the states to take the power back, and give citizens their right to real representation.
Keep up with the latest on this issue at HealthFreedom.news.
Sources for this article include: