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Do State Legislatures Have The Power To Legalize Marijuana?

I’m at the North Carolina Boys’ State right now, which is sort of a mock government, and the house and senate passed a bill to legalize and tax marijuana. The governor vetoed the bill, we overrode him, and now he has sent the bill to the supreme court on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. Could someone please tell me whether or not this is true, and if possible cite a reason/source? I appreciate the help.

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  • ambientd says:

    there is a presidential candidate that would end the war on drugs. see below: ——————————— There are a total of 3 honest politicians currently running in the 2 main parties. In democrat you have: Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich In republican you have: Ron Paul. -Kucinich is decent but I think he isn’t assertive enough. -Paul has an awesome grasp on the reality of what government policies are useless and corrupt but I get the impression that he wants to wipe out the government totally. He is a constitutionalist and wants the federal government to only have say in laws described in the constitution and nothing else. -Mike Gravel is who I am voting for. He is bluntly honest about everything and is a populist and libertarian at the same time all about giving power to the people. *he wrote the national initiative for democracy (NID). A bill that will give the voting public the ability to vote directly on laws at the federal level. Look at how useless our national representatives have become. Republicans won’t end the war so we flip democrats into office and once they get there they say oops we changed our minds we also want to drag out the war. *he recently wrote “UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ ACT” which would make it a felony for the president to continue the war in Iraq if he refused to bring home the troops. It would pass quite easily if done in the way he outlines and if after that the president refused to follow the law he would commit a felony and be automatically impeached by his own actions. however the other democrats in office choose to ignore this act because they too want to continue the war. They want to draw out the war as a political maneuver to catapult the party into office due to anti-republican sentiment. Look at the “debates” and this is clear. They are trying to direct all the problems of the universe at bush and the republicans in general when they are just as guilty. (Gravel, Paul, & Kucinich are the only ones that would ACTUALLY end the war if elected. the others are full of it) *HE is the man that ended the draft in Viet Nam. *he will END the war on drugs. Stop wasting money on an ineffective program ($7.6 billion per year). End the prohibition on marijuana and make the others prescribe-able and treat addiction as a medical problem rather than a criminal problem. The laws do not seem to stop anyone and turn otherwise rational people into criminals. The United States had an estimated 17,500 metric tons of marijuana available in 2001, or 17,500,000 kilos or 17,500,000,000 grams. If we were to place a tax on marijuana, the United States would take in billions every year. For example, a tax of $2 per gram would bring the street price of a 10 gram pack to about $30-$40 depending on the quality. It would also raise $35 billion per year, which could go to help fund public education; just add general revenues to the system, etc. *he will declassify all government programs designed to hide the truth from us the American public. While in the senate he read the “pentagon papers” into public record thereby revealing much of Richard Nixon’s corruption to the people. Nixon attempted to bring charges against him and it went all the way to the Supreme Court where it was decided that a senator could not be prosecuted for declassifying such records that were essential the integrity of the law. All of the front runners looove secrets. *eliminate the income tax and the IRS. Instantly eliminate the current 67,204 page tax code, instantly eliminate the $10.2 billion cost to run the IRS, instantly eliminate the $256.1 billion cost in compliance costs currently placed on tax payers, and eliminates the payroll tax. Eliminates increased taxes due to tax evasion, eliminates law breaking due to lack of understanding of the tax code, eliminates wealthy special interests tax exemptions that effectively un-tax anyone that can come up with enough write-offs. Creates new tax revenue from foreign tourists, creates new tax revenue from illegal immigrants who currently pay no taxes. The prebate maintains extra income to families that are registered to receive it, and maintains income to people that are between jobs. See *place all taxes gained from carbon based fuels into a fund to research carbon free forms of energy. *end all forms of discrimination in the law regarding LGBT. None of this civil union bullcrap. Civil unions are the modern day version of Jim Crow laws. *Healthcare in the form of vouchers. People don’t realize that most of our healthcare is already paid by the government in the form of tax write offs your employer gets when they pay for your insurance. Individuals don’t get this option but they do. All of these tax codes are designed to perpetuate the strangling grip insurance has on everyone. Another reason to abolish the IRS and switch to the “Fairfax” people think they need insurance but insurance is the reason no one can afford healthcare. Cutting out insurance will save millions maby more… instead you apply for a voucher to pay for your basic medical needs or serious issues when you have an emergency. Special treatment and cosmetic procedures would be private pay. The others want to just flush more money into insurance companies. *all of these things combine into an immigration policy far better than any of the current fluff. Illegals cant apply for healthcare vouchers, illegals can no longer avoid paying taxes and cant receive the prebate which puts a strain on them to want to leave but then this might be unnecessary because the Fairfax will make the prices of American produced products much more competitive globally thereby attracting more businesses here and creating a need for more legal workers. He will abolish NAFTA as it exists now to eliminate the way it funnels money into a few corporations and away from workers. The end, gravel rocks. Gravel + Paul/Kucinich = best possible combination in the white house. All the others are corrupt and liars. Here he lectures on the NID and Iraq. Good Gravel interview… watch to the end for a good laugh. part 1 watch this first… part 2 watch second! ask questions at my 360 profile if you wish.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm
  • brendan s says:

    it depends on the state laws and constitiution

    February 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm
  • lordkelv says:

    Not according to the Federal Government.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm
  • furinkaz says:

    A state cannot legalize marijuana because all narcotics and controlled substances are under the supervision of the federal government and the FDA.When something is under the control of the federal government a state may not exceed the mandate of the federal government. It may only use the federal guideline set forth and then expand upon that but it may never super cede federal authority. By this argument though a state may attempt to decriminalize in its own jurisdiction anyone found guilty of violating the federal guideline may still be prosecuted in anywhere in the federal court system. The long and short is that though the state may remove its own laws regarding the illegality of marijuana said state will still be expected to uphold the federal laws regarding it. Make whatever argument you can from that yea or nay.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:51 am
  • krolloha says:

    The right to legalize marijuana belongs to both the State and Federal governments. California legalized pot for medicinal purposes, but lost in Federal Court because there are federal drug laws that reign over state laws. Thus the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution states: Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution is known as the Supremacy Clause: “ This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding…… ” Even though the Federal government has anti-marijuana laws, the states are free to outlaw them, but cannot overrule the Federal statute prohibiting the possession and use of Marijuana. See: Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)

    February 23, 2013 at 6:55 am
  • ILHN says:


    February 23, 2013 at 9:03 am
  • levindis says:

    State legislatures have the right to determine what is a crime in respect to their own states laws. However state law does not superced federal law which law enforcement is expected to uphold as well. Meaning that if you are detained by police and marijuana is in your possesion although their is no state crime there is a federal crime and you will be charged on that federal offence and tried in federal court. Federal courts tend to have stricter sentencing and stricter rules regarding court procedures so this may not be a good thing.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm
  • LuckyLav says:

    Yes, unless those rules contravene the state constitution or state statutes as interpreted by the state judiciary, or unless those rules contravene the U.S. Constitution or U.S. statutes as interpreted by the federal judiciary (Supremacy Clause/preemption doctrine). If you think that since there are no explicit prohibitions on drug use appearing in the state or US constitution, that therefore the activity is permissible — remember that the judiciaries often have this nasty habit of reading into the constitution what actually isn’t there. It is this idea that the constitutions are “living,” that is, it should “evolve” according to the present needs of the people (i.e. the desires of the judges and justices presently sitting on the bench). Sad but true — the judiciaries have pretty much all the power in the U.S. So if the legislature passes a bill that says only: “Marijuana is legal” Then a person is arrested, tried, and the bill’s constitutionality is subsequently challenged — the state supreme court can always say: “we think when the legislature used the word ‘legal’, what they really meant ‘illegal’ and in essence, completely override the legislature. The legislature can always write a new bill saying “No, when we said “legal” we actually meant it “legal”” but again, at the end of the day, the new bill ultimately goes back before the Supreme Court, and the same thing can happen again. Since the courts have the last word; they basically hold most of the power of the three branches of government. Their tampering is also what causes most of the problems in our society, but that’s just an aside.

    February 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm
  • speciali says:

    the answer is no a state doesnt have that power and ill tell you why, they would have the power and will in 2008 when they drop the federal ban of marijuana, but until its dropped it is illigal federally to make it legal anywhere otherwise then for medicinal purposes.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm
  • Gun Control means I didnt miss says:

    Federal law supercedes state law in this instance. While a state can eliminate their penalty for posession, they cannot overide the federal statute constitutionally.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm

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