November 29, 2004


Wary Court Considers Medical Marijuana (Gina Holland, AP, 11/29/04)

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against the government in a divided opinion that found federal prosecution of medical marijuana users is unconstitutional if the marijuana is not sold, transported across state lines or used for non-medicinal purposes.
This case is a no-lose proposition. A national drug policy is the only practicable drug policy, if we are to have a drug policy at all. This is certainly the position of the "medical marijuana" lobby (and their idiot step-children, the hemp mob), who are only vaguely pretending that their goal isn't to decriminalize pot.

But if the plaintiffs win, on the theory that Congress can't regulate in-state growth, transportation and sale of marijuana, it will be a huge blow to the whole, ugly edifice of the anticonstitutional regulatory state.

Posted by David Cohen at November 29, 2004 2:59 PM

"A national drug policy is the only practicable drug policy, if we are to have a drug policy at all. "

How come it has to be national?

Posted by: Bret at November 29, 2004 3:13 PM

I think you underestimate the ingenuity and determination of our robed masters. They're quite capable of coming up with a compromise that makes prosecution of drug users and dealers practically impossible without undermining the regulatory state or saying outright that there's a constitutional right to get stoned.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at November 29, 2004 3:16 PM

So much for that commerce clause rationale for Federal civil rights laws. Will Ollie's Barbecue get to bar Blacks in the 9th circuit now?

Posted by: Bart at November 29, 2004 3:48 PM

Medical marijuana and hemp are just cover stories for people who want to get stoned and are too cowardly to admit it., especially to themselves So they concoct these myths to excuse their toking up (or shoddy handicrafts) as acts of heroism.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 29, 2004 3:56 PM

Bart: 'Cause goin' from one state to another is just free and easy.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 29, 2004 4:00 PM

The "medical marijuana" agenda is far more insidious than the recreational: it not only says that people should have a right to smoke the drug, but that smoking it is actually good for you and life-saving. Try teaching your kids about the dangers of drugs with the government endorsing that kind of crap.

Posted by: Vince at November 29, 2004 4:42 PM

I know, tell me about it -- I was trying to teach my kids about the dangers of drugs when one of those dadgummed Tylenol commercials came on the TV.

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at November 29, 2004 6:22 PM

David - If the Supreme Court revives federalism, they could also revive roadblocks at the state line. The police already run a checkpoint on I-80 at Tahoe to inspect cars for chains in the winter, why not also sniff for drugs?

Posted by: pj at November 29, 2004 6:30 PM

Wickard v. Filburn was wrongly decided. You can read the the US Constitution from now until the cows come home, you can read it standing on your head, it does not give you the right to have an abortion and it does not grant Congress the power to control what you grow in garden.

If you want to keep your kids from blowing ganja, you are going to have to do what my father for me and what I did for my children, teach them how to drink whisky.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 29, 2004 11:03 PM


Exactly! Just imagine how much worse it would be if you actually had an addictive, mind-altering drug on the market. You would have to throw the T.V. out.

Posted by: Vince at November 29, 2004 11:58 PM


An "addictive, mind-altering drug" is already on the market. It's called booze.

Posted by: Blog Reeder at November 30, 2004 12:44 AM

Blog Reader:

Alcohol consumption that does not lead to drunkenness is not an "addictive, mind-altering drug."

Posted by: Vince at November 30, 2004 1:39 AM


That's just nonsense. Alcohol is certainly addictive. It certainly is mind-altering.

Just admit it. There is no logical reason for narcotics to be treated any differently for legal purposes than booze or tobacco.

Posted by: Bart at November 30, 2004 8:44 AM

Logic is overrated. It's certainly not irrelevant, but it's no reason to change anything.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 30, 2004 9:43 AM


It is very simple. Alcohol use does not equal intoxication or drunkenness. Marijuana use does. People can drink a glass of wine with their dinner or consume a couple of beers at a family barbecue, and they will not get drunk; if they are heavy-set, they could drink more. People smoke marijuana with the sole intent to get high, and getting intoxicated is always the result; the drug's potency and the user's weight are not factors.

We do have problems with alcohol abuse, but there is no reason to compound the problem by adding another intoxicant onto the market. Just admit that!

Posted by: Vince at November 30, 2004 1:06 PM

Blog Reader, Vince:

I'll drink to that!

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 30, 2004 1:37 PM


Just as you can drink one glass of wine/beer and be very slightly inebriated, you can take one "toke" of marijuana and be only very slightly buzzed.

My dad is a terrible alcoholic. I'd have greatly preferred he were a pothead instead. He lost his family, job, friends and spent much of the last 20 years as a drunken homeless bum. Nothing could be worse than his condition. Period.

Posted by: Bret at November 30, 2004 2:02 PM


What Bart said.

Marijuana has been illegal for what,60 or 70 years, and you're still thinking like that keeps people from using it. It's already on the market. The black market.

Posted by: Blog Reeder at December 1, 2004 12:34 AM


The only thing worse would have been to be a pothead homeless bum.

Blog reader:

Far fewer people smoke marijuana than consume alcohol--about one hundred million fewer.

Robert Schwartz:

Drink to it. Just don't get drunk.

Posted by: Vince at December 1, 2004 5:06 PM


Why would it be worse to be a homeless pothead ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at December 1, 2004 10:22 PM

Michael Herdegen:

Marijuana is worse.

Posted by: Vince at December 2, 2004 3:46 PM