06/07/2005: Tainted Reasoning....
Instead of writing a detailed “analysis” of Gonzales v. Raich (which could only be both a boring and fruitless exercise at this point), I’m going link to a very well done editorial by the Chicago Tribune: Pot and the Constitution.
This editorial juxtaposes the extremes of the Supremes efforts to “justify” this intrusive Federalism trumping State laws in the case of Medicinal use of Pot but not over Gun in School Zones as an “appropriate” Congressional power to regulate Interstate Commerce for the “safety” of our citizenry.
I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion of this piece [emphasis mine]:
”But in the end, despite what it admitted were the "troubling facts of this case," the Supreme Court bent over backward to give lawmakers in Washington the benefit of every doubt. By a 6-3 vote, the court found that marijuana grown in these conditions could possibly have an impact on interstate commerce--even if the pot at issue never elicited a payment or crossed a state line.
The key difference with past decisions limiting congressional power, the court said, was that in the other cases, such as the Gun-Free School Zones Act, Washington was not regulating economic activity, and this time it was. That claim is certainly debatable, to say the least. But Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, said the connection was close enough for government work: "We have never required Congress to legislate with scientific exactitude."
So the federal government has the power to punish sick people using cannabis as medicine, on the advice of their doctors, even in states where medical marijuana is allowed. What the federal government doesn't have, even after this decision, is a good reason to do so.”
Karen on 06.07.05 @ 07:14 AM CST