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July 26, 2007 12:53 AM   Subscribe

An excellent example of the consequences of the Supreme Court's Gonzales v. Raich decision: today the United States House of Representatives voted down a bill which would have prohibited the DEA from targeting State-authorized medical marijuana dispensaries. Almost simultaneously, the DEA raided 10 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles.
posted by mullingitover (68 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
More analysis of the vote here, and I must say, props to the MPP for fighting the good fight.
posted by mullingitover at 12:58 AM on July 26, 2007


Finally we can declare victory in the War on Drugs! Allahu Akbar!
posted by Meatbomb at 1:04 AM on July 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


So what happened to the Republicans who valued state rights?

This topic was covered on July 18th on "Which Way LA". The DEA agent interviewed is so strangleable. You must have to have a head made of concrete to work at the DEA. Props to the pro-medical marijuana Republican cop from Orange County for not having head up his ass.

If you haven't heard that show, give it a listen. It's put on by Warren Olney who now also does "To The Point" on PRI (covers national and world issues rather than just LA and California). He's amazing.
posted by redteam at 1:06 AM on July 26, 2007


> So what happened to the Republicans who valued state rights?

Let me know if you find any, I've been looking for a while.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:07 AM on July 26, 2007


Woops! The guy from Orange County wasn't a cop. He's "Chris Norby - Supervisor for Orange County’s Fourth District and Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors"

Carry on.
posted by redteam at 1:08 AM on July 26, 2007


The states rights argument only comes into play if it helps republicans in their core social agenda: oppressing minorities, gays, hippies, and women. When it gets in the way of those things it's quickly discarded.
posted by mullingitover at 1:13 AM on July 26, 2007 [11 favorites]


On behalf of narco-syndicates everywhere I'd like to thank the 189 Republicans and 79 Democrats in the House for taking this strong stance in reaffirming our inalienable rights and as a sign of our appreciation we promise to continue our commitment to flooding your streets with absurdly cheap crystal meth and heroin. To the 15 Republicans who voted against us, we are watching you.
posted by well_balanced at 1:17 AM on July 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


The states rights argument only comes into play if it helps republicans in their core social agenda: oppressing minorities, gays, hippies, and women. When it gets in the way of those things it's quickly discarded.

Careful, that's not a polite thing to point out here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:20 AM on July 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


The states rights argument only comes into play if it helps republicans in their core social agenda: oppressing minorities, gays, hippies, and women. When it gets in the way of those things it's quickly discarded.

Exactly. Just like their so-called opposition to "big government" only applies when a non-Republican occupies the White House.
posted by amyms at 1:20 AM on July 26, 2007


In fairness, a certain amount of blame falls on the democrats: if the 53 of the 78 democrats who voted nay had reversed their votes, the measure would've passed.

The action item here is to examine the list of reps who voted nay and, if your rep is on the list, make it a point to register your disapproval with their office. Bonus points if you let them know that this cost them your vote in the next election. Double points if you let them know you're donating money that would've gone to their campaign to the MPP instead.
posted by mullingitover at 1:23 AM on July 26, 2007


/high fives mullingitover

Don't forget shootin' shit and war.
posted by redteam at 1:24 AM on July 26, 2007


So what happened to the Republicans who valued state rights?

Read 'em and weep, redteam. I'm holding a full house of conservative social values and all you have is a crummy pair of states' rights.

Ironically, however, the Republican's loss is a victory for liberalism. Stuff like this just empowers the nanny state.
posted by three blind mice at 1:34 AM on July 26, 2007


@well_balanced - your comment reminds me of this article from The Onion's "Our Dumb Century"
posted by redteam at 1:36 AM on July 26, 2007


mullingitover: "In fairness, a certain amount of blame falls on the democrats: if the 53 of the 78 democrats who voted nay had reversed their votes, the measure would've passed."

Why people still think Democrats are different from Republicans? that is beyond me!!

America needs other powerful parties than those two corrupted ones.
posted by zouhair at 1:56 AM on July 26, 2007


well_balanced: "On behalf of narco-syndicates everywhere I'd like to thank the 189 Republicans and 79 Democrats in the House for taking this strong stance in reaffirming our inalienable rights and as a sign of our appreciation we promise to continue our commitment to flooding your streets with absurdly cheap crystal meth and heroin. To the 15 Republicans who voted against us, we are watching you."

I told this so much times but I'll say it again here, I don't take drugs, and when I say drugs I talk about tobacco and alcohol too, I don't tell people to consume drugs as I know that drugs are not healthy stuff. But this said I don't have any right to force other adults, informed adults about the real danger of drugs (not just fear mongering propaganda), to force them not to use drugs.

Adults should have the right, giving they do not harm others, to use whatever drugs they want. Drugs that can be sold as quality product not as now where the mafia blend drugs with dangerous product.

No one has the right in democratic countries to stop people that do not harm others from using drugs or whatever suits them.

My opinion seems a little naive to many people, but it's the only way, in my opinion, to the so "not naive" war on drugs.
posted by zouhair at 2:04 AM on July 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


This brings up a question that always knocks around in my head when I hear about the DEA dispensary raids: Is it considered civil war if the defenders aren't doing anything to stop the attacks? What happens if California gets a governor willing to use police or national guard to defend the dispensaries?
posted by maus at 2:34 AM on July 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Raich decision was 6-3 with Thomas, Rehnquist and O'Connor dissenting. Not exactly your typical split and evidence that some people still take states' rights seriously. (I can't believe I agree with Thomas).
posted by null terminated at 2:50 AM on July 26, 2007


Why people still think Democrats are different from Republicans? that is beyond me!!


Ummm, in this case, people think that because 150 democrats voted yes and only 15 republicans did.



Ya know, just that and all the other massive differences.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:55 AM on July 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


Here's a form to fill out to email your Representative to vote in favor of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment.

There is more information about that amendment at that link, but it's another go at doing the right thing here.

While you are at it, here is a NORML television spot running in Maryland right now.
posted by nervousfritz at 3:06 AM on July 26, 2007


There is some very puzzling language in the article:

"These are ongoing enforcement operations. As far as we know, we've been planning this for some time," Pullen said.

Given that is a quote from the DEA spokesperson why say "as far as we know"? Are they in the dark about their own investigation?
posted by srboisvert at 3:28 AM on July 26, 2007


Are they in the dark about their own investigation?

I'm guessing there are two different "we"s in that sentence. The first "we" means the DEA. The second "we" probably means the White House.

Also, the tortured interpretation of the commerce clause isn't going away -- largely thanks to the Civil Rights Act of '64. The bedrock of our Federal Civil Rights laws are built around the idea that the commerce clause gives the Feds nearly universal police power to regulate business and even private individuals.

Sometimes I see these marijuana raids as a sort of conservative retribution for the Civil Rights Act. "You're gonna make us serve black people in our restaurants? Oh, ok. In that case, we'll just take away your weed. Nyah nyah nyah!"
posted by Avenger at 3:48 AM on July 26, 2007


The report also found that 12 dispensaries were near schools or day-care centers.

The report also found that several hospitals are near schools and day-care centers. As we all know, hospitals are filled with blood, semen and drugs! Think of the childrens!

I also now want a job working for the DEA. Sounds pretty cushy. Raiding marijuana dispenseries? Maybe raid some liquor stores and gun shops next.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:59 AM on July 26, 2007


(get the ATF to raid...)
posted by slimepuppy at 4:00 AM on July 26, 2007


"make it a point to register your disapproval with their office"

Wasn't there a story a few months ago about a man who did just this and had cops at his door within 48 hrs?

Bill would not have let this bill, nay, this aggression, stand.
posted by Eideteker at 4:08 AM on July 26, 2007


Also, the tortured interpretation of the commerce clause isn't going away -- largely thanks to the Civil Rights Act of '64.

That seems marginally insane. Is there some reference for that?
posted by nervousfritz at 4:09 AM on July 26, 2007


To augment mullingitover, you don't have to just stay silent until you have an objection. Feel free to write your representative to support their decision if they voted "aye." It helps for them to have some level of feedback from their constituency besides Family Research Council letter-writing campaigns.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:13 AM on July 26, 2007


Ironically, however, the Republican's loss is a victory for liberalism.

How is that ironic?
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:30 AM on July 26, 2007


> > So what happened to the Republicans who valued state rights?
>
> Let me know if you find any, I've been looking for a while.
> posted by Kadin2048 at 4:07 AM on July 26 [+] [!]

Here's a long-time supporter of states' rights, though not a Republican--or not at any rate what passes for a Republican today, which is something I scarcely recognize. It's good to hear that some in this prog/lefty crowd are suddenly noticing the value of the states as counterbalance to the Federal government. But I can't begin to express just how tedious it has been was to hear, all those years and from pretty much the same crowd as the one I find here, unnumberable variations on "You don't really give a damn about states' rights, it's just a thin cover for racism."

If you really want allies at this point against a Federal government suddenly perceived as evil rather than warm, cuddly and mommy-like, I'm still game--bloody but unteachable unreformed. It would be nice, though, to hear someone say "Maybe you did have a valid point all the time. Maybe it wasn't just beetle-browed bigotry." But that won't happen in a million years.


> The states rights argument only comes into play if it helps republicans
> in their core social agenda: oppressing minorities, gays, hippies, and
> women. When it gets in the way of those things it's quickly discarded.
> posted by mullingitover at 4:13 AM on July 26 [4 favorites +] [!]

Make that a million million years. Fuck you, you can sleep in the bed you made.

posted by jfuller at 4:31 AM on July 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


The more things change stay the same, the more things stay the same.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:36 AM on July 26, 2007


Hey, jfuller, come on. We know it's not just about providing a thin cover for racism.

It's also about banning sodomy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:36 AM on July 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm sure there are plenty of Republicans who have scruples. They just have no influence whatsoever over this executive branch.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:45 AM on July 26, 2007


You know, bleating about "OMG TEH NANNY STATE" always elicits a chuckle from me, as it reveals a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives see the government as a "they", not as a "we"- this is where the phrase "nanny state" originates, as it removes political agency from the populace and gives the impression of some unaccountable, unpersuadable parent figure which rules from on high. Liberals who favor a government empowered to help those in need don't see the government that way- to a "nanny state" liberal, the government's not some distant authority figure but a structure which we the people can use to make sure that those who want have enough to get by and to protect ourselves from harm.

I mean, by all means, keep yelling about the "nanny state". But do realise how utterly ridiculous you look from the outside.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:47 AM on July 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


Forcing a state to accept people's rights != Forcing a state to deny people's rights. Can we stop with this bullshit from jfuller? He's fuller shit.

The Fed can and should, as a primary function, enforce the acceptance of our rights amongst the states. The states do not have any "states rights" to deny those. It's as simple as that. Equally so, the Fed does not have any business denying rights which an individual state may recognize.

It is only a "states rights" issue in the rhetorical joy of calling Republicans hypocrites.
posted by Goofyy at 4:55 AM on July 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


That seems marginally insane. Is there some reference for that?

None that I can find from 5 minutes of googling. IANAL but thats my interpretation of how the government uses the commerce clause.

Mind you, I'm not saying that the Civil Rights Act was a bad thing. Heavens no. I'm merely pointing out that when you give the government a coercive power over its citizens for good, you can expect it to be eventually used for ill.
posted by Avenger at 4:58 AM on July 26, 2007


Does the US government have standing?

The first requirement of standing (from Lujan through Wikipedia):

There are three constitutional standing requirements:

1. Injury: The plaintiff must have suffered or imminently will suffer injury - an invasion of a legally protected interest which is concrete and particularized. The injury must be actual or imminent, distinct and palpable, not abstract. This injury could be economic as well as non-economic.

Since the Government represents the people in court, who are they representing in this case? When the Supreme Court erased the word "Controversy" from the constitution, I believe they have opened themselves up to not having jurisdiction in cases like this (and Michael Vick).

Also, before you argue that there are laws against it, the Supreme Court in the citizen suit case (sorry no link, I no longer have access to westlaw or the other one) says that Congress does not create jurisdiction.

Am I wrong?
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 5:03 AM on July 26, 2007


Pope Guilty, you should read this, because apparently you use weasel words like 'empower' when talking about 'helping' the poor. What has the welfare state accomplished over the last 40 years, exactly? Tell me all the good things it's done, like eliminate crime and poverty in the inner city.
posted by chlorus at 5:37 AM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


79 democrats voted against this in the house. That's why it failed. I enjoy a good republican bashing session, but let's be fair. The democrats control the house, and they could have passed this if Peloci and Hoyer had pushed on this.
posted by delmoi at 5:39 AM on July 26, 2007


What has the welfare state accomplished over the last 40 years, exactly? Tell me all the good things it's done, like eliminate crime and poverty in the inner city:

Every person who was 'empowered' to feed their family if they otherwise would have starved is an accomplishment. The purpose of welfare was to give money to poor families with small children, which it accomplished. I'm not exactly sure why you would expect a program that gives money to poor mothers to prevent young, unmarried men with no children from committing crimes.

Pope Guilty, you shold read this
tl;dr. And by the way, have you heard of this thing called they 'hyperlink'? It lets you avoid posting 3000 word hyperturgid screeds inline.
posted by delmoi at 5:49 AM on July 26, 2007


Seriously, "empower" (note my use of the final, or closing quote) is a weasel word now? Could somebody get me a fucking list of these things, so I don't accidentally piss off the wrong person, and end up with more long, worthless comments?
posted by god hates math at 6:01 AM on July 26, 2007


If you really want allies at this point against a Federal government suddenly perceived as evil rather than warm, cuddly and mommy-like ...

Serious question: Was this ever true? Did actual progressives ever view the government as some friend of theirs? Much less a parent figure. It seems like yet another social myth that's widely-accepted even though it isn't based on any facts, much like the notion of all the rabid "anti-american anti-war lefties" spitting on returning veterans.

Because, as far as I can tell, it's been precisely modern "conservatives" who treat the government as a parent figure, whether they say so or not, and precisely the opposite with socially progressive "liberals," who are full of distrust and skepticism for any centralized authority.
posted by odinsdream at 6:01 AM on July 26, 2007


Pope Guilty, you shold read this, because apparently you use weasel words like 'empower' when talking about 'helping' the poor. What has the welfare state accomplished over the last 40 years, exactly? Tell me all the good things it's done, like eliminate crime and poverty in the inner city:

I used "empower" to refer to the government, not to the poor. That's not a weasel word- that's a direct and unambiguous reference to the investiture of power.

As to what the welfare state's accomplished? Why do you say 40 years? Why not go back 70, to the start of the modern welfare state? I'll tell you what it's accomplished: It's provided millions with food, shelter, clothing, water, electricity and heat who would have been without them, saving countless lives. Welfare isn't about eliminating poverty. Welfare is about giving people the means to survive poverty. As to crime reduction, well, imagine for a moment the crime rate in a world where millions of people don't have the means to survive and there's no welfare to provide it for them. By opposing welfare, you're actually calling for an increase in the crime rate.

Also, seriously, get Jessamyn or someone to edit out that massive wall of text. Posting smug, self-righteous ideological fables is bad enough, but posting them and thereby increasing the size of the page by 25% is just jackassery.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:04 AM on July 26, 2007 [6 favorites]


Gonzo's cramping my style.
posted by rmmcclay at 6:06 AM on July 26, 2007


Gonzo's harshing my buzz.
posted by Balisong at 6:14 AM on July 26, 2007


Drugs man. Drugs are good.
posted by chlorus at 6:19 AM on July 26, 2007


[massive wall of text enlinkened]
posted by cortex at 6:19 AM on July 26, 2007


I also think P.G's use of "empower" was fine. It can be an annoying word sometimes (i.e. "let's empower our employees to be pro-active!") But he was talking about Congress.
posted by delmoi at 6:44 AM on July 26, 2007


States' rights landmark Bush v. Gore.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:05 AM on July 26, 2007


chlorus writes "Drugs man. Drugs are good."

I went through cancer treatments and took a lot of drugs for it. The only one I couldn't take legally, but the only one which truly helped me with nausea was marijuana. I even tried Marinol, which is synthetic THC - it didn't work. My oncologist was one of the top in his field, and he told me that if it helped, he would go to court on my behalf if I were ever caught with it while under his treatment, since Marinol typically didn't work, or didn't work nearly as well as the real thing.

But, yeah, drugs. You should try some of the drugs I took. Take your hair right off your head.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:19 AM on July 26, 2007 [6 favorites]


Did actual progressives ever view the government as some friend of theirs? Much less a parent figure. It seems like yet another social myth that's widely-accepted even though it isn't based on any facts, ...
Because, as far as I can tell, it's been precisely modern "conservatives" who treat the government as a parent figure, whether they say so or not, and precisely the opposite with socially progressive "liberals," who are full of distrust and skepticism for any centralized authority.


All our labor laws, food and drug and workplace safety laws, wage laws, child labor bans, the 8 hour day, social security, organizing rights, medicare, medicaid, etc....--all were fought for and gained by progressives/liberals. It was never friendly, but it was about fighting special interests (like the robber barons, etc) and using federal and govt. power for good reasons instead of bad--to enhance life and liberty and the general welfare instead of restricting it. So, not friendly ever (except during FDR maybe, i guess), and not a parent or nanny-- but definitely us using our own federal govt to protect and help and save us. It's never been as adversarial and completely hypocritical as the right's cognitive dissonance ("we want to drown the federal govt in a bathtub" and starve it of funds and resources, and also want to legislate your sexuality and privacy...).

See Bush's coming veto of CSHIP (State's version of children's medicare) for just one example of the difference--The GOP is against it explicitly because it will put kids into the govt's health system instead of in private insurers or none at all. The focus is different between right and left, and remains so.
posted by amberglow at 7:38 AM on July 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


To: Nydia M. Velázquez,
I am writing to thank you for supporting H.R. 3093, the Hinchey Medical Marijuana Amendment. The war on drugs is quite clearly one of the largest boondoggles in the history of the US and one that contributes to the inflation of government interference in the private lives of its citizens. I wholeheartedly support your admirable devotion to the principle of individual liberty in the face of a large and powerful opposition.

Continue to vote in this manner and you will be well assured of my financial support, now and in the future.
Come on guys, it's not that hard.
posted by Skorgu at 7:40 AM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think it would be instructive (for some people at least) to compare the amount of donations from Big Pharma to those politicians who voted for and against this bill.

Sorry for posting the massive wall of text, I hadn't had my morning coffee yet. (legal drug)
posted by chlorus at 7:49 AM on July 26, 2007


BBC: planned coup in the USA in 1933 by right-wing American businessmen (including Bush's grandfather)
posted by amberglow at 7:58 AM on July 26, 2007


Tom Tancredo is just slightly less than 100% insane. Who knew?
posted by Kwantsar at 8:10 AM on July 26, 2007


"'The states rights argument only comes into play if it helps republicans in their core social agenda: oppressing minorities, gays, hippies, and women. When it gets in the way of those things it's quickly discarded.'

Careful, that's not a polite thing to point out here."

What? It's hard to imagine a statement that would meet with wider approval, exceptions include, "The war in Iraq sucks." and "Cheney is the Anti-christ.".

Small government Republicans have not been the major voice in the Republican party since the 'culture wars' and the increased prominence of the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family in the early 90s. It's certainly true that some of these proponents of traditional values have no issues with expanding federal powers if it will assist their social agenda. But this isn't the same as claiming that all Republicans only turn towards state's rights when it benefits socially conservative views. For a number of them state's rights is a significant issue in and of itself.

A strong federal government may have been a necessary component in the success of the civil rights struggle. Well and good. In times of crisis, a leader may have to act in ways that subvert the principles of the country or are outright illegal. FDR's moving the country towards greater involvement in World War II is one example. This doesn't mean that the increase in federal power is of permanent benefit and should be assumed going forward.

The 'accomplishments' of the welfare state are dubious. It's not like conservatives and libertarians haven't looked at the issue or that they are ignoring all the 'evidence' for its supposed benefits. There are numerous arguments against it that deal strictly with its effects. For those that are interested, Walter Williams (a well respected economist) has written a number of editorials on the subject.

Government is seen as a 'they' because they coerce. That's their role and it's a necessary one, but there's a pretty obvious reason why some of us want to limit its size.

-----

chlorus,

Great link. Thanks.
posted by BigSky at 8:30 AM on July 26, 2007


Conservatives see the government as a "they", not as a "we"- this is where the phrase "nanny state" originates, as it removes political agency from the populace and gives the impression of some unaccountable, unpersuadable parent figure which rules from on high.

really? ... so there's absolutely no reason "the little people" should see the government as "they" in this country? ... there's no alienation to speak of? ... there's no corporate lobbyists buying congresspeople? ... there's no government that isn't trying to pry open our wallets, tell us what to do with our property, including our bodies, making common cause with the robber barons to run our lives right into the ground?

are you really saying we have an accountable persuadable government that doesn't treat us like children and doesn't rule on high?

it's been that way for decades in this country

but i guess as long as people get their "lifestyle" rights the slow enslavement of the american people will go on uncommented upon and you can believe that "we" are the government?

i think you'd better think this through a little better than that
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 AM on July 26, 2007


Woah there, pt. I'm not exactly sympathetic to the liberal view of government. (Though I do think you're awfully naive if you think those awful things you mention go back decades and not millenia.) I'm simply trying to explain that bleating "nanny state! nanny state!" looks damn silly.

And seriously, if you're trying to suggest that the government should be feared and using as cuddly-sounding a phrase as "nanny state" to do it, you're failing at political rhetoric/propaganda as thoroughly as it's possible to fail. Use words with more sinister connotations than "nanny".
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2007


That seems marginally insane. Is there some reference for that?

Yes, you are correct. I think describing Commerce Clause jurisprudence as marginally insane is a fair assessment.

Here's how it works: When Congress passes a law, generally (there are some areas in which Congress does have plenary power - meaning it can pass legislation under its own power without Constitutional limitations - federal Indian law is one example - but those are exceptions, rather than the rule) it needs to find some authority - some source of power to do this - within the US Constitution. If you peruse the Constitution you'll notice it provides very little authority to pass laws affecting the rights of individual citizens - sure there's lots of stuff that limits the powers of states, but as to direct limitations on individuals - other than the Bill of Rights, those powers are very limited. Pretty much, there are not explicitly stated enumerated Constitutional provisions that guarantee individual rights (e.g., to be free from discrimination or guarantees for humane working conditions) as to other private citizens. This is by design - the framers were worried that if they went through and made a list of individual rights and wrote those in there, people would assume that any rights not listed were not guaranteed. So they stuck in the 10th amendment as a catchall, which reserves those rights to the states to decide.

This became a problem in the era following the Great Depression, where, in order for Congress to regulate working conditions for employees in the private sector, they needed a source of power to legislate. So they turned to the Commerce Clause - Art. I, Sec. 8 Cl. 3 - which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states and with Indian tribes. So if Congress wanted to, for instance, regulate working conditions of industries, so that employees wouldn't get screwed over by industrialists, what source of Constitutional power could they rely on to do that? How about if they wanted to keep individuals from discriminating against each other? (Remember that the 14th Amendment says "No State shall..." so it only applies to prevent states from making discriminatory laws; it doesn't apply to individuals and private companies to prevent them from treating each other in discriminatory ways).
In the New Deal era, the FDR court began expanding the scope of Congress' powers under the Commerce Clause, allowing Congress to use its CC powers to pass all sorts of legislation affecting individual rights which you wouldn't immediately think of as "regulating commerce." Fast forward to the Civil Rights Era, in which SCOTUS decided that individual discrimination on the basis of color does affect interstate commerce (after all, if people who might be discriminated against knew that the hotels in the next state over might deny them rooms, they would be disinclined to travel). This paved the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was passed pursuant to its Commerce Clause powers.

Fast forward against to the Supreme Court's Rehnquist Era, during which the Court decided to apply the brakes and impose limitations on Congress' Commerce Clause powers. Cases like United States v. Lopez held that Congress' Gun Free School Zones Act (I may be wrong on the popular name, but it was a fed law that barred, among other things, possession of a firearm within a school zone) was not a proper exercise of its CC power.

The problem with imposing these limitations is that those limitations could threaten the constitutionality of some very important legislation that provides individual rights regarding employment law and civil rights, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That is why the Raich case is so interesting from a federalism perspective.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:25 AM on July 26, 2007


after a quarter century of hearing about "family values", i'm thinking about launching the first explicitly anti-family political party. anybody here care to join me?
posted by bruce at 9:30 AM on July 26, 2007


So what happened to the Republicans who valued state rights?

I think most of them were shot by Federal troops under orders from the first Republican president Abe "House Divided Cannot Stand" Lincoln, no?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:32 AM on July 26, 2007


What happens if California gets a governor willing to use police or national guard to defend the dispensaries?

An interesting constitutional showdown, depending upon your interpretation of the Supremacy Clause. Interposition and nullification have been tried before, most notably in the South Carolina nullification crisis and in the 1950s when governors of certain states didn't want to integrate their public schools after Brown v. Board of Education so they passed bills in their state legislatures declaring the federal law invalid.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:35 AM on July 26, 2007


I'm simply trying to explain that bleating "nanny state! nanny state!" looks damn silly.

And it looks even more silly when the people bleating "nanny state" are precisely those Republicans whose government is conferring unto congress - in the name of family values - the power and authority to create a "nanny state." Big government is apparently OK when it outlaws dope smoking and abortion. When it taxes and talks about health care then big government is "teh satan."

The irony is that the success of "family values" conservatism is what will create the liberal Federal goliath those family values voters fear most.
posted by three blind mice at 9:40 AM on July 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


Use words with more sinister connotations than "nanny".

um, i didn't use that phrase

in any case, it's my view that the whole liberal/conservative thing has degenerated to the point of uselessness ... politics as currently practiced aren't solving the problems we have
posted by pyramid termite at 9:53 AM on July 26, 2007


pyramid termite writes "in any case, it's my view that the whole liberal/conservative thing has degenerated to the point of uselessness ... politics as currently practiced aren't solving the problems we have"

This is largely the result of our winner-take-all voting system, no? Wouldn't instant runoff voting pretty much destroy the two-party duopoly?
posted by mullingitover at 10:14 AM on July 26, 2007


“So what happened to the Republicans who valued state rights?”

As a conservative I support states rights on a bunch of things. And this in particular. Marijuana should have been legalized years ago. Republicans don’t seem to have an actual ethos of any kind, so...

“Conservatives see the government as a "they", not as a "we"- this is where the phrase "nanny state" originates...”

White guys walk like +this+, but black guys walk like *this*.

“I mean, by all means, keep yelling about the "nanny state". But do realise how utterly ridiculous you look from the outside.”

Ha ha ha, yeah conservatives who are leery of big government excess are such idiots. Clearly there’s no example of an unaccountable, unpersuadable parent figure which rules from on high in government today.

The problem is that it isn’t principle based, someone can’t consistently argue for less government interference but favor anti-cannabis laws and this b.s. from the DEA through a goofy legal end run. So of course it looks hypocritical.
But the motivation isn’t ideology in the first place, it’s based on dollars. The people behind this are just paying lip service to an ethos - and it could be any ethos and any political party.
They want to stay in business, not to mention whatever/however the pharmaceutical lobbyists are gaming the system.
But yeah, it’s all about those republicans or conservatives and them just naturally being contrarian for no reason at all other than they’re idiots and liberals and democrats are smart and good to their mothers and have never been corrupt ever. Amen.

Meanwhile don’t ask WHY the damned thing works out the way it does and the jerkoff politicians make the decisions they make.

No one denies people necessary medical treatment just because they’re dickheads. They’ve either been convinced of it and placed in their position (because if they’re that stupid they’re not going to get there themselves) or they’re making money hand over fist for working it that way and are using some “values” rhetoric to front off the public scrutiny - because people tend to believe whatever bullshit they’re handed as long as it’s by someone they believe to be on “their” side politically. Or they’re angered into distraction by it because - since they’re not on the same side - they can see it’s total bullshit - and why can’t everyone else?
Oh, not anyone here of course, far too perspicacious to be distracted by that old trick.

So, many politicians within this administration in particular are using the drug war to bolster police powers and the tax money flowing that way (jobs, equipment, & sundry corporate contracts for supply, mfg. etc. etc.) in addition to keeping dollars flowing from pharmaceutical (et.al) companies into campaign coffers, and this is one example of how the law was jiggered to keep that machine going and related knotty snarls as to why the thread can’t just be cut.


There’s a real beef with the feds to be had here. What makes pointing out republicans are bad guys who try to oppress minorities, gays, hippies and women a problem is not that it’s impolite, but that it degrades the level of discourse about what is an actual real problem into this bickering over socially pre-fab shit about how liberals believe in puppies and wonderfulness and conservatives hate kittens and definitions of one kind or another and blah blah blah blah. Bent politicians don’t care what they espouse.
I mean WTF hippies?

Is this what anyone honestly thinks? There are actual hippies out there? That “squares” want to oppress them? That whole conceptualization is almost 50 years old.
The whole thing just seems like disingenuous posturing: “hey, I’m no X-ist. X-ists suck. All X-ist’s everywhere.” Who the fuck cares?

The Feds and the state have not resolved an issue where people have a medical need - and such a medical need it was voted into law, not to mention the relief of pain for terminal patients.
That STILL hasn’t been resolved. That’s a real problem and part of the reason why is this political “your favorite paradigm sux” isn’t going to shed any light on this - or any - issue.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2007


Dear god, this is an ignorant debate. Since when did "big government" and "liberal" became equal? Has no one ever heard of authoritarian or totalitarian states? They aren't liberal. Go look up the word, please, and try to have some conception of what the New Deal was about (locking up people and raiding those trying to help persons suffering from disease wasn't part of it). Compare and contrast the New Deal definitions with previous definitions. Decide whether liberalism was more a case of pragmatism meets populism rather than liberalism. Try to fit authoritarian policies into the definition. Good luck.
posted by raysmj at 11:53 AM on July 26, 2007




Odd how this pattern keeps repeating itself. The contorted logic and twisting of the law. Like the stamp thing - you need a stamp to buy/sell/grow (whatever) marijuana so the government can tax it. But they don't make any stamps.
And! The supreme court upholds it!
F'ing bizarre.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:55 PM on July 26, 2007


The Conservative Nanny State--...Conservatism teaches that individuals are not inherently good and so must be carefully civilized. They need social structures and networks that foster duty and discipline and define those commitments as common sense. ...
posted by amberglow at 6:38 PM on July 27, 2007


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