It is interesting how Republicans are all state’s rights and big government keep your hands off – until a state does something they don’t like. Like Colorado’s marijuana law, which is one of four states to allow regulated production and sale of marijuana to adults.
Nebraska and Oklahoma – both red states – don’t like that. And they want the Supreme Court to do something about it. Whatever happened to the Tenth Amendment? What ever happened to that oppressive federal government meddling where it doesn’t belong?
Throw all that out the window and drive the bus over it. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt say pot is crossing the state line (their state lines) and that their states are suffering “irreparable injury.” They are suing Colorado.
In other words, they have to spend time arresting people for something that’s legal in another state. They say Sections 16(4) and (5) of Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution (the supremacy clause of the Constitution) don’t stand up before federal law –
Wait! They said that? Hold on now…Gosh, I wonder how they’d feel if we were talking about guns instead of marijuana, or the First Amendment?
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said,
[I]t appears the plantiffs’ primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana, as opposed to choices made by the voters of Colorado. We believe this suit is without merit and we will vigorously defend against it in the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Keep in mind that what pot proponents have been saying all along happened – the state made some $60 million of sales of cannabis, and that what opponents said would happen didn’t happen – in other words, everyone woke up to the same world they had known the day before. Nary a catastrophe to be seen then and none on the horizon now.
It is incredible that the party that talks endlessly about majorities rule suddenly cease to care about majorities at times like this. Some 55 percent of Colorado voters approved Amendment 64’s legalization of the sale of marijuana. Shouldn’t that be good enough?
Not to mention the extremely lax ideology of the GOP. Everything is black and white on the surface, but the second anything happens they don’t like, their morals go topsy-turvy. As Bloomberg points out in this case:
The lawsuit, readable here, is a little shot of cognitive dissonance for anyone who listens to conservative Republicans on other matters. First, most jarringly, it cites America’s agreements with foreign nations as a reason that Colorado’s law can’t stand.
“Through its exclusive Constitutional power to conduct foreign policy,” argue the plaintiffs, “the United States is a party to international treaties and conventions under which it has agreed to control trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances, such as marijuana.”
Hold on a second! This is the party constantly telling us that we are being enslaved by globalization, that International law is a threat to our sacred constitutional freedoms. And now you’re saying foreign laws trump the rights of American citizens?
The Republican Party might do well to decide what exactly it is for and against. Do states rights triumph? Does federal law triumph? Do foreign laws matter when it comes to U.S. law?
They can’t apply it on a case by case basis, appealing to whichever is more convenient at the moment. This is the party opposed to relativism, and right now, it seems to have a much bigger problem with relativism than Democrats.
Image from The Joint Blog