Forces Of Drug Prohibition Won Big

The forces of drug prohibition won a big case that will reverberate in the fight against the health care bill. They won it in 2005 in the Supreme Court. Read it and weep.

Lawsuits from 14 states challenging the constitutionality of the new national healthcare law face an uphill battle, largely due to a far-reaching Supreme Court ruling in 2005 that upheld federal restrictions on home-grown marijuana in California.

At issue in that case -- just like in the upcoming challenges to the healthcare overhaul -- was the reach of the federal government's power.

Conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy joined a 6-3 ruling that said Congress could regulate marijuana that was neither bought nor sold on the market but rather grown at home legally for sick patients.

They said the Constitution gave Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate the marketplace as part of its authority "to regulate commerce."

Even "noneconomic local activity" can come under federal regulation if it is "a necessary part of a more general regulation of interstate commerce," Scalia wrote.

The decision throws up a significant hurdle for the lawsuit filed last week in federal court by 13 state attorneys -- all but one a Republican. The Virginia attorney general filed a similar, but separate suit.

Which just goes to show you that Liberty is indivisible. You start denying it to people you don't like and pretty soon it will be denied to you.

This would be hilarious if it wasn't so funny.

Here is a nice little ditty.

First they came for the crack users; but I said nothing. I was not a crack user.

Then they came for the heroin users. But I said nothing - I was not a heroin user.

Then they came for the cannabis growers. But I said nothing - I was not a cannabis grower.

Then they came for the Antisocial Youth. But I said nothing - I was not young or antisocial.

Then they came for me. And there was no-one to speak out for me.

[after Pastor Niemoller]

Well I have been screaming my lungs out about the Drug War for decades. And my conservative friends have been putting their fingers in their ears and screaming "La La La I can't hear you."

Can you hear me now?

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 03.28.10 at 03:15 AM


I believe the 2005 ruling actually refers back to a 1930s case in which the court ruled that under the commerce clause the Feds could regulate a wheat farmer whose total crop was used on his own farm and not sold.

That case was all about commerce and where the lines are. Griswold v. Connecticut might serve as a counter precedent if some judge will see drug use a a personal (our bodies ourselves) issue. After all, Griswold only addressed whether married people could practice birth control. It eventually became a woman's right to an abortion.

By the way, if Griswold can't be used for drug rights (even medicinal? our bodies?) it probably will be used to legalize polygamy and prostitution.

bob sykes   ·  March 28, 2010 8:33 AM


You are correct. The case is Wickard vs Filburn.

M. Simon   ·  March 28, 2010 2:35 PM

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