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February 8, 2013

"What the Gun Lobby and the Marijuana Lobby Have in Common"

The title of this post is the headline of this new commentary by Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic.  It gets started this way:

Last week, I took a glancing look at some of the most dubious gun measures creeping up from state legislatures all over the country since the beginning of the year. The statutory text may differ from state to state, but the theme of those post-Newtown proposals are essentially the same: Under the banner of federalism, expressing alarm at federal power, earnest lawmakers are seeking to use new state laws to prevent law enforcement officials from enforcing existing (and future) federal gun regulations.

At the same time, also in the last five weeks, lawmakers in at least 18 states -- more than one-third of the nation -- have proposed dozens of new marijuana laws that would dramatically alter the way millions of people interact with pot.  Again, the details differ from bill to bill.  But, again, the underlying theme is familiar: Under the banner of federalism, expressing disdain with federal power, earnest lawmakers are seeking through these measures to erode the scope of federal law, which still classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug that is illegal to sell or possess.

The new generation of gun laws, which run directly counter to national public opinion, is rooted in the fealty of state lawmakers to the 10th Amendment, to the 2nd Amendment, to gun industry lobbyists and to its tribune, the National Rifle Association.  And these measures, if passed, would be patently unconstitutional.  You can amend or repeal a federal statute, in other words, including of course a federal gun regulation, but as a state lawmaker you cannot seek to punish federal officials who are trying to enforce it.

On the other hand, the new generation of marijuana laws, which represent growing national support for reasonable reform, is a direct result of the stunning election success last November of two legalization measures in Colorado and in Washington.  These measures, too, on their face, violate federal marijuana law.  And, ultimately, either the federal law will have to change, or these state laws will have to change.  That change isn't likely to come first from the courts.  It's going to have to come from lawmakers, from Congress, and the White House.

February 8, 2013 at 04:36 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Good for them! Sorry but none of the retarded court decisions to the contuary ...the 2nd amendment does not give us the right to keep weapons. We already had it. It's the reason the damn document was written in the first damn place. What it does is tell the gov to keep their fucking hands off.

Crimilize whatever the individual Does with that gun sure. If they commit a crime with a weapon. Hammer their ass. But don't try and touch em!

as for this!

"You can amend or repeal a federal statute, in other words, including of course a federal gun regulation, but as a state lawmaker you cannot seek to punish federal officials who are trying to enforce it."

SURE you can. Just have your law enforcment just do what seems to come naturaly every day. Accidetnly SHOOT them. They made a furtive movement! or I feared for my life. These days most ANY excuse seems to work!

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 9, 2013 8:16:36 PM

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