For many years I have advocated to end cannabis prohibition. Since I started putting my time, money and passion into this cause as an adult starting primarily when my father fell ill with brain cancer in 2008 and of course passively ever since I was age 13, I have advocated to simply end prohibition laws on cannabis. Rather than replacing one law with another law, my passion has been to remove the inane law all together, and replace it with nothing, effectively making cannabis no more illegal than tomatoes.
Cannabis laws we created with ill intent, from racism to cronyism. There was no positive causation for the prohibition of cannabis. There was no moral or positive intention when the cannabis laws were created in the 1930s. Harry Anslinger used racism and cronyism as his main reasons to make cannabis illegal, and mixed in a bunch of false facts and lies to justify his evil plan.
Since then millions of Americans have served lengthy prison sentences and have lost everything due to this immoral and unjustified law. When Timothy Leary nullified the 1937 cannabis prohibition law “The Marihuana Tax Act” in 1969, the federal government quickly responded with creating a non-congressionally approved “Controlled Substances Act”, and even though it was not constitutionally enacted, many states in the USA followed up with their own CSA to mimic the federal laws. The state CSA is more legal than the federal CSA, as laws like prohibition need to go for a congressional vote, and the Controlled Substances Act did not get this congressional approval.
Nationwide Prohibition did not begin in the United States until January 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The 18th amendment was ratified in 1919, and was repealed in December, 1933, with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.
There was no amendment for cannabis prohibition. But as we know alcohol prohibition took the Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution to be a legitimate law, and the Twenty-first Amendment was required to end the original amendment. There have been a lot of excuses why there was no amendment needed for cannabis prohibition, and it has been a hot debate in the US Supreme Court, where as justices have argued that the commerce clause is justification enough for cannabis prohibition.
In the Raich vs Gonzales case,
Justice Thomas also wrote in a dissenting statement, stating in part:
Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
This is the whole point of it all, is that the constitution was created to limit government, not expand it, and the government has been given (by the people) enumerated powers, and those enumerated powers are being abused when they claim that the commerce clause can regulate and/or prohibit a person from growing a half a dozen harmless plants in their back yard.
Now that the Wisconsin House Bill 482 that intends to nullify cannabis prohibition, the case for the constitutionality of cannabis prohibition can and will be raised again. This is not just a big win for Wisconsin should the bill pass, but it will also be a win for our Republic as a whole.
“Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) and 17 co-sponsors introduced Assembly Bill 482 (AB482) on Aug. 24. The legislation would legalize marijuana under a tax-and-regulate system enforced at the state level similar to alcohol. Under the proposed law, a Wisconsin resident who is at least 21 could legally possess no more than two ounces of marijuana and a nonresident of Wisconsin who is at least 21 could possess no more than one-quarter ounce of marijuana. The legislation would also create a licensing structure for the cultivation, processing and sale of marijuana. Additionally, the bill would create a process for medical marijuana use.”
“This bill is so much more than legalizing marijuana—it’s about legalizing opportunity and prosperity,” Rep. Sargent said. “The state budget was due two weeks ago, and Wisconsin simply can’t afford to wait any longer. We deserve a real plan to create new jobs and stimulate our lagging economy, and that’s what this bill is.”
BTW- Sorry about the lateness in this announcement, as we were displaced from our home in Puerto Rico due to hurricane Maria when this bill was introduced last September.
According to the bill tracker, this bill is not dead, but there has not been any action on it since December 27th 2017. So it may be destined to die, but non-the-less this is a good lesson in constitutional matters for all states and everyone in our republic.