Medical Marijuana and the Ninth & Tenth Amendment

Medical Marijuana and the Ninth & Tenth Amendment
Posted by CN Staff on October 06, 2006 at 06:08:01 PT
By Anthony Gregory
USA -- On Tuesday, Drug Enforcement Administration agents swooped down upon the premier medical marijuana club in Californiaís Bay Area, targeting its dispensary and seven ancillary locations in San Francisco and Oakland. By destroying and confiscating property, seizing medical records, pummeling ATM machines with sledge hammers and jailing fifteen people, the federal agency hopes to teach a lesson, not just to medicinal pot users but to all Americans Ė this area, as all areas in the country, belongs to the federal government.
The press says the DEA seized 13,000 plants, but donít let that number mislead you. Many of the plants these locations carry are barely sprouted and are intended for sale to patients to grow on their own. And besides, even if they had seized ten times as many, the issue at stake here is clear: the power of Washington, DC, to push around individuals and localities with its sheer tax-funded might.In 1996, California voters approved a sweeping medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 215, which established a list of accepted medical conditions to be treated with marijuana. Even after the State Attorney General had used his official capacity, on the taxpayerís dime, to lobby against it, claiming it would lead to the decriminalization of the plant for recreational as well as medical purposes, the voters sided with the measure. Whatever we might think about such state and local regulations, the marijuana clubs have been at pains to follow them. This makes little difference to the feds. The Drug War knows no bounds. National laws, even ones that Congress has no authority under Article I, Section 8 to pass Ė even ones that are outright barred by the Tenth Amendmentís reservation of unenumerated powers to the states Ė trump state and local law, to say nothing of individual liberty, in this day and age. Consider another atrocity. In 2002, the feds busted author Ed Rosenthal for growing marijuana, which he had been growing on behalf of the city of Oakland. Then they disallowed the admission of evidence that what he had been doing was for medical purposes and under the auspices of the city. Upon convicting him under these false pretenses and then discovering the truth, a majority of the jurors renounced their own verdict at a press conference. He only got a day-long sentence from a sympathetic judge, but outrageously the federal government appealed it.The Supreme Court had a chance to review the Constitutionality of such pharmacological national socialism back in June, 2005, and totally blew it. Even though it should be obvious that this is not properly a federal matter, the five "liberals" on the court decided that ruling in favor of states rights and federalism might jeopardize all their beloved federal welfare state programs erected during the New Deal and Great Society. (They were right about this.) So they decided to side with leviathan, jackboots and all, rather than decentralism and the rights of the sick to medicate themselves. "Strict constructionist" Antonin Scalia, a rabid drugwarrior, also upheld the national police state. The federal crusade against marijuana has not been limited to California. The White House Drug Czar has illegally used tax dollars to campaign against medical marijuana initiatives in Montana and Vermont in 2004 and in Rhode Island early this year. Just recently, the feds descended upon Nevada to combat an initiative that would altogether decriminalize marijuana for adults. Not only do they use our money to enforce laws against our own local sentiments; they use it to try to influence the outcome of local elections. The federal government has increasingly come to regard anything having to do with drugs to be in its sole jurisdiction. It has poisoned marijuana abroad, financed anti-drug regimes, even brutal and murderous ones, and strong-armed other nations, most recently Mexico, to prevent them from liberalizing drug laws. As for medical marijuana itself, the plant has been used medicinally in numerous cultures for thousands of years. According to laboratory studies with rodents, it is one of the safest intoxicants known to man, as it takes an estimated 40,000 doses to kill a human Ė compared to five or ten doses of alcohol. It acts on cannabinoid receptors in the brain, almost none of which are in the brain stem, which helps to explain its negligible lethality. It treats nausea, pain, glaucoma, and some of the nasty side effects of cancer and AIDS medications. In the case of some sick people, it is the only known drug that will really help.There are some objections. One is that it must be smoked, and that canít be good for you. Another is that federally approved Marinol, a synthesized THC pill, is available for those who really need it. Well, Marinol does not have all the cannabinoids of marijuana, only the THC. According to some patients, several of the medicinal properties of the plant, such as its anti-nausea effects, are not nearly so prevalent in Marinol. In other words, there are sick patients who are getting very stoned off federally approved Marinol, which is not the effect they seek, all the while it is failing to address their symptoms. A reason a lot of patients smoke marijuana as opposed to swallowing it is to control dosage. It is harder to predict with digestion how strong the effects will be, as it depends on such factors as what food one has eaten. Studies reveal that even regular marijuana smokers are much less likely to get lung cancer than cigarette smokers and are actually no more likely to get it than the non-smoking population. New vaporization technology has also enabled patients to inhale marijuana vapor without the undesired contents of smoke.However, none of this should have to be argued. The fact is people have a human and Constitutional right to control their bodies: self-medication is a Ninth Amendment right "retained by the people." And since there is no enumerated power of the federal government to regulate drugs and medicine, the federal government certainly has no right overthrowing local medical marijuana laws and imposing its centralized authoritarianism in their place. With the latest disgrace of the Bay Area pot club raids, individual rights and federalism have once again been demolished by the DEA. If ever we are to restore anything resembling a working Bill of Rights, of which the Ninth and Tenth Amendments are perhaps the crowning jewels, the DEA should be one of the first agencies to go.Anthony Gregory -- anthony1791 -- is a writer and musician who lives in Berkeley, California. He is a research analyst at the Independent Institute. See his webpage -- -- for more articles and personal information.Newshawk: Global_Warming Source: (U.S. Web)Author: Anthony GregoryPublished: October 5, 2006Copyright: 2006 LewRockwell.comContact: lew Website:  CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on October 07, 2006 at 13:58:03 PT
More Intimidation 
This is like something out of a gangster movie. Thugs for the mob come into a business and steal what they can, destroy what they canít take, and kidnap or kill the employees in an effort to intimidate the people. The only difference is, this is our own government doing this to us. This is just blatant harassment and intimidation. Is this all they have to do with their time and money? How can these people live with themselves?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by global_warming on October 06, 2006 at 15:28:51 PT
re: comment 2
You should read Drug Warís Immorality and Abject Failure
by Anthony Gregory, Posted October 4, 2006I think it is an excellent article, Thanks fomme, Mr. Gregory has revealed for all to see the role of governments involvement in this most disgraceful descent into micro manegement, and MMAN, that was so true, I suspect that anyone who can call you a pessimist, is probably late for his or her feelgood dose of music and laughter, brought to you those that want to sell you something.John Lennon is dead, and we' an only 'imagine what he meant.Yes for A44 and Q7.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 06, 2006 at 15:14:03 PT
The Government Is Attacking US, American Citizens
Harassment, plain and simple government law enforcement harassment.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by whig on October 06, 2006 at 12:41:58 PT
This is not treason, we are not plotting with enemies, we are the people ourselves.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by museman on October 06, 2006 at 11:43:05 PT
OK. I only differentiate because I know the difference between dissent and treason, and want to make sure that those who read my words know that. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by whig on October 06, 2006 at 11:24:38 PT
Replacement is just another word for revolution. I don't want to substitute words when there is a perfectly good one, like referring to innocent victims as collateral damage. Those are terms that are used to soften the meaning, to make it seem like something else.This is a revolution, but a peaceful one.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 06, 2006 at 11:17:02 PT
I didn't even want to post the article but I did. I understand. I feel the same way. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by museman on October 06, 2006 at 10:53:03 PT
life, liberty, and the pursuit of money and power
Isn't that 'pursuit' the defintition of 'happiness' in the Feds unabashed dictionary of revised English?Constitutional rights...yeah like the right to die so the rich might live, and live well. The right to pain-so that they can profit by selling you bad drugs with no healing quality whatsoever. The right to be an unwilling conduit in the channeling of funds from the rich through you (with interest) to the rich. The right to labor under the illusion that this is a 'free' country. The right to watch the starlets parade their high-priced whoredom in front of you on TV. The right to have your 'godly representatives' in the church, rail, pant, foam at the mouth, roll their eyes in insane stupor, and point their 'holy' fingers in judgement and accusation at anyone who isn't white, republican, and a member of their exclusive 'xtian' society.Funny how the truth can be spotlighted, highlighted, underlined, explained logicly and profoundly, over and over again, yet the power elite are going to have their way regardless. Why not, they got the guns and the power. They got a zillion willing americans to slave for them while they ride high like royal pigs.America has become the great whore, the biblical Babylon, and freedom does not exist here-except at a price, and that price is great wealth, with a close connection to the political power structure. Law? Whose law? Certainly not the peoples, or God's. Don't even say it's 'Jesus's' teaching, way, or example -though calling the actual being by a false name helps them to lie convincingly. (In the name of Jesus 'we your chosen rulers' decide whether you are going to live, or die.) One of my sons tells me I am a 
'pessimist,' that all I ever speak about is how f**ked up every thing is. I listen, and try to find some 'optimistic' prespective on the whole thing. Just about the point where I am thinking maybe things will get better, the horrible facts of life in the 21st century get driven into my awareness with all the gentility of a nail in my head.If the constitution is no longer valid, and if the government can arbitrarily -at it's own whim and inclination- do whatever the hell it wants, then it's time for the people of America to abdicate their allegiances to a failed state- so that we can get to work on a real, practical, human (not economic) based system.Not 'revolution' or 'overthrow,' -REPLACEMENT. If we are going to have a constitutional system of laws powered by people and not moneyed special interests then folks better get off their collective asses and fire their false reps, and their undeserving bosses and masters. That ain't gonna happen because very few in this country are going to give up their illusions of safety and comfort for the unknown quantity of peace and freedom - because they believe the 'personal' cost is too high.Only those, (and some few brave others) who have been victimized by this fascist elitism, and have little left to lose are going to be willing to stand in front of the machine of war and destruction, most everybody else will be sitting, staring at the screen when it finally goes off for the last and final time, and the mushroom clouds bloom on the horizon.By all means America, just keep slavin away for that weekend beer fest, cause that's the only reward you are ever likely to get for your continuing support of the Beast.Constitution... what a laugh.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by whig on October 06, 2006 at 10:43:05 PT
I get a little upset reading articles like Anthony Gregory's because he is in some ways making it harder to win, by putting the entire drug war at stake and not allowing for a phased process. I believe that the prohibitionists are correct that ending cannabis prohibition is only the first step in ending drug prohibition, but even so the first step must be taken before we reach a destination.So my problem is discussing this sort of final destination confuses people and makes it harder for them to take the first step, and it is factually very messed up to lump the effects of cannabis prohibition in with the effects of heroin prohibition. Cannabis and heroin are day and night. Some people want to talk about gun prohibition too, why not? And then the real evil prohibitionists start trying to throw in rape and murder prohibition.We aren't talking about ending prohibition of all things. Just cannabis, because it's good and helpful and not a poison, because it should be available to people.I'm sick and tired (but please don't be offended if you think this is directed at anyone in particular, it isn't) of people discussing cannabis like it's a prohibited vice.It's not a vice at all. That is plainly false and dishonest if maintained once you know the truth.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 06, 2006 at 06:10:05 PT
Related Article By Anthony Gregory
The Drug Warís Immorality and Abject Failure:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment