marijuana

Marijuana is good.

Now before everyone blows a gasket, I’ll qualify that. I consider marijuana to be the most dangerous drug out there. In my considerable experience, it’s wrecked more lives than any other mind adulterant with the exception of alcohol. It isn’t as instantaneously destructive as many of the other illegal drugs: you won’t overdose on it, it won’t cause your teeth to fall out, and you won’t get hepatitis or AIDS by using dirty paraphernalia.

But for habitual users, pot and its derivatives slowly remove ambition and cognitive functions, both in the short- and the long-term. The road of my personal life history is littered with old friends who have crashed and burned along the way, due to weed. They’re not all dead, but their life’s journey has been placed in a dope stasis.

No. I’m no supporter of the use of marijuana.

That being said, it’s amazing to me that cannabis is setting up the United States government for a battle it cannot win. And in doing so, the victor could well be, in the words of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, “the States respectively, or to the people.”

It’s really this simple. The federal government, with relatively few exceptions (mostly related to treason, sedition and probably immigration), has no constitutional crime-fighting authority. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the feds to investigate, arrest, or prosecute anyone for drug use. In fact, there is no honest legal rationale for the national government’s involvement in medicine or pharmacopeia at all.

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Now of course, we’ve long ago thrown legality out the window with regards to federal governance. Using the nonsensical “general welfare” clause, overly broad interpretations of the lesser amendments (being those after the first Ten) or simply ignoring it completely, Washington has deemed the Constitution to be “a living document” – meaning it can be twisted to support whatever whim is currently in fashion. And the states have all too willingly gone along with the abrogation of their specific powers in exchange for money from the federal printing press.

But illegal aliens and “Panama Red” has turned ultraviolet states into unwitting allies of the 10th Amendment movement. And I’m all for that.

Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to aggressively enforce federal marijuana laws despite – and in opposition to – the growing number of states which have legalized the use of “recreational” pot.

Now, none of the states need to worry much about teams of federal police forces raiding mom-and-pop pot shops. There simply aren’t enough federal cops to do the job, particularly when the state governments instruct their own law-enforcement personnel to refuse to assist.

Most of the legal problems for the weed industry are economic. Banks are leery about accepting money earned from marijuana, and growers and retail sellers face the same quandary that brought down so many prohibition gangsters; namely, how do you declare income from an “illegal” enterprise?

All of this is for naught and Washington will eventually have to accept it. The federal government is the largest and most powerful “state” in the Union. But it isn’t more powerful that the Union it purports to represent. The sovereign “States in Union” will always win … if you can only get those cats to herd.

The rebirth of states’ rights, if it continues, will only be for the good. Most of the western states are encumbered by federal lands, vast tracts held by Washington “in trust” for the people. (Bless their pointy little heads, they can’t be expected to know what to do with all that land.) This is in clear contradiction to the Constitution. So, if marijuana is a states’ rights issue, then so is the right to have all that land returned to the control of “the States respectively, or to the people.”

I said that Washington will lose the weed war. But considering how high my admiration is for the gamesmanship of Donald Trump, I have to wonder: Is he sacrificing the “pawn” of pot for the “queen” of states’ rights? Because any time you return power to the states or the people, you of necessity lessen the power of the federal government.

And Trump appears to like that concept. Bigly.

As I was just finishing this column, it was brought to my attention that all charges have been dismissed against Nevada rancher Clive Bundy, his two sons, and another man. The district judge in the case, in making the dismissal public, cited the “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” in her decision.

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If you don’t know about the war on the Bundy family, shame on you. I don’t have enough space left in this week’s column to cover that story; but in a nutshell, it was a purposeful and dirty attack by the feds on a simple man and his family for having the gall to stand up and say “enough.”

In prosecuting the case, the federal attorneys willfully withheld crucial evidence from Bundy’s legal defense team and then attempted to deny doing so, violating the Constitutional guarantee of due process.

Bundy’s legal battle with Washington began in 2014. The 71-year-old Bundy and various members of his family and supporters have been imprisoned, impugned, and impoverished since then, and his vindication today must seem pretty hollow (I also place the murder of LaVoy Finicum in with the Bundy saga).

I’m sure that Mr. Bundy would like to get all this behind him and live the rest of his life in peace and quiet. I can understand if that’s what he does. But I hope that he and his fellow government victims decide to take Washington to court for severe civil rights violations. Sure, even if he wins, no one will really be punished, and any compensatory award he receives will come out of our pockets; but putting aside the fact that he deserves to be reimbursed in some way for the hell he went through, it will also help us all.

A large part of the case against Bundy was based on his belief in states’ rights and the actions he took as a result of those beliefs. Interestingly, Attorney General Sessions has called for a Justice Department probe of Bundy’s case, not proving in any way but certainly in line with my Trump/states’ rights hypothesis. We’ll see.

So that’s pretty much all for today, given my word-count constraints. Next week, I’ll begin a short series on the common mistakes made by beginning (and not-so-beginning) preppers.

Until then, say a prayer for the Bundy and Finicum families, start hitting up your state reps about getting your land back from the feds … and get prepared.

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