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Does the federal government have the right to ban marijuana under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution? Why or why not?

Does the federal government have the right to ban marijuana under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution?  Why or why not?

Interstate commerce clause doesn’t allow states to regulate what comes in and out of their state. The interstate commerce clause allows the Congress to regulate the trades between states or a foreign country.  The Federal Government has the power to ban marijuana under the commerce clause passed by Congress in the Article 1 and section 8 of the constitution, which has been interpreted by the Supreme Court that the feds may regulate nearly anything that has an effect on interstate commerce.  The Founding Fathers choose carefully the words they inserted into the text of the constitution.  Nowhere in the document does it say that the federal government is granted the power to regulate intrastate commerce so it should be left entirely up to the states with the power of regulating and control of marijuana.

What are some of the political issues that surround this case?

In the case of Gonzales v. Raich the Supreme Court ruled that the woman was participating in interstate commerce, even though she was growing it on her own property for her own medical use and there was no evidence to support she was illegally using it for trade or exchange for value.  This real world case shows that even if the state allows for you to grow and consume marijuana you are not leally permitted to grow or consume even for a serious illness.  There’s a memo that is trying to be passed called H.R. 2306 and what this would do is eliminate the people who own and run their own marijuana dispensary who follow the state law to have their own dispensary not be raided by the feds.  From watching the video even having a successful business, being one of the biggest tax donor and following the state law these owners have to worry about getting raiding going to jail and losing everything they have. This is kind of similar to the Alcohol prohibition when the government allowed the states to decide whether or not to legalize it or not.

Reference:

1. http://blog.norml.org/2011/07/18/why-cant-cannabis-be-in-the-commerce-clause/

2.Gonzalez v. Raich (2005).

3. Ivers, G. (2013). Constitutional law: An introduction.


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