Equal Parts Sarcasm and Truth…
Did you know that it wasn’t until about 50 years ago that Cannabis was officially criminalized when it was added to the list of substances the government could ban or regulate under the authority of the Controlled Substances Act; signed into law by Richard Nixon on October 27, 1970. This law was enacted when President Nixon decided to consolidate all the various federal laws regarding drug usage under one statute.
Did you know that under the Controlled Substances Act a commission was established to study the use of Cannabis in the United States? The chairman of this committee, one Raymond Shafer, issued a report to the President which stated the following regarding the criminalization of marijuana for personal use, “[T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance.”
Yet, for the most part, possession of even small amounts of marijuana is a criminal offense under federal law. Not only that, but if you are caught in possession of drug paraphernalia with residue of THC on it you can also be arrested and serve up to a year in jail for it.
All this because our government has declared war on drugs and drug abuse…
I find the timing of the CSA, (Controlled Substances Act), a bit coincidental; and I don’t believe in coincidences when it comes to the laws passed by our government. Isn’t it just a tad bit coincidental that the CSA was passed right towards the end of the hippy movement; which saw a lot of drug experimentation, and the introduction of such mind altering drugs as Lysergic acid diethylamide; otherwise known as LSD. Isn’t it just a tad bit coincidental that this same hippy movement was opposed to the strict structure of society and the policies of their government; especially the undeclared war in Vietnam?
Yet here we are in good ole 2019 with many States having passed resolutions legalizing Cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use; and in some instances, for both. So in many instances we find ourselves facing a conundrum in that some States have passed laws that conflict with federal law regarding what a person can put into their body.
In two instances those 9 clowns in gowns everyone calls the Supreme Court have held that the federal government does have the right to criminalize the use or possession of marijuana. In 2001 the SCOTUS held that the federal government has the right to reject the concept of medical necessity for Cannabis usage, even though a State may have passed a law legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. (Source: United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyer’s Cooperative)
Then four years later the SCOTUS held that the Commerce Clause entitles the government to regulate or restrict Cannabis usage regardless of whether it is for medicinal or recreational use. (Source: Gonzales v. Raich)
I can almost hear people’s thoughts, “Well, if the Supreme Court says it is illegal, it must be illegal.” You know what? Screw the Supreme Court and their rulings! Who are they anyway, gods? Aren’t they the same people who have held that it is legal to terminate the life of an unborn fetus; which is a naturally occurring event when a man and a woman engage in sexual intercourse? But then at the same time they turn around and rule that it is a criminal offense to put a naturally occurring substance such as marijuana INTO our bodies; even when there is evidence that it can help treat or alleviate the symptoms of certain illnesses.
I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but in most instances where a State has decriminalized marijuana, those establishments that have rose up to sell it to consumers work on a cash only basis. The reason for this is that banks refuse to honor checks made out to businesses that sell a substance which the federal government has criminalized. They refuse to honor those checks because under federal law they could conceivably be found guilty of participating in drug trafficking and have their assets seized.
With the passage of the Controlled Subject Act two agencies within the government were given the ability to classify all drugs according to a schedule which rated them according to whether or not they served any medicinal purposes and the risk of abuse and addiction. These two agencies are the FDA, Food and Drug Administration, and the DEA, Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA falls under the Department of Justice, and the FDA falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services; both of which are Cabinet positions. As Cabinet positions they fall under the authority of the Executive Branch of the government, which mean they fall under the domain and authority of the President.
Yet, under the Constitution does the President have the authority to decide what we can and cannot put into our bodies? No, the job of the President is to EXECUTE the law, not establish what shall be law. The Legislative authority is vested in the Congress; and only they may enact laws. However, the Congress is limited in its ability to enact law by the specific powers found in Article 1, Section 8 – and after numerous readings of that section I am forced to conclude that legislating what people can and cannot put into their bodies is NOT among their enumerated powers.
But Neal, marijuana is a drug, and it should be controlled by the government. Says who I say – you? What makes you the expert on the constitution and what people should be allowed to do? Besides, aren’t nicotine and alcohol both drugs, yet they can be purchased over the counter in almost every convenience store in America.
Our government simply does not have the authority to tell us what we can, cannot, or must put into our bodies. Therefore, any agency which has been erected to serve those purposes is unconstitutional, and all those who enforce the laws and regulations passed by the government in regards to what we can and cannot put into our bodies are tyrants – and yes I’m talking about law enforcement.
Did you know that in 1919 the States ratified a constitutional amendment which prohibited the production, transport and sale of alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and whiskey? Yet although the Volstead Act, (which was the law enacted by Congress to enforce the 18th Amendment) did not criminalize the consumption of these beverages; only their production sale and transport.
What ended up happening is that the sale and consumption of alcohol moved underground. Speakeasies opened up across the country where people could go to imbibe their favorite beverages, and organized crime stepped in to control the underground trafficking of alcohol.
In 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified; repealing Prohibition and putting the sale and transport of alcohol under the authority of the federal government to control and regulate. Now I am all in favor of a person having the right to imbibe in a little beer or whiskey on their own time; what I oppose is the idea that government should have any say in its production, sale and transport.
The justification for this, as it is in almost every instance where government intervenes in the private sector, is that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution allows for government to regulate each step of production, sale and transport of a commodity. The whole idea of the Commerce Clause was one of the major reasons why the Articles of Confederation were trashed and replaced with the Constitution.
In 1787 it was believed by many that the Congress established by the Articles of Confederation were weak and ineffective in regulating trade between the States. So when the drafters of the Constitution wrote that power into the Constitution they did so, not so that government could micromanage and control every aspect of the production, sale and transport of an item, but rather that the government could ensure that no State erected barriers which would restrict the free flow of goods from one State to another. In the 18th century the word regulate meant to make regular, to ensure that something flows smoothly.
Now, under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, government can inspect, regulate and tax almost every aspect regarding the sale and production of an item; and when it comes to things we consume, (food, alcohol, and drugs), that authority rests primarily with the DEA and FDA.
How many of you have sat in the comfort of your home, watching your TV, and seen those ads for a multitude of prescription drugs which all make the claim of being FDA approved? FDA approved, what exactly is that supposed to do; assure me that it is safe; that it has my government’s stamp of approval? Well, the FDA gave VIOXX its stamp of approval too, until they started getting too many reports of it causing heart problems, which then forced the FDA to pull VIOXX off the market.
If you have paid any attention to those drug ads on TV, have you listened to the long list of possible, sometimes serious and life threatening, side effects they pose; sometimes the side effects are worse than the actual ailment the drug is designed to treat! Yet they tell us these drugs are safe, and then scoff at those of us who speak out against the side effects posed by mass vaccinations for things like the flu.
I bet if the FDA required that these drug manufacturers were required to list all the ingredients in their vaccines, and provide a list of all possible side effects, that people would be a lot less likely to get that flu shot if they knew what they were putting into their bodies.
And since we’re on the subject of putting things into our bodies, where in the Constitution does it give government the authority to tell us what we MUST put into our bodies? Every newborn is injected with a wide array of drugs to treat everything from Polio to Diphtheria to Mumps and Measles…all without the consent of the person being inoculated…and sometimes against the wishes of the parents.
Yet they tell us that we cannot come home from work after a stressful day and smoke a little weed to calm us down; and their FDA tells us that there are no medicinal purposes for marijuana. Yet studies have revealed that it also benefits those suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and can also aid in pain reduction as an alternative, or addition to a chronic pain management program.
I have a personal stake in this as I suffer from chronic pain and the only legal means of obtaining relief is through prescription pain medication such as Norco or Vicoden. Yet due to this so-called opioid crisis it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to obtain the required dosage to last a month. Instead of giving me a 30 day prescription my doctor is giving me a 25 day supply and telling me I MUST make it last for 30 days. All because the government is tightening its control over the prescription of opioid type drugs.
Gee thanks, Uncle Sam, you’re sure making my life such a joy. (And if you don’t recognize sarcasm, that was it right there)
Yet at the same time that organically grown Cannabis is not recognized as having any medicinal purposes by the government, the drug companies CAN synthesize the effective ingredients found within marijuana and then gain FDA approval to sell it to the public.
But therein lies the rub, the FDA is the approving agency for their buddies at Big Pharma; as long as a profit can be made the FDA is, more often than not, going to rubber stamp their approval for the drugs they create in a lab, while at the same time prevent the dissemination of any knowledge about the effectiveness of natural, or holistic treatments.
It’s like cancer, they don’t want to cure it; after all, where are the profits in that? They want to treat illness so that the people remain dependent upon the products they sell to us at outrages prices. They tell us that these high prices are so that they can fund research and development for other drugs to treat other ailments. If that’s so, then why are these same drugs available at much lower prices in countries such as Mexico and Canada? Are they intentionally screwing the American people because we are the only ones the federal government can extend their jurisdiction to?
So in the meantime I must go to my doctor and get prescription pain medication to deal with feet that cause me so much pain that I sometimes think I’d be better off if I just blew them off the end of my legs with a shotgun. And if I did choose to try marijuana as an alternative means of fighting the pain caused by my feet my doctor would be required by federal law to cut off my access to prescription strength pain medication, and my insurance company most likely would deny me coverage if I show up positive for marijuana in a urine test.
This is just one small instance of where our government has overstepped its lawful authority and made a gawd-awful mess of things. And what is the American people’s answer to things like this? Why, it is, “Hey, let’s ask government to pass another law which fixes the mess they made when they passed that first law.” And the cycle goes on and on and on, and will not stop until the people stop expecting government to be their nanny; to take care of their every need and concern from the moment they are born until they are laid to rest.
That little thing I’m hinting at is called freedom. You ought to try it sometime; you might actually like it – but I suppose you’ll never know, because most of you keep bowing down and serving the very entity which has deprived you of that freedom.
Good job America; you done made our Founders proud!
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: email@example.com.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told). Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.