Thursday, December 02, 2004

It's Not About Getting Stoned, Stupid

The lawyer, Randy Barnett, who represented the Respondents in the medical marijuana case, Ashcroft v. Raich, blogs over at The Volokh Conspiracy. An LA Times article had the following to say about the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court can ignore the usual liberal-versus-conservative divide in the next two weeks when it takes up California-centric cases on medical marijuana and the direct shipping of wine to consumers. Instead, the justices will be forced to decide between competing versions of conservatism.

The social conservatives seek more government enforcement in areas such as abortion, pornography, drugs, immigration and homosexuality. The small-government, free-market conservatives seek fewer restrictions on private behavior.
To satisfy any curiosity, I'm the small-government, free-market type conservative. Barnett's last post about the case here. From an earlier post, he wrote,
But I truly believe that there is no way to rule for the government without essentially limiting Lopez and Morrison to their facts. There will never be another successful Commerce Clause challenge to a federal statute in the Courts of Appeals if the Supreme Court accepts EITHER of the government's two theories: (1) that the activity here is really economic so that Lopez/Morrison does not apply or (2) an exception for regulations of noneconomic activities as part of a broader regulatory scheme that could be undercut unless they are reached applies to this state identified and policed class of activities.
Always good to know that shit I'm learning now could be bad law in several months time. And from an article he links to in that post,
Despite its apparent importance to drug warriors, Ashcroft v. Raich is not about medical marijuana or drug prohibition. Nor is it about the wisdom, or lack thereof, of allowing chronically ill individuals to smoke weed for medicinal purposes. Rather, it concerns the limits of federal power under the Constitution. Federalism does not play favorites. It limits the scope of federal power to pursue liberal and conservative ends alike. If a majority of the Court remembers this lesson, Angel Raich will get to keep her medicine. More important, the nation will keep the constitutional limits on federal power.
Yay federalism! Boo them! Anyway, it's always kinda cool to know that stuff I'm studying* is actually in the news.

*By "studying" I mean things I may overhear in class while playing spider solitaire, playing Ms. Pacman, watching funny videos, avoiding eyeing the chub, or beating my friend hated rival over the head with a stuffed teddy bear.

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