Saturday, October 30, 2010

Prop. 19

Make no mistake. Proposition 19 is not about marijuana. It's not about driving stoned or doctors operating while high. Prop. 19 is about the right of the individual states to overturn federal law.
There are a lot of libertarians out there who would argue that that is a good thing. But, I would caution people to be careful what they ask for. While it is very unlikely that the courts will uphold 19, one can never be too sure. The conservative coupsters on the Supreme Court have ignored 200 years of case law to state that the second amendment is not about the rights of states to maintain militias but about the right of individuals to pack heat. They've ruled that corporations are de facto people with free speech rights, in other words, they have the right to spend as much money as they can to buy elections. If the same right wing five were to say, "Hey why shouldn't states be able to overturn federal law." Well let's see, there are law makers in Utah who have called for state seizure of federal lands. Bye bye Zion National Park. It wouldn't surprise me if Alabama would start putting certain people in the back of the bus. Texas isn't too fond of off shore drilling regs. And Arizona would happily ignore the Colorado River agreement and stop water from reaching California. That's no way to run a country!
Another reminder that has little to do with my central argument against Prop. 19. I've had some discussions with friends who support 19, and when I make my point about states overturning federal law, the counter argument that I get is that the feds aren't in a position to enforce federal drug laws on a local level. Perhaps, but they can withhold highway funds, aide to education, and stimulus funds. Government by proposition is unworkable.

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