Pot Prosecutions

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Lots of people are complaining about the Supreme Court decision allowing the feds to prosecute people for pot, even if the state laws say they can do it.

This is not a drugs case. This has nothing to do with whether you think pot should be legalized. Everyone on the Supreme Court agrees that is a matter for the legislatures to decide. The question in this case was *which* legislatures decide it: state or federal.

The case is fairly simple:

A. The federal government has the right to regulate interstate drug distribution, under the interstate commerce clause.
B. The federal government has the right to restrict manufacture of drugs, as a means to help prevent distribution, under the Necessary and Proper clause.

The court has no real disagreement on these points. The next point is the tough part:

C. It is not possible to distinguish between manufacture for interstate, or intrastate, distribution, and as such, if you remove their power to prohibit manufacture for intrastate distribution, you effectively destroy their power to prohibit manufacture for interstate distribution.

Rehnquist, Thomas, and O'Connor dissented, not buying this end-run around states' rights. The liberals and Scalia found in favor of the feds. slashdot.org

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