Power Delegated is Power Lost
Most administrations in this great land of the United States have juggled the temptation to take power away from the states with the more conservative viewpoint that states should decide what is right for their people. Attempting to keep both balls in the air has brought tons of law suits and taxed the Department of Justice with major decisions and minor peccadillos.
Donald Trump has fallen into the trap quite nicely. His red meat rhetoric that he throws to the hungry masses will actually reduce some of his ability to get things done. He obviously doesn’t understand that the enumerated powers of Congress listed in the Tenth Amendment are not his powers, they are Congressional muscle.
And if you actually read that amendment, you will see that it is very clear: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Focus on that last phrase, Powers that are reserved to the people. When Donald Trump wants to fix healthcare by giving the states more power to determine how it works and what can or cannot be done, he diminishes the power of the President and the federal programs he promised to improve to help people.
In the latest aberration of the Healthcare re-write, the compromisers have slipped a little stick of dynamite into the paragraphs. They are proposing to give a state the right to charge more for those who have pre-existing conditions. Wow, really? If a guy walks in with cancer, you can tax him just like a pharmaceutical company. Who the hell are these people?
With 4-20-2017 now just purple haze in the rearview mirror, we find another conflict looming on the horizon: the right of a state to regulate the growing and sales of marijuana. In Colorado, marijuana tax revenue hit $200 million and sales are set to pass $1 billion this year. What was once a judicial, social and medical over-reach has been turned into a windfall for the mountain state. Even college scholarship programs are being funded out of these taxes and revenues.
When our government was taken over by goodie-two-shoes in the 1920s, the religious right created a constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban didn’t stop people from making, buying or drinking alcohol. It just made America a dull place for 13 years. Finally, FDR decided that people should have a legal way to let off some steam.
Now some out-of-touch people in power want to take federal legal action against those states that have taken medical and recreational marijuana reform to the bank. The new Attorney General knows best about what marijuana is because he most likely has never smoked marijuana. Donald Trump has said he has never smoked pot or cigarettes and of course, he would be best to judge what smoking cannabis does. Full on irony here, folks.
When you say you want to give more power to the states, but you are selective in how you apply that philosophy, you create confusion. Just like when you ignore scientists’ evaluations on climate change, you seem out of touch. When you disregard the medical evidence that marijuana can help people, you are like those people back 100 years ago who thought they could defeat alcoholism by controlling everyone. The myths created about marijuana are slowly going up in smoke.
Some polls put the support for national legalization at 61%. That is clearly more people than who voted for Trump. Even Canada has taken the move to legalize the herb. What are we waiting for?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on a radio interview, “I am really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”
Back at you Jeff, I really am amazed that a non-elected cabinet member from a state that doesn’t even have a lottery gets to decide how a state handles its medical and recreational use of certain natural plants.
What we really need is for all those who have a vote on marijuana at the federal level to fire up a doobie and relax. It’s not ‘oxy’ or heroin. Keep your eye on the important stuff.