With these words written by Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court for the first time declared unconstitutional a law passed by Congress and signed by the President.
1) Congressional intent for putting Marijuana in Schedule 1 was for it to be only temporary, awaiting the recommendations of Nixon’s Shafer Commission report. When that panel of hand-picked Prohibitionists recommended Federal decriminalization, Nixon buried the report and it remained in Schedule 1, the most restrictive classification only for controlled substances with no medical value.
2) The reason Congress wanted the Shafer recommendations is that it knew, EVERYONE knew, that Marijuana had some sort of medical value. But the Schedules were brand-new so Congress looked to the medical experts, the Shafer Commission, for guidance as to exactly which Schedule it should be in, either 2, 3, 4, or 5. Schedule 1 requires a controlled substance have NO medical value, so Congress put it there only temporarily. Safe, popular, effective Cannabis patent medicines sold by pharmacists and made by many of today’s drug companies had been on the shelves from 1830 through 1907.
3) By now, 47 STATES of the United STATES of America are UNITED in stating they have found medical value in Marijuana. The states have a seat at this table, since the Federal is nothing but of collection of them. For instance, the states license doctors and nurses, not the Feds. Ninety-eight percent of the U.S. population lives in a state with some form of Cannabis reform contrary to Federal law. How can that even be legal? Because of the Tenth Amendment delegating to the States everything else not mentioned in the Constitution, such as licensing of doctors and nurses, drugs, alcohol, age of consent and marriage, tobacco, and illegal agriculture.
4) The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees all citizens “equal protection of the laws.” However, both Congressional testimony for the Marihuana Tax Act as well as Nixon’s tapes reveal the explicitly-racist intent behind both. History shows the success at their stated intention: blacks were arrested 3.5 times more than whites per-capita, despite similar usage rates. Millions thereby lost their right to vote and were saddled with criminal records and economic disenfranchisement. After the MTA was found unconstitutional in 1969, the Controlled Substances Act passed in 1970 targeting Nixon’s political opponents and Black Americans.
Compounding this today is the “New Normal:” police get a warrant and seize assets but don’t prosecute. That way higher court scrutiny is avoided and they keep the assets with no cost of prosecution. While a Win-Win for the State, it cynically and intentionally avoids the spirit and letter of the Constitution, which is the supreme law controlling the government.
Unconstitutional four ways, all laws relying on Marijuana being in Schedule 1 are therefore “fruit of the poison tree,” and null and void. Justice Clarence Thomas agrees the Feds have no business regulating intRAstate Marijuana: “In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana. The Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison’s assurance to the people of New York that the ‘powers delegated’ to the Federal Government are ‘few and defined’, while those of the States are ‘numerous and indefinite.’”
Years ago NORML sued the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reschedule marijuana. The ruling in 1988 by DEA’s U.S. Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young determined: “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.”
Thomas Jefferson said “if people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
Conservative Nobel Prize-winning Milton Friedman, Reagan’s economic adviser, said “every friend of freedom must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence” and “there is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana. It’s absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of Marijuana for medical purposes” and “if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel [Big Pharma]. That’s literally true” and “I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that our government should be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, of destroying their lives, putting them in jail. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.”
Even the Bible weighs in: “The Lord has created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them. With such does He heal men and take away their pains.” Jesus healed with KNH BSM, made with Marijuana.