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The Federal War on Drugs is Unconstitutional

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Justin Samuels     Permalink
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Many of the federal laws on drugs are unconstitutional. It's worth nothing as the marijuana legalization expands across the US, and as the movement against mass incarceration and prison reform pick up steam.


But what of the constitutionality of the war on drugs, and on the legislation passed against drug use? This is of concern to the marijuana industry, particularly as Jeff Sessions is the new attorney general and he has expressed hatred of marijuana. According to the commerce clause, "The Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes."

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What does that mean? While Congress is free, according to this, to ban the importation of drugs from other countries or trade between states, Congress nor the federal government in general have authority over drugs locally produced, sold, and consumed. Gonzalez vs Raich was argued in 2005, and Gonzalez won. The Supreme Court had that time upheld the constitutionality of the federal controlled substance act.


Raisch just wanted to be allowed to use medical marijuana. But there is no real reason why the entire federal controlled substance act cannot be challenged. As per the commerce clause, the federal government only has the power to regulate foreign commerce and interstate commerce, and any powers not enumerated by the constitution to the federal government belong to the states. So the spreading marijuana legalization will ultimately lead to a constitutional showdown.


Why is this important? The US has only 5% of the world's population, but 22% of the prison population. No other country in the world has so many people locked up, and much of it is for non violent crimes. The war on drugs is a huge part of this ,and this war on drugs must be ended. ..." of Black men have been or will be imprisoned. All this because of an unconstitutional overreach of federal government power and authority.

(Article changed on April 11, 2017 at 16:46)

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http://twitter.com/#!/screenwriter32

Screenwriter. Historian. BA in History and certificate in Latin American studies from Cornell University. MA in English Education from Columbia University. Very interested in public policy.


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