Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced plans to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing on Sep. 10 regarding federal marijuana policy, and says that state laws legalizing cannabis use, although in contravention of federal law, "should be respected." From Roll Call:
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy will hold a hearing on marijuana policy after the Senate returns and said Monday that state laws legalizing the drug “should be respected.”
The Vermont Democrat’s inviting Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to testify at the Sept. 10 hearing.
Good for Senator Leahy. Perhaps he is learning respect for the Tenth Amendment. Perhaps, do we dare hope, he is coming to recognize the grotesque abuses of the interstate commerce clause that have for decades been used to justify every federal law that has passed with no apparent Constitutional authority.
Then again, perhaps not. He has not, after all, been a vocal defender of Firearms Freedom Act legislation, passed in many states, and pending in others, that would nullify federal gun laws as applied to guns that are not to be sold outside the state in which they were manufactured.
In this, he appears to echo the position of the Obama administration--at least giving lip service to state sovereignty regarding marijuana laws, but repressing Firearms Freedom Act laws with all the power the federal government can bring to bear, whether legitimately or not.
That would seem to be a difficult position to defend. If the federal government, after all, has no legitimate authority over purely intrastate commerce in marijuana, what is the source of such authority for regulation of guns? And that, by the way, is without even bringing the Second Amendment into the discussion.
Missouri, remember, is in the throes of its own battle to pass a law to protect Missourians from unconstitutional federal gun laws. Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed Missouri's HB 436, the "Second Amendment Preservation Act," which would nullify every unconstitutional federal gun law (just about all of them, in other words). Nixon claims that state laws that run counter to federal laws are unconstitutional, and he does not care to address the problem of the federal laws in question themselves being unconstitutional.
Still more bizarrely, some Democrat Missouri legislators, even those who have stated an intention to vote to override Nixon's veto, claim to agree with that assessment. Pointing out the hypocrisy of Leahy's and others' apparent new embrace of state sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment when it comes to pot, but their rejection of them when it comes to the palladium of liberty, is absolutely vital.
By the way, the vote to determine whether or not Nixon's veto is overturned is apparently scheduled for Sep. 11. That is also the day Gun Rights Across Missouri will be holding a rally at the capitol to support the override attempt. The featured speakers alone should make that an event worth attending, if you can.
Gun rights advocates and marijuana reform activists are not commonly regarded as natural allies, but in this case, they are fighting the same battle--the battle against a federal government that has usurped power to regulate things over which it has no legitimate authority. Hang together . . .
Update: Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman has more, in "Hurt gun collectors, not pot smokers, says Obama admin."
- Medical marijuana and guns: The Obama administration's split personality on state sovereignty
- Administration's mixed message on guns and medical marijuana sows confusion
- Missouri, look to Wyoming to see how getting a Firearms Freedom Act is done
- Can gun rights advocates and marijuana advocates unite for state sovereignty?
- Brady Campaign compares state determination of gun laws to crack cocaine
- Gun rights and marijuana reform--strange bedfellows, or match made in heaven?
- Firearm Freedom Act supporters not legitimate participants in political process?
- ATF letter to FFLs makes it clear: No guns for pot users
- Legalized pot would provide no pass against federal gun law
- Colorado, Washington pot reforms make 'progressive' case for Firearm Freedom Act
- Missouri House Democrat implies desire to sell citizens' gun rights to feds
- Missouri House resoundingly passes strong 'Second Amendment Preservation Act
- Gun bill veto override action expected on both sides of Mississippi
- Missouri Dems uphold Constitution, think they're violating it, do it anyway
- Hurt gun collectors, not pot smokers, says Obama admin.