Signup for our free newsletter:

Defending the Tenth Amendment

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted January 20, 2013

The Tenth Amendment doesn’t matter.

At least, that’s how the thugs in Washington see it…

Back in November, I warned that despite a new Colorado law that allows for the legalization of marijuana for use by adults, residents of the Centennial State state can still face prosecution, fines, and jail time if the mood strikes anyone in the Obama administration.

Don’t believe it?

Well, tell that to Aaron Sandusky, a law-abiding California resident who was just sentenced to ten years in prison for operating three medical marijuana dispensaries in a state that allows such operations to exist.

Guns Drawn

In 1996, California legalized medicinal marijuana and authorized nonprofit cooperatives as dispensaries in 2004. And for years, Washington stayed out of it, just as it should.

But in 2011, the Feds decided to swoop in with guns drawn and shut down perfectly legal operations per California state law — a law that Washington decided was not relevant and just didn’t work with its continued and horribly failed $1 trillion War on Drugs.

Folks, that’s what it all boils down to.

In an effort to continue one of the deadliest and costliest wars in U.S. history, Washington huffed and puffed and reminded California that there really is no such thing as states’ rights — regardless of what is guaranteed in the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Ignore the Tenth Amendment

Speaking to the jury in Sandusky’s case, the judge made the following statement:

Congress has defined marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance, making it illegal under federal law. You must disregard any state or local law to the contrary.

Translation: Ignore the Tenth Amendment!

According to a report from AllGov, the defense was discouraged from arguing that Sandusky was obeying California law, using public statements made by Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama, or citing FBI agents who, they said, had assured Sandusky his actions were legal.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Feds have disregarded state marijuana laws and trampled the rights of hard-working entrepreneurs…

It wasn’t long ago when 34-year-old father of two Matthew Davies found his legal marijuana growing operations raided by federal agents. Although Davies had complied with all of California’s laws, Washington didn’t care.

And now, the Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for California’s Eastern District is trying to get him to agree to a plea that would include a minimum of five years in prison.

There was an interesting analysis of this case in the Atlantic last week, where writer Conor Friedersdorf wrote:

Let’s set the legal questions aside and think through the cost of this course:

  • The opportunity cost of focusing on other crimes

  • $235,000 in incarceration costs

  • Two young girls with an absent father

  • Substantial lost tax revenue from his operation

  • Other marijuana sellers go underground

  • Less savory drug dealers, including violent cartels, get more business

  • More of a hassle for sick medical marijuana patients to get their prescriptions filled.

Doesn’t that seem awfully ‘expensive’ when the only real benefit is sending the message that you can’t get away with openly flouting federal drug laws?”

I agree one thousand percent.

And although I personally have no use for marijuana myself, such a cost associated with these types of harassment cases is infuriating, given the overwhelming economic problems our nation faces today.

The Government Doesn’t Have the Authority

Back in 2007, at a town hall meeting in Durham, New Hampshire, Congressman Ron Paul made a statement about this issue that I believe everyone in Washington should not only memorize, but use it to guide their decision-making process when it comes to state’s rights and the issue of marijuana legalization:

I would absolutely never use the federal government to enforce the law against anybody using medical marijuana. There are a couple of reasons for that. We talk about medical marijuana and, as a physician, it’s controversial in conventional medicine. I happen to believe that it is probably very, very helpful, and I bet you there are a few testimonials for that. But even in the legislative sense — in the political sense the federal government doesn’t have this authority.

I mean, if a state especially comes in and says you can use it, like some of these states have, then for the federal government to come in and say that we are going to override the state law, even if it’s just a modest legalization, and override this law, that’s an offense just on the issue of states’ rights. But how can people do this? How can an individual talk to you like that, and still say, ‘Well, I’m a compassionate conservative I want you to suffer’?

That’s what they’re saying. You know, it’s outrageous.

Just something to think about as a handful of law-abiding citizens gear up to defend themselves against the heavy hand of a few power-hungry bureaucrats, many of whom are the real criminals here.

Live honorably, live free…

Jeff Siegel Signature 

Jeff Siegel
for Freedom Watch