Obama on Medical Marijuana: Getting Clearer

Last summer, when Barack Obama repeatedly distanced himself from the Bush administration's policy regarding medical marijuana, he stopped short of explicitly promising to let states go their own way in this area. But two recent interviews seem to have eliminated any wiggle room on that question. 

Until now Obama's firmest stand was the one he took on August 21 in Nashua, New Hampshire. Asked if he would continue the Drug Enforcement Administration's raids on medical marijuana users and their caregivers, he replied:

I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources.

That statement still left open the possibility of prosecuting and raiding the people who supply patients with marijuana and are permitted to do so under state law. In a May 9 interview with Oregon's Willamette Week, however, Obama was specifically asked whether he would "stop the DEA's raids on Oregon medical marijuana growers" (emphasis added), and he said:

I would because I think our federal agents have better things to do, like catching criminals and preventing terrorism. The way I want to approach the issue of medical marijuana is to base it on science, and if there is sound science that supports the use of medical marijuana and if it is controlled and prescribed in a way that other medicine is prescribed, then it's something that I think we should consider.

That last part is rather vague: Who is "we," and what is it they're considering? The Obama campaign's response to questions from the Los Angles Times clarifies things a bit:

"Voters and legislators in the states—from California to Nevada to Maine—have decided to provide their residents suffering from chronic diseases and serious illnesses like AIDS and cancer with medical marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering," said campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

"Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice— though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulation like other drugs," LaBolt said. He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course.

It seems to me that Obama now has unequivocally promised to back off and allow states to make their own policy decisions about the medical use of marijuana within their own borders. He also seems to be saying the federal government should consider rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act so that doctors can legally prescribe it. Even if that second part never materializes, on this issue Obama is much better than John McCain, who (as the Times notes) has repeatedly flip-flopped between federalism and drug-war dogmatism, with the latter at this point winning out. 

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  • Plant Immigration RIghts Suppo||

    "It seems to me that Obama now has unequivocally promised to back off and allow states to make their own policy decisions about the medical use of marijuana within their own borders."

    And, of course he would never break that promise for the sake of political expediency.

  • Hormone Cow||

    Obama has taken positions on other issues that have not been popular.

    The latest "summer gas-tax holiday" is the first that I think of. McCain and Clinton both support it, Obama does not. It nice to know that Obama is at least capable of rejecting false populism.

  • SIV||

    PIRS,

    he believes medical marijuana should be subject to [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulation like other drugs

    He doesn't have to break the promise.He put an FDA approval qualifier on it. How long would it take the FDA to approve privately grown "street" mj? I predict the sun will expire first.

  • ||

  • ||

    This is the part of the post that drives SIV nuts:

    "Even if that second part never materializes, on this issue Obama is much better than John McCain"

    Let me repeat that:

    "Even if that second part never materializes, on this issue Obama is much better than John McCain"

    "Even if that second part never materializes, on this issue Obama is much better than John McCain"

    "Even if that second part never materializes, on this issue Obama is much better than John McCain"

  • ||

    Oh, and SIV, here is the whole terrifying quote you referenced (nice try):

    "he believes medical marijuana should be subject to [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulation like other drugs," LaBolt said. He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course."

    That last part is pretty good huh? Wonder how you missed that...

    "while leaving states free to chart their own course."

  • ||

    Interesting point about all this, given that noone can look into the future and see what any candidate "would really" do:

    In 2008 most major candidates trying to win the Democratic party nomination felt for whatever reason they had to say they would leave this matter to the states, while most major candidates trying to win the Republican party nomination felt for whatever reason they had to say that they would continue to send federal law enforcement in to prosecute these people in contravention of state laws.

    Says something about the Democrats vs. the Republicans doesn't it? Something that GOPers like PIRS and SIV hope libertarians don't hear...

  • ||

    MNG, Everybody who's studied libertarian positions knows that we consider the Dems better on social freedoms and the GOP used to be better on economic freedoms.

  • Ken||

    The reality is that if the FDA was regulating marijuana nobody would get it. I seriously doubt that Obama thinks this is an important enough issue to take political heat over. Assuming he is elected, he will probably make it a low priority for the DEA, but nothing will change beyond that. He just won't be willing to do what it would take to actually change the situation.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "Says something about the Democrats vs. the Republicans doesn't it? Something that GOPers like PIRS and SIV hope libertarians don't hear..."

    When did I become a GOPer????

  • Skoal||

    MNG,

    SIV stands for "single issue voter"
    Do you have any idea what his single issue is?

  • Andy||

    Hannity actually tried to hit Obama on medical marijuana last night, as if anyone obsessing over pot was going to vote for Obama anyway.

    Honestly, I think Obama seems too cool/smart to care much about casual drug use, but he can't say what we (read: libertarians) want to hear because "the heartland" might get scared.

  • dodsworth||

    I won't vote for Obama but he is looking better all the time compared to McCain. The frantic attacks by conservtives appear to only be making him stronger. Conservatives hit him with both barrels on Wright and he is still standing.

  • Neil||

    Dodsworth the election of Obama will be the end of America as we know it.

  • ||

    "Says something about the Democrats vs. the Republicans doesn't it? Something that GOPers like PIRS and SIV hope libertarians don't hear..."

    When did I become a GOPer????



    IOW
    Them's fighting words.
    You wanna step outside and say that?
    The village green at dawn. Have your second see my second.

  • Dodsworth||

    Neil:

    Don't you mean McCain, not Obama, will end "America as we know it?" If either of the two is more likely to "blow it up real good," in a fit of rage it is the Mad Bomber. Please note I don't like Obama. I am only speaking in comparative terms.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Neil is doing his damnedest to get me to vote for Obama. Of course, that Neil is a reverse-psychology bot is a definite possibility.

  • Gene Berkman||

    America as I knew it - some respect for constitutional rights, some limits on aggressive war making - ended several years into the Bush Presidency.

    If you think your cliches convince anyone, well dream on!

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    J sub D, the way the G.O.P. has been since - pretty much two days after Newt Gingrich resigned from the H.O.R. I do consider "Republican" to be an insult.

  • ||

    I won't vote for Obama but he is looking better all the time compared to McCain.

    Compared to McCain, unflushed commodes look better all the time.

    I'm pretty discouraged really disgusted by the choices this election.

  • Pottsy||

    Neil is doing his damnedest to get me to vote for Obama.

    He convinced me a few weeks ago. My only qualms lie in the fact that he'll have a Democratic majority on the hill.

  • ||

    "Do you have any idea what his single issue is?"

    Of course. It's the legalization of cockfighting. What's your point?

    "Everybody who's studied libertarian positions knows that we consider the Dems better on social freedoms and the GOP used to be better on economic freedoms."

    You'd think so, wouldn't you, because it seems obvious. But folks like SIV or Guy Montag would disagree with you.

    "When did I become a GOPer????" Oh come on PIRS. Name me a couple of issues on which the Democrats are obviously better than the Democrats (I pulled that on SIV once and he couldn't name one, but of course, he's a GOP shill). It should be easy for any Libertarian to do that.

    BTW-I know folks might think I shill Democrat, but I can name a bunch of issues on which I think the Republicans are clearly better than the Dems: gun rights, affirmative action, immigration (remember I'm against lots of it), "hate speech," eminent domain...I've got hundreds of posts on H&R over the years arguing these positions in that very direction...

  • ||

    Obama Obama Obama

  • ||

    (Stupid html filter. That was to get Neil's attention.)

    Neil, this would be a great time for you to threaten to leave the country if Barack Hussein Obama is elected.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "Name me a couple of issues on which the Democrats are obviously better than the Democrats."

    A higher percentage of Democrats are opposed to torture. A higher percentage of Democrats opposed the "PATRIOT" Act. A higher percentage of Democrats are willing to at least consider legalizing Cannabis sativa. This is not all Democrats mind you but at least a higher percentage. Also, a higher percentage of Democrats are willing to defend the rights of people who produce and or watch pornography. Should I go on? I could also mention that a higher percentage of Democrats are willing to openly defend the rights of members of the GLBT community. Should I go on?

  • ||

    But I do lean Democrat, often quite reluctantly. IMO they are better on:
    Rights of the accused, lifestyle freedom (sexuality, censorship, etc), military spending/jingoism, seperation of church and state, evolution, stem cell research, trade, abortion, workers rights, inequality, environment.

    I realize if were a libertarian many of the Dem party positions would make me anti-Democrat (trade, workers rights, inequality, and I guess the environment [though I've never seen necessarily why there]). But there are a lot of dudes that post here that take the "the GOP is better thand the Dems" on EVERY issue. These people are Republicans, not libertarians. Or they are crazy.

  • ||

    Well then PIRS, I take it back, sorry. Because everything you just said is true. I've had to actually quote figures on each of those to SIV who insists it is "really" conservatives who are better.

  • ||

    Ironically though I can think of very few Democratic politicians I like vs. Republican ones.

    I like McCain. Huckabee. John Warner. Dick Lugar. Chuck Hagel.

    The only Democrat that I like is Jim Webb. And one of those Dems from the Dakotas is pretty good. I like Al Gore, but he's not a Democrat politician anymore (at least not until 2012 if the Dems lose in 08).

  • Pottsy||

    Vote Democratic - We're better by far on social issues, and only slightly more abysmal than the GOP on economics!

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "Well then PIRS, I take it back, sorry. Because everything you just said is true. I've had to actually quote figures on each of those to SIV who insists it is "really" conservatives who are better."

    No problem, even I have made mistakes. Really, I have.

  • Elemenope||

    SIV stands for "single issue voter"

    Jesus Imaginary Christ! All this time I (seriously) thought it was an ironic reference to "Simian Immunodeficiency Virus". I don't know why.

    p.s. MNG, you're on a roll. And I thought I was being cranky today. Your post at 7:10 is particularly precious.

    Do you have any idea what his single issue is?

    No, but I bet it's of limited pertinence to the universe of regular people.

  • jtuf||

    Obama's quotes are encouraging. I will be impressed if he introduces a Senate version of HR 5842. This bill would put medical marijuana in state jurisdiction.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    Mr. Nice Guy, I do NOT like Huckabee. I can't stand him. He reminds me of the kind of person who would become a dictator if he could. He wants to impose his "values" on others even more than most of the Religious right. This is why Salafi Christians love him.

  • jtuf||

    I kind of like having senators running for president. You can check if they follow through on all their campaign promises by looking at the bills they introduce.

  • ||

    Don't trust politicians. "few have virtue to withstand the highest bidder"-Pres. Geo. Washington. As soon as the money starts flowing from the Pharma & petro-chemical industries. It's goodbye to Medical Marijuana. Look up Clinton & Obama's contributor's & you'll know if it's already too late. Besides, what politician in DC doesn't have a secret off-shore bank account? So, Clinton & Obama can still be bought off after they get in office. I left out McCain. It was already too late for us when he came on the seen. I'm a life-long Republican & I'm voting for Mike Gravel. Why? To send a little protest. Plus, all presidential elections are a hoax, always have been. It's the Electoral College who picks our presidents. Oh, by the way. Who picked these bozo's to be presidential candidates in the first place? The worst crop of contender's I've seen in my 33 years of voting. We are truly up Sh*t Creek, with a perforated paddle. The next four years will be worse than when we had Jimmy Carter ruin so many young families with his "do nothing" policy. Yeah, I know Bush & the Republican party have gone to H*ll. But, let's be honest. The Democrat Party isn't going to do any better. That's why I'm leaving the Republicans for the Libertarians. I just don't give a rats rear-end for any thing going on in DC.

  • ||

    Mr. Nice Guy, I do NOT like Huckabee. I can't stand him. He reminds me of the kind of person who would become a dictator if he could. He wants to impose his "values" on others even more than most of the Religious right. This is why Salafi Christians love him.

    I like the ignorant hillbilly whackjob preacher so much I haven't typed out his given name in months. But if you do a site search for ignorant hillbilly whackjob preacher, you just might find some of my posts on the subject.

  • Neil||

    Obama will make Jim Webb his VP if he has any brains between his big ears.

    That would truly scare he if he chose Webb. Not only because hes a turncoat liberal a heartbeat away from the Presidency, but because he would help Hussein win.

  • Neil||

    Can you imagine Hussein Obama's psychotic wife as first lady?

    'Nuff said.

    Nancy McCain is a class act and deserving of that position.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    J Sub D, I did a site search and a Google ad popped up for a site asking me if I want to be an ordained minister. I did find several of your comments as well.

  • Icl||

    Neil, shut the fuck up!
    Do you ever say anything that Rush Limbaugh hasn't said before?

  • Neil||

    Who do you all want as first lady:

    Cindy McCain, or Michelle Obama?

    Exactly!

  • Neil||

    ICL Rush is a great American hero.

    Are you a Democrat Party member?

  • Icl||

    Now I understand why you are so gaga over Hillary.

  • ||

    He's being a weasel. He's a professor of constitutional law, and he knows goddamned well that there's no authority for the federal government to overrule state law on this. It took a fucking constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, and that amendment has been repealed.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Nancy McCain is a class act and deserving of that position.

    Excuse me? The bimbo that he left his first wife for is a "class act"?

    Thanks Neil, that's the funniest thing I read today.

    -jcr

  • ||

    ICL Rush is a great American hero.

    Remind me, why did he get a 4F deferment? Was he already a pill head back then?

    -jcr

  • Neil||

    I'm not "gaga" over Hillary but she would make a better President than the Chamberlin-like appeaser Barack Hussein Obama.

    JCR-

    What do you think about MICHELLE OBAMA?

  • Icl||

    I am a Libertarian. I dislike democrats as much as republicans. I am voting for Obama as the lesser of two evils. If you have so much respect for Rush, you should put quotation marks over all of your comments.

    By the way, get your adjectives and nouns straight.

  • Neil||

    lcl mark my words if B. Hussein Obama wins, in 2012 you will be saying how right Bush was. You will be pining and crying for the George W. Bush years.

  • Elemenope||

    Neil, is Michelle Obama on some ballot we haven't yet heard about?

    Or have you just been bitten by a rabid squirrel?

  • Neil||

    You think Obama will appoint strict constructionist liberty-friendly Conservative judges like Roberts and Alito?

    LOL!!!

  • ||

    PIRS-I dunno, I kind of liked Huckabee. It's hard to justify though I admit. I have to say there is an "irrational" component to it. First of all, when the "financial wing" of the Republican Party hates someone that much (and they really hated Huck), I assume there must be something good or at least willing to buck the party line in that person (and if you scan my list of pols I admire that is one of the common characterstics). I also like candidates that grow up from modest beginnings, and he did (the story of how he met his wife is really charming). And I liked how he had such a "gentle" aw shucks delivery. I liked his talk about how the GOP had to emphasize helping the poor and sick more. If there really were such a thing as a "Christian conservative" who stuck to the "Christian" and "conservative" part equally then I think it would look more like Huck than many others who claim to be that which I see...

    Don't get me wrong, rationally the guy was pretty crazy sometimes (like denying evolution).

    Elemenope-thanks. And SIV's single issue really is cockfighting. Really.

    Actually, there is a logic to it, he reasons that if you really support a government that leaves people alone you have to support one that allows something which is viscerally horrible, i.e., cockfighting. Since he's a conservative he likes that cockfighting has a long history (he's right). This is the kind of issue that he thinks can seperate the "cosmos" from the "paleos" (since "cosmotarians tend to be, you know, civilized and think animal fighting horrible).

    I think where he goes wrong, and he does so with a sheer dogmatism virutally unmatched on H&R, is failing to consider that animals, while they may or may not have "rights" are not property in the exact same way a chair is. To the extent that animals have moral weight then a libertarian can have little problem with government protecting their moral interests to some degree.

    But of course "Single" Issue Voter usually pops up on numerous threads about numerous issues, to give us his GOP-friendly spin. But for all that I have to say compared to someone like Guy Montag he looks like Gandhi+Edison.

  • Icl||

    How are Roberts and Alito "liberty-friendly"
    Please explain.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "I am voting for Obama as the lesser of two evils."

    You do realize there will be more than two candidates right?

  • Edward||

    Jesus, Neil is more obnoxious than I am.

  • Icl||

    "You do realize there will be more than two candidates right?"

    I voted for Harry Browne, and Michael Badnarik before. Unfortunatelly, Libertarian Party is now a party of disgruntled Republicans. After eight years of Bush, I think I'll pass.

  • Elemenope||

    To the extent that animals have moral weight then a libertarian can have little problem with government protecting their moral interests to some degree.

    I agree, that's where my intuition on the issue falls; animals are more like humans than they are like rocks or chairs. As such, they have more moral weight than aforementioned inanimate objects, and such minimal protection as to minimize unnecessary cruelty or suffering, as we are pretty sure that most animals have the capacity to experience pain as an experience fairly cognate with our own.

    But I get where he's coming from. There's lots of human behavior that I find stupid, distasteful, destructive and/or downright barbaric that I'd nevertheless never want the government interfering with. The idea that that makes me a "paleo" is fairly laughable, though. I'm at best a left-libertarian (a creature SIV has repeatedly claimed cannot exist).

  • Neil||

    I agree, a left-libertarian can NOT exist.

    Libertarians are simply people even farther to the right than I am.

  • SIV||

    Good to see my #1 fan is rambling and muttering about me again.

    "Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice- though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulation like other drugs,"

    That seems to clearly state that Obama only supports State's chosing FDA approved medical marijuana. Good luck with finding any of that.

    I suppose it might be a slight improvement if Fed med mj raids are staged by armed agents of the FDA rather than the DEA, well at least until their SWAT/dynamic entry budget comes through.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "First of all, when the "financial wing" of the Republican Party hates someone that much (and they really hated Huck),"

    Well, as a libertarian I have to say that it is the "financial wing" of the Republican Party that bothers me the least of all of the wings on the multiwinged pacaderm. The fiscal conservatives are usually (I admit this is not universal) willing to leave people alone when it comes to cultural types of issues more than the Salafi Christian wing of the Republican Party. These are the "Club for Growth" type people, not the "Christian Coalition" type people.

    "I liked his talk about how the GOP had to emphasize helping the poor and sick more."

    That would be fine with me if he didn't want government to do so with confiscated property.

    [Referring to SIV] "Since he's a conservative he likes that cockfighting has a long history (he's right)."

    So I assume that SIV supports prostitution since prostitution also has a long history. Am I right?

  • SIV||

    Neil,

    Yes


    But recognizing that fact indicates you are a regular posing as a Republican troll.
    Did you say you are from South Carolina?

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "I voted for Harry Browne, and Michael Badnarik before. Unfortunatelly, Libertarian Party is now a party of disgruntled Republicans. After eight years of Bush, I think I'll pass."

    What if the LP candidate turned out to be someone with no history in the Repubican Party?

  • Icl||

    Neil, "people even farther to the right" than you are, are not Libertarian. They are Authoritarian. I know that this is a simplification, but people on the right are proponents of economic freedom and personal oppression. People on the left are for personal freedom and economic oppression. Libertarians support both personal and economic freedom. Most people are forced to choose which freedom is more important to them by voting for Republicans or Democrats.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "Libertarians are simply people even farther to the right than I am."

    Most libertarians reject the Right - Left political paradigm.

    Check out this:
    http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

  • Neil||

    I'm from North Carolina, SIV.

    In the far exurbs of the Charlotte Metro area.

  • Travis||

    "The reality is that if the FDA was regulating marijuana nobody would get it. I seriously doubt that Obama thinks this is an important enough issue to take political heat over. Assuming he is elected, he will probably make it a low priority for the DEA, but nothing will change beyond that. He just won't be willing to do what it would take to actually change the situation."

    Ken is exactly right.

    Obama might be better than McCain on this issue. But when it comes down to it Obama cares more about holding on to power then he cares about the rights of suffering patients.

  • SIV||

    PIRS,

    I think prostitution should be perfectly legal and not regulated by the State.

  • Icl||

    "What if the LP candidate turned out to be someone with no history in the Repubican Party?"

    It's not their history that concerns me it's their views. I am all for second ammendment, but people who make it the center of their platform scare me. However, nothing scares me more than John McCain.

  • Nephilium||

    Mr. Nice Guy:

    Personally, I see Huckabee as the Rev. Scudder in the presidential election... especially after meeting some of his supporters...

    And since I'm already posting... and can therefore convince myself I'm not just feeding a troll (if I am... I blame the damned tasty beers I brought back from Detroit with me)...

    Neil:

    Left-Libertarians can exist... they're just not as bitter and jaded on humanity as some of us. Libertarians are not further to the right then you are... we've got this whole other axis to work on...

    Nephilium

  • SIV||

    Cosmotarians are to the left of libertarians while an-cappers are to the right.


    In the far exurbs of the Charlotte Metro area.


    These days that includes portions of SC.

  • Neil||

    Have you ever been to Iredell County, SIV?

  • ||

    As far as first ladies go, I liked Barbara Bush.

    Neither republicans nor democrats these days want "strict constructionist" judges. Both sides want judges that will legislate their own agenda and not the other side's. An honest strict constructionist republican would admit that the proper, constitutional way of banning abortion would require a constitutional amendment.

  • Elemenope||

    I think prostitution should be perfectly legal and not regulated by the State.

    Since Geroge Carlin is somewhat popular tonight:

    "Selling's legal. Fucking's legal. Why the hell isn't 'selling fucking' legal?"

  • SIV||

    BS,

    My Constitution has something in it about a right to life. Where is that abortion language located?

  • ||

    Yay!

    You're not going to get that out of a baby boomer candidate, on either side of the aisle.

  • Neil||

    I'v heard talk about Hussein winning NC, SC, or Georgia.

    What do you think SIV?

  • SIV||

    Neil,

    The I-40 and I-77 parts. I've stopped to take a leak in Statesville many times. Probably had lunch there once.

  • wormhole||

    Lien | May 15, 2000, 9:43pm | #

    lcl mark my words if G. Walker Bush wins, in 2004 you will be saying how right Clinton was. You will be pining and crying for the William Jefferson Clinton years.

  • Travis||

    I know that Rothbard was the Douche bag who came up with the title Paleolibertarian but who was the turd sandwich who thought cosmotarian was a good name a what the fuck does it mean?

    One reason I think no one wants to be associated with libertarians is the fucking dumb ass names we chose to be identified by. Cosmotarian sounds like someone whose obessed with cosmonauts & Paleolibetarian sounds like a period of time dinosaurs lived in.

  • Neil||

    SIV I live in Mooresville, aka "Race City USA".

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "Cosmotarians are to the left of libertarians while an-cappers are to the right."

    Cospotarian is a meaningless non-word and Anarchocapitalists ARE libertarians by definition and are farther to the north (on the Nolan Chart) than most libertarians.

  • SIV||

    Travis,


    Here is a good definition......


    Bingo | January 10, 2008, 10:59pm | #
    cosmotarians are the coke-snorting limpwristers of the libertarian movement that are afraid of adversity and controversy. Spend most of their time attached to their macbooks typing up policy papers in their hip urban flat and riding their scooter to the local Whole Foods store. Would rather moan about the state of liberty in America than actively work to improve it.

  • Neil||

    Will you vote for McCain, SIV?

  • Rodney King||

    Can't We all Just Get Along?

  • SIV||

    Neil,

    I worked in Cabarrus Co for a little while.
    Believe I drove through Mooresville to get there.

  • SIV||

    Will you vote for McCain, SIV?

    Wouldn't even consider it-- even at gun point. I could have voted for Fred Thompson if he was the GOP nominee. I supported Ron Paul despite some foreign policy disagreements. My legal residency is GA so I never have to make any swing State choices.Right now, I'm supporting Bob Barr although Wayne Allen Root might be closer to passing the "single issue " test.

  • ||

    SIV:
    My Constitution has something in it about a right to life. Where is that abortion language located?

    Our constitution is (in theory) one of specific enumerated powers. Basically, it's a list of things that the feds are allowed to do. If something isn't on the list, then the federal government isn't allowed to do it.

    I see nothing on the list that would allow the feds to legislate on abortion. If you do, kindly enlighten me. What clause are you looking at?

    I hope you won't trot out the ol' infinitely elastic commerce clause - but if you do accept the commerce clause, then you must also accept that supreme court decisions set precedents that are not lightly overturned. In that case, you're stuck with the fact that the supremes have declared Roe v. Wade to be the law of the land.

  • Elemenope||

    My Constitution has something in it about a right to life. Where is that abortion language located?

    It cracks me up that an amorphous bundle of cells which, if it is fucking lucky, might eventually become a baby, is "alive" and "has rights", while a walking tail-wagging puppy dog can eat shit and die if we whim it so.

    SIV, your morals are curious, to say the least, as is your reading of the Constitution. And I'm pretty sure the 14th (life, liberty, property) didn't have fetuses in mind when it was written. I think it was more about darkies...

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    What will it take to end the Washington / Auburn uncivil war? I am getting very tired of trying to get people to realize that ALL libertarians need to work together if we have any hope of achieving a free society.

  • ||

    He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course."

    I'm not sure that position makes any sense. If the FDA decides, then what is there for the states to do? The FDA decision will occupy the field.

    What if the FDA says that marijuana can only be prescribed by doctors who have a special permit from the, you guessed it, the DEA, and is otherwise illegal? And the DEA only issues a handful of "experimental" permits to researchers to allow "further research into its medicinal properties? What independent course, exactly, could the states chart under the Commerce Clause and Supremacy Clause? How would that be materially different from what we have now?

  • SIV||

    BS,

    I think it is somewhere down the list....
    1
    2
    3
    4
    here it is:

    Try the Fifth amendment.Now if those babies get a fair trial before the scrapejob abortion would be constitutionally OK.

  • SIV||

    RC Dean,

    I kinda pointed out the same thing at 6:54. Sullum is one of the smart ones on the REASON staff but I think he failed reading comprehension here.

  • ||

    What do you think about MICHELLE OBAMA?

    Never met her, nor have I listened to any of her speeches, so I don't have any opinion of her. I have no doubt though, that she'd make a far better first lady than Hillary did or Bill would.

    -jcr

  • ||

    SIV,

    The fifth amendment, you say? In essence, the relevant section says "The federal government may not take a person's life without due process of law". Even discounting issues regarding the definitions of "person" and "due process", I fail to see how the fifth amendment is supposed to allow the feds to ban abortion.

    Remember, the bill of rights is essentially a list of things that the feds are explicitly *not* allowed to do. I have a hard time seeing how such a list could be taken as explicitly *authorizing* the feds to do something that they weren't authorized to do prior to the passage of the bill of rights.

    Try again!

  • ||

    Incidentally, the purpose of the commerce clause is to prevent the states from interfering in interstate commerce, not to empower the federal government to interfere in all commerce.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I know that Rothbard was the Douche bag

    You know, tossing off that kind of epithet at a great economist only shows us your own worthlessness.

    -jcr

  • Neil||

    SIV you have to stand with McCain if you are on the right, like it or not.

    The election of Barack Hussein Obama combined with the power of a Democrat Congress will mean the end of America as we know it.

  • SIV||

    BS

    Who said I want the feds to ban abortion?
    I was commenting that a new constitutional amendment is unnecessary for a "strict constructionist" to uphold a states law on abortion.

    You must think you are arguing with your republican ex-boyfriend or something.

  • SIV||

    Neil


    Never. McCain doesn't even pretend to respect the constitution or individual liberty like most republicans do. He is openly contemptuous of such notions.

  • Elemenope||

    The election of Barack Hussein Obama combined with the power of a Democrat Congress will mean the end of America as we know it.

    The America as you know it, Neil, doesn't seem to ever have existed. So, no big loss...

  • Jono||

    John C Randolph, I don't know what the heck you're talking about. I've been reading libertarian blogs and magazines for 2 years and I've never even heard of the word Cosmotarian before today.

    And Paleo-libertarian is rarely used, just as paleo-conservative is rarely used.

  • ||

    you have to stand with McCain if you are on the right

    What, did McCain change sides? When did he become a conservative?

    -jcr

  • SIV||

    To get back somewhat on-topic before I go to bed....

    re: Obama and medical marijuana

    Does anyone that Obama might even consider a SCOTUS nominee he who would not have voted with the majority in Raich?

  • ||

    Jono, looks like you need to re-check who you were replying to.

    -jcr

  • SIV||

    Does anyone think that Obama might even consider a SCOTUS nominee who would not have voted with the majority in Raich?

    fixed a bit

  • ||

    SIV,

    Aha, then I misunderstood where you were coming from. :-)

    Given your clarification, the issue turns into "Does a state have the right to prevent a woman from having an abortion". This hinges on whether the fetus counts as a "person". The constitution doesn't adequately address that issue, so the matter is a proper one for the supreme court to rule on - and the supremes have ruled that a fetus doesn't qualify until it's developed enough to be viable outside the womb.

    If you accept that precedents should be binding, then redefining "person" will require a constitutional amendment.

    If the fetus isn't a person, then the a woman is entitled to do as she pleases with her body. A ban on abortions would violate her 5th/14th amendment rights, and you'd need a constitutional amendment in order to do that.

    No republican ex-boyfriends here - just a pagan girlfriend, and she's very much pro-abortion. Personally I'm neutral on the abortion issue, I think there are good arguments on both sides.

  • ||

    SIV you have to stand with McCain if you are on the right, like it or not.

    The election of Barack Hussein Obama combined with the power of a Democrat Congress will mean the end of America as we know it.


    I was convinced you were a performance artist mimicking an RNC troll (they are rare here). You've been at it so long however, you've sold me.

    So friends let's remember, please don't feed the troll.

  • Clyde Mays, Jr.||

    Is it too much to hope McCain gets cancer, and is prohibited by the laws he supports from easing his pain?

  • ||

    The man in campaigning. Frankly, I wouldn't believe a word he says unless he lit up a joint and inhaled. Even then, I'd be skeptical.

  • adrian||

    What will it take to end the Washington / Auburn uncivil war? I am getting very tired of trying to get people to realize that ALL libertarians need to work together if we have any hope of achieving a free society.

    PIRS: Good luck with that. Even on on this libertarian site half the people are voting for the most socialist member of the senate, somehow justifying it by saying he's better on social issues. The battle is over, 2% will stop nothing. I think it's time for plan B.

  • joe||

    Bingo | January 10, 2008, 10:59pm | #
    cosmotarians are the coke-snorting limpwristers of the libertarian movement that are afraid of adversity and controversy.


    You know, cokeheads. Fearful people, who don't like adversity or controversy. You know, that kind of cokehead.

  • Quigley||

    Interesting that people don't trust Obama on this issue but they trust a vicious drug warrior like Bob Barr to be a good libertarian.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Is it too much to hope McCain gets cancer, and is prohibited by the laws he supports from easing his pain?



    Meh. He'd just have his wife swipe some Oxycontin from some charity.

  • Episiarch||

    Interesting that people don't trust Obama on this issue but they trust a vicious drug warrior like Bob Barr to be a good libertarian.

    Many of us don't trust anyone, and with good reason.

  • Quigley||

    Many of us don't trust anyone, and with good reason.




    Episiarch, you have lurched uncontrollably into the truth.

  • Tim||

    The man in campaigning. Frankly, I wouldn't believe a word he says unless he lit up a joint and inhaled. Even then, I'd be skeptical.

    Oh that's right, I forgot that promising to be less "tough on drugs" is considered pandering.

  • joe||

    Does anyone think that Obama might even consider a SCOTUS nominee who would not have voted with the majority in Raich?

    Maybe.

    Now, does anyone think that Obama might even consider a SCOTUS nominee who would not have voted with the majority in Raich?

    I'm thinking "No," or even "Oh, hell, no."

  • joe||

    Oops, should be

    Now, does anyone think that McCain might even consider a SCOTUS nominee who would not have voted with the majority in Raich?

    I'm thinking "No," or even "Oh, hell, no."

  • Episiarch||

    Episiarch, you have lurched uncontrollably into the truth.

    Yes, because I trust in Xenu.

  • BakedPenguin||

    joe - good point, but would Obama appoint a judge who would have voted in the minority (actually, making it a majority) in Kelo?

    Oh wait, McCain wouldn't. Never mind, nothing to see here.

  • ||

    You know, tossing off that kind of epithet at a great economist only shows us your own worthlessness.

    you can simultaneously be a 'great economist' and a douchebag, and yes, Rothbard was both.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "you can simultaneously be a 'great economist' and a douchebag, and yes, Rothbard was both."

    You mean because he was unwilling to divorce his wife just because Ayn Rand demanded he do so?

  • ||

    BakedPenguin,

    joe - good point, but would Obama appoint a judge who would have voted in the minority (actually, making it a majority) in Kelo?

    If you remember, there were two dissents to that decision. I find it quite plausible, given his work as a community organizer in Chicago, that he would appoint someone who took the Sandra Day O'Connor dissent - that the state doesn't just get to define "public use" any old way it wants, that there need to be standards, or it is ripe for abuse which will mainly fall on the poor.

  • Bob Goodman||

    In the 1980s there was considerable att'n given to the possibility, which legally exists, to get new drugs licensed state by state to bypass FDA. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, unlike the Controlled Substances Act, does not assert authority over intrastate business, with a few exceptions, such as that in a seizure action asserting a presumption of interstate commerce can be made. If you can prove in court that the goods were not in interstate commerce, you can and do get them back. The state-by-state route wasn't taken because enough federal deregulatory sounds were made that it was thought not worth the trouble, especially since it wasn't clear the states would be any easier to get clearance from except in cases where FDA seemed to be acting politically to hold things up.

    So FDA regulation does still leave the field open for state regulation of drugs. Plus, the states can add additional restrictions.

  • danimal||

    Here's a rundown of the current lay o' the land regarding medical marijuana and the possibility of FDA-approval.

    Essentially, the DEA/NIDA effectively bar anybody from conducting research aimed at gaining FDA-approval for medical marijuana. NIDA has a monopoly on marijuana available to scientists (not true for any other controlled substance!) and simply refuses to supply any for studies aimed at gaining FDA-approval. There are scientists who have research plans for medical marijuana approved by the FDA, but they can't get any marijuana from NIDA, so the research is blocked.

    So, the feds can say that marijuana is not a legitimate medicine because it hasn't been approved by the FDA, while at the same time disallowing the FDA to actually review marijuana as a medicine. Awesome.

    In order to bring an end to this absurd situation, the DEA would need to license entities other than NIDA to supply research marijuana. A UMASS professor has been petitioning the DEA for years for such a license. Last year, a DEA judge recommended that the professor be granted a license to produce marijuana. DEA administrators have (surprise) failed to act on the judges recommendation.

    Maybe the next administration will appoint some DEA officials that will actually allow the FDA to take an honest look at marijuana.

    Much more on this here and here .

    And whenever this topic comes up, I can't help but point out that the federal government still supplies medical marijuana to a handful of patients - a situation so hypocritical it's hard to know where to begin.

  • ||

    If McCain were half the maverick he & the media proclaim him to be I would be all over voting for him like white on rice but he isn't. After 7 years of watching this country destroyed from the inside out all in the name of security I am unwilling to take that chance. Obama may not be perfect but he does have the virtue of being honest about some really sensitive issues and medical marijuana is one of them. Personally I find the constant Hussien remarks insulting & offensive. I don't really care about who the country's first lady is since she isn't on the ballot and again find the digs at her to be insulting. That this is the kind of stuff we seem to be hearing about it becomes clearer & clearer just how truly scared Republicans are...or what passes for Republican today. I look forward to a day when I can again vote Repiblican but as of right now the Democrats are a lot closer to my core beliefs then the hijacked Republican party,

  • Plant Immigration RIghts Suppo||

    "Personally I find the constant Hussien remarks insulting & offensive."

    What remarks? Mentioning his middle name?

  • Antiglobalism||

    Why are we so afraid to admit that race has been the main factor in this election race? Obama is our black, politically correct Jesus figure, who will save us from all the racial tensions in America. Guess what, pluralism doesn't work - and Obama's bought up by the oligarchs.

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

  • دردشة يمنية||

  • local medical marijuana d||

    The war on drugs is still ongoing.Many people think that marijuana is just a drug,well it's not just an ordinary drug for many people rely on it to alleviate the symptoms of their illness.Where to find marijuana is the question cannabis users have in mind....

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