They Can't Take Your House, But They Can Still Take Your Weed


It was a bad night for marijuana, with legalization initiatives losing in Colorado and Nevada while South Dakota rejected a medical-marijuana measure. On a happier note, the backlash against eminent domain is spreading, with property-rights protections passing in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, and South Carolina — everywhere but California, Idaho, and Washington.

The three propery-rights initiatives that failed — and, in Arizona, one of the initiatives that passed — went beyond restricting Kelo-style seizures, by calling on the government to compensate landowners when regulations restrict the use of their property. (A similar law passed in Oregon in 2004.) Opponents claimed this would break the government's budget. Presumably they prefer to break the budgets of private citizens.