Marijuana

Carly Fiorina Cries Federalism on Marijuana

Without a clear, crowd-pleasing conservative position on issues like marijuana and same-sex marriage, the safe spot for GOP politicians is in invoking federalism.

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Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has been spouting off this week about marijuana. While she doesn't personally endorse legalizing the "complex chemical substance," Fiorina told Fox & Friends Tuesday that she supports the right of states such as Colorado to "make that choice." 

While I don't support legalized marijuana for a whole host of reasons, including the fact that this is a very complex chemical substance, and when we tell young people it is just like drinking a beer, we are not telling them the truth.

But I think Colorado voters made a choice, I don't support their choice, but I do support their right to make that choice.

We can expect to hear some variation on that statement about 3.7 trillion times between now and November 2016. Without a clear, crowdpleasing conservative position on issues like marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage—issues on which younger Republicans poll closer to Democrats than they do to their conservative elders—the safe spot for GOP politicians is in invoking federalism. 

To libertarians, this may seem like a good thing. But all too often, Republicans' federalism incantation is merely a way to say they'll take partial tyranny if that's all they can get. And unfortunately, this sort of "fair weather federalism" tends to discredit the very notion of a fair and principled position toward letting states be the proverbial laboratories of democracy. "For most progressives federalism is linked not just to conservatism but to reactionary racism," noted Jacob Sullum in 2012.

In other statements, Fiorina does reveal herself to be something other than a traditional drug warrior. Watching her stepdaughter Lori Ann struggle with addiction and eventually die from a drug overdose helped Fiorina come around about drug laws, she said. "This is something that hits really close to home to me, and when we incarcerate people for abuse of drugs, we are not helping them," Fiorina told Fox. "We do have to have a different approach to addictions of all kinds." 

NEXT: New York Senate Passes Ban on Powdered Alcohol

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  1. This seems way too harsh to me. I’ll take “fair weather federalism” over no federalism at all. It’s often a sensible compromise and a way to defuse contentious issues, and libertarians can often have victories at the state level that they would not have at the national level.

    1. Yeah, this. It’s a step in the right direction. And more importantly, it allows for lots of other steps in the right direction, and eventually you get pretty close to where you wanted to be.

    2. I have to agree. Too bad Carly can’t be president because she was terrible at managing HP.

      1. Plus, I’m sure she owns expensive things. Thank God we have Hillary, who doesn’t care about such things.

    3. The problem is that “fair weather federalism” too often creates situations where the states bordering CO are suing that state over its marijuana legalization, advocating a legal principle that will VASTLY increase the power of the federal government because they don’t like the pot… while at the same time arguing that Obamacare tramples on states’ prerogatives because they don’t like Obama (I would bet everything I have they wouldn’t give a hoot about this law if it was passed by an R).

      No, I don’t like “fair weather federalism”. Either believe in federalism or don’t.

      1. I don’t see why this is an effect of “Fair weather federalism”. Indeed it seems to be an effect of states trying to discard federalism in whole.

        If Fiorina came out with a statement to the effect of “I think these states have a good claim”, then we could debate that statement. However, to my knowledge she has not. She has not insinuated that this is the place for the fed to be involved, and has not indicated that she would intervene here.

        Federalism naturally implies (fair weather or not) that one state might engage in behavior not condoned by a neighbor. Until a candidate weighs in to say whether or not they would help or assist one of those parties, it is improper to say where that strategy (defined by another) will logically take the country.

    4. Meh. I’ll take it. I’ll just say the devil’s in the details. Calling for federalism is all well and good. Is she willing to dispense with the federal laws that make a mockery of the notion?

  2. “the safe spot for GOP politicians is in invoking federalism”

    Which is actually the *constitutional* position. Or at least it was, while the US constitution was still in force.

  3. “For most progressives federalism is linked not just to conservatism but to reactionary racism,” noted Jacob Sullum in 2012.

    Yeah, and that’s ’cause they believe their own propaganda.

    That’s a bad reason to abandon such a thing.

    Besides, Progressives have learned since then that federalism is just fine … when it suits any goal they like, like marijuana legalization. It’s only reactionary racism when they don’t like the goal or the actor. So, business as usual in politics.

    (I’d rather have fair-weather federalism of convenience than none at all, which is the alternative.

    “Let the states decide” on marijuana is much, much better than “the Federal government can ban it because shut up”.)

    1. “Let the states decide” on marijuana is much, much better than “the Federal government can ban it because shut up”.

      And until a candidate supports repealing current federal law on marijuana, they are saying “”the Federal government can keep on banning it because shut up”

  4. I’d only ask one more thing of any candidate for President at this point:

    Make a clear commitment to reschedule pot immediately, and to push Congress to remove it entirely from the controlled substances act.

    You aren’t much of a federalist, regardless of the weather, if you don’t remove the national government from regulating it. You are essentially saying that you don’t much care if states legalize it (good), but you want the federal government to outlaw it (bad). That’s not really federalism.

    1. Apparently it is not as simple as just having the attorney general or president sign a piece of paper saying the drug has been rescheduled.

      Having all of those dickbags get together to change the laws so that the process could be much easier is sadly too much to ask for.

      1. Well, it may not be as simple as putting pen to paper, but reading that sort of suggests that if the Prez and the AG made it clear they wanted it rescheded, things could certainly happen.
        For starters, the AG could ‘request’ HHS take another look it the matter; I’d bet some minds would change in that case.

      2. Apparently it is not as simple as just having the attorney general or president sign a piece of paper saying the drug has been rescheduled.

        It basically is. If you follow the links, the law simply states that the AG must request an evaluation from the HHS secretary. The evaluation must be made “within a reasonable time”, and the law does not require the AG to give the evaluation any consideration (except in the case when HHS says the substance should NOT be controlled).

        1. Given what EPA is doing with plant food, don’t think for a second that they couldn’t reschedule marijuana. That’s just more ass covering from WaPo.

          1. Oh I agree with you that it is a simple procedure in theory, but once it seems like if a president were to want to reschedule the drug they would have potential legal/dc bullshit to deal with.

        2. “[…]If you follow the links, the law simply states that the AG must request an evaluation from the HHS secretary.[…]”

          Gracias.
          I fell for the innuendo that certain conclusions were required. Ixnay.

    2. This is the problem I have with the “Federalism” argument when it comes to Marijuana. Ultimately they have to do more than just put forth a statement that “we should let the states decide” when you have a variety of cases in Colorado and Washington involving people who were in line with state law but are currently have their lives ruined because of federal law.

      There needs to be a follow up question when they give the “Federalism” answer along the lines of “does that mean you will suspend and/or eliminate any current or future federal prosecutions that conflict with state marijuana laws?” and see what they say.

      I already know Fatties answer, let’s hear what the others who cry Federalism have to say.

    3. You aren’t much of a federalist, regardless of the weather, if you don’t remove the national government from regulating it.

      Thank you. Much better said than I could have managed.

  5. i’ll get behind anyone that also has the guts to say the same thing about federal transfer payments – medicare, SS, medicaid, EITC, SSD, foodstamps, section 8, etc. let the 50 states concoct whatever “general welfare” pleases their hearts. and see who thrives and who goes bankrupt.

    the vast majority of our problems, financial and otherwise, arise because policy for the entire 330M nation is dictated by an absurdly small group of political hacks.

  6. The very best thinkers are the ones who require a family member to be personally affected before critically analyzing a policy issue.

    1. +1 Rob Portman

  7. But.. what if they make a powdered marijuana that people could put up their asses?

  8. What the hell happened to here? I thought she used to be pretty.

    1. She had cancer. I think the chemo did a real number on her.

      1. I was going to make a jab about her chicken legs, but now I’ve been shamed into not doing so.

          1. Well, now we have a choice. Chicken legs or cankles. Make your choice.

            1. Either way, I’m getting pretty hungry.

              1. Ham, or chicken?

                1. Either, sure

                  1. Ham wings. Fusion cuisine.

  9. she right, beer is much worst then weed

    1. It should be poured back into the horse? Or maybe fed through a woodchipper?

    2. 10x worserer.

  10. This is a reasonable compromise. There are still a lot of drug warriors out there in both parties. And they still vote.Getting the feds out of it and leaving it to the states would not be perfect, but it would be an improvement and something people who still support the drug war might live with.

    1. Getting the feds out of it is a sure path to legalization in every state. It’s just a matter of time. The reasons being 2 things. One, the pro-legalization side now enjoys a majority in public opinion and that’s only going to increase. Two, the more states that legalize, the more other states that will get jealous and want them some of that revenue they’re missing out on.

      1. Three, prohibition either becomes very expensive or unenforceable when you don’t have the benefits of scale or the ability to print your own money.

        1. It’s always been very expensive, but hey, it’s not their money they’re spending, it’s ours.

          And it’s never been more than randomly enforceable.

          Cannabis will eventually be legal nationwide, but it won’t slow down the drug war at all. They’ll just invent more scary substances to ban. They’ll also focus on forcing people into treatment who are busted for DUI of weed, and so the DEA will branch off into tax payer funded treatment programs that the offenders extortion victims will be forced to pay for.

          1. Most of the WoD is the War on MJ. If MJ is legalized the WoD isn’ just slowed down it has a giant hole in it.

            1. They’ll just find other ways to harass, rob, extort, and imprison the citizenry. These people don’t know any other way. Legalizing weed is not going to stop them.

              There has to be a large scale uprising against the way things are and a general change in the way people think and what they will tolerate. We will have to take power and money out of politics and severely curtail the power and size of government.

              We basically need a new enlightenment. But sadly, it looks like we’re getting close to a new dark age.

              1. it looks like we’re getting close to a new dark age.

                Please, stop. Just stop. This is basically the H&R equivalent to The Population Bomb. It’s that stupid.

                They’ll just find other ways to harass, rob, extort, and imprison the citizenry.

                Like what? They have to be able to get lots of money without pissing off The Mob. The WoD is the easiest cash cow by far.

                1. Like what?

                  Really? Are you still living on that iceberg in the Yukon?

                  1. I asked you the question.

                    1. No, I asked you! I know you are, but what am I? Neener neener neener!

                    2. Your neener needs to be recalibrated. Visit the DNV at once.

                    3. Considered this site was just subpoenaed, it was a stupid, stupid question. Like what, huh. Can’t think of anything. Anything at all the federales might do to harass, rob, extort and/or imprison the citizenry? Anything?

                      Take your time. It’s right there on the tip of your tongue.

                    4. None of those things are as profitable as the WoD. You two miss the point, which is stupid.

                    5. Oh, so now it has to be profitable harassment, robbery, extortion and imprisonment.

                      You hear that, y’all? Harassing Reason and charging our peeps doesn’t count unless the feds make enough money at it.

  11. “All or Nothing” libertarianism is a good way to get nothing.

    1. What’s the name of your other leg? Wait…did I do that right?

      1. Also, is there a defense fund being set up for Agamemnon and the others?

        1. That’s Agamamom (I think) to you, sir!
          Anyhow s/he supposedly had a funding site up, but no one has posted a link, and I’m damned if I know how to find it.

          1. Agammamon, guys. You’re thinking “Greek”, when you should be thinking “Digimon”.*

            *Not an actual Digimon reference, as far as I am aware.

            1. It doesn’t matter the source, I can’t spell for shit.

            2. when you should be thinking “Digimon”

              I’ll allow it.

              /I, for one, would be happy with some Digimon references, HoD.

            3. Of a certain age, here, HoD. I had to search Digimon to find out I don’t know a thing about it.

      2. The other leg is unnamed. But I guess TwoLeg would be the obvious choice.

        I created this account when I was laid up after having my patellar tendon re-attached (a rec-league softball career ending injury), so I went with Stevie OneLeg. Not very creative, but I was enjoying pain meds at the time.

        Alas, no more softball, and I haven’t run since July 2011. But I can hike and walk, which at my age is plenty good enough for me.

    2. Indeed. It took quite a while of slowly growing the government to get to where we are today. Likewise, it’ll be through small steps that we shrink it back down. Most conservatives aren’t going to jump on board with a candidate that says “end the drug war.” They might tolerate one that says “legalize pot.” Then, when the world doesn’t end they might be open to loosening up on another drug, and another, until it’s all legal. Same with most other conservative/libertarian differences.

      1. Unfortunately most conservatives put freedom on the backburner while they pursue their latest stupid idea ex Border Wallz.

  12. What makes her a “fair weather federalist” and not just a “federalist”?

    1. The states are responsible for the National Weather Service on sunny days. The feds are still responsible for it on stormy days.

  13. Who gives a shit what that incompetent twat’s opinion is on any issue at all?

    She wrecked HP. She got shitloads of money for leaving. Time for her to fuck off and STFU.

    -jcr

    1. She’s rich and knows the right people. Thus, we’re going to be told how important she is until we give in and stop thinking.

  14. Refer to the founding documents, which are based on natural rights.

    We hold these truths to be self evident = natural rights

    We are born free with rights – they are not given by government – we are born with them.

    I own my own body – I control my own body. I can put into it what I want.
    Therefore the war on drugs is a violation of my natural rights.

    In addition, the US Constitution does not give gubmit authority to tell me what I can or can’t put into my own body.

    When the killjoys wanted to stop alcohol production – a US Constitutional amendment was passed.

    No such amendment exists for reefer, or LSD , etc.

    Therefore the war on drugs is un Constitutional.

    These totalitarian morons should move to their totalitarian paradise in Saudi Arabia or N Korea and leave us alone.

    1. “These totalitarian morons should move to their totalitarian paradise in Saudi Arabia or N Korea and leave us alone.”

      Trying to get on the list, I see.

      Really, the more I think about that the angrier I get. They absolutely must not be allowed to win at this.

  15. ” And unfortunately, this sort of “fair weather federalism” tends to discredit the very notion of a fair and principled position toward letting states be the proverbial laboratories of democracy.”

    I think the pot just called the kettle a racial slur.

  16. Politicians are the slimy goo on the bottom of the barrel of civilization. ‘We should let the states decide’ is the safe non-answer these days for your seriously aspiring Republican.

    Even Rand has feel victim to it. Although, I believe Rand is more sincere about it than this Fiorinorino dingbat.

    1. “Victim” to it? Please stop this you should be smarter than this. This is a major improvement and signals that we are winning.

      1. Libertarian moment?

        1. Yes, and your handle is just making it better!

          1. signals: The triumph of symbolism over substance..

  17. Federalism is where progressive grassroots could be cleaved off from progressive elites. Just quote FDR – before he became Prez.
    http://www.lexrex.com/enlighte…..ddress.htm

    The doctrine of regulation and legislation by “master minds,” in whose judgment and will all the people may gladly and quietly acquiesce, has been too glaringly apparent at Washington during these last ten years. Were it possible to find “master minds” so unselfish, so willing to decide unhesitatingly against their own personal interests or private prejudices, men almost god-like in their ability to hold the scales of Justice with an even hand, such a government might be to the interest of the country, but there are none such on our political horizon, and we cannot expect a complete reversal of all the teachings of history.

    What are the underlying principles on which this Government is founded? There is, first and foremost, the new thought that every citizen is entitled to live his own life in his own way so long as his conduct does not injure any of his fellowmen.

    Let us remember that from the very beginning differences in …habits and modes of living in States separated by thousands of miles rendered it necessary to give the fullest individual latitude to the individual States…It must be obvious that almost every new or old problem of government must be solved, if it is to be solved to the satisfaction of the people of the whole country, by each State in its own way.

  18. In addition to our own personal Troubles, Sargon of Akkad now has his own little free speech squabble with the Guardian.

    “The Guardian have rejected my dispute of their copyright claim, which I am frankly shocked by.

    They absolutely know that under UK law, I am entitled to quote their work for “criticism and news reporting” which is precisely what I’m doing and is the very same law that allows the Guardian to operate as a news organisation.

    Needless to say, if the Guardian does not accept this appeal then the matter will be taken to court, which I am absolutely confident I will win.

    If anyone has any further information or advice, please do leave a comment. ”

    He quoted a Guardian video in order to criticize it and they claim this is a copyright violation.

    1. It’s become clear to me that we have to ban woodchippers.

      1. Mine is black and made out of plastic and it’s the preferred woodchipper of African warlords.

        #sensiblewoodchippercontrol

        1. General Buttnaked probably carries one.

      2. I’m pretty sure that Lynch, Loretta agrees with that. And I of course agree with everything Lynch, Loretta thinks.

      3. Even A Salt WoodChippers?

        1. It’s the bayonet lug that’s makes them dangerous.

          1. Don’t downplay the flash-hider..

            1. That fore grip creeps out a lot of people – lose it

        2. Does it contain at least 10 us made components?

            1. You know what that puts me in the mood for.

              1. Fallout 3?

            2. Yeah.. Herman chops alright, but does he chip?

    2. And the UK has ‘loser pays’ provisions, correct?

    3. Either the Guardian assumed some internet passionate like Sargon wouldn’t be so uncouth as to challenge their decree, or they’re unconcerned about the possibility of losing the case. Neither possibility speaks volumes in favor of copyright laws in the UK.

      1. internet… pissant, you brainless autocorrecting twerp.

        1. Feed it to the woodchipper!

    4. I thought it was already settled as the video is now viewable

  19. “For most progressives federalism is linked not just to conservatism but to reactionary racism,” noted Jacob Sullum in 2012.

    So fucking what? For most progressives libertarianism is linked to people dying in the streets, pollution everywhere and re-enslavement of black people, but you don’t write the articles about how it discredits any notion of fair and principled position on anything.
    Seriously, why should either Republicans, conservatives or libertarians give a flying fuck about what progressives think?

    1. Sometimes the Reason staff go out of their way to completely vindicate the Cosmo label.

    2. Well, it helps to know what your opponents think, so that you know better how to counter their arguments and promote your own positions.

  20. “To libertarians, this may seem like a good thing. But all too often, Republicans’ federalism incantation is merely a way to say they’ll take partial tyranny if that’s all they can get. And unfortunately, this sort of “fair weather federalism” tends to discredit the very notion of a fair and principled position toward letting states be the proverbial laboratories of democracy. “For most progressives federalism is linked not just to conservatism but to reactionary racism,” noted Jacob Sullum in 2012.”

    Can someone explain why the fuck Reason is complaining about Republicans supporting federalism on the subject of pot? If Republicans go the federalism route, that would effectively mean the end of the DEA since it would become a state issue rather than a federal one. It also means Republicans are planning to support Colorado and Washington as well as any future states that legalize weed, which seems a hell of a lot better than what the Republicans were saying on the subject even 5 years ago.

    1. Also, I don’t know what that Sullum quote has to do with anything. How are Democrats going to claim Republicans supporting federalist weed laws is somehow racist? I mean, maybe they’ll try at the Daily Kos, but I don’t suspect that argument will gain much traction.

    2. Because cosmos.

    3. “..It also means Republicans are planning to support casually ignore Colorado and Washington as well as any future states that legalize weed..until the day after inauguration”

      ftfy

    4. I don’t understand it either. It seems as small-government as you can get. Does Reason want an amendment forcing states to legalize it? That seems like it could backfire.

  21. Look, federalism is an out for Republicans wanting to extricate themselves from the culture war. It allows them to gently leave room for an outcome the conservative base might not like. Yes, it’s opportunism, but we’re talking about politicians here. And, when someone wants to surrender, you should usually let them.

    1. Oh no not Reason! They have to find a way to unnecessarily needle things and fuck up a victory! For their next act, they’ll refuse to support Rand Paul because of his heteresy regarding the anti-ISIS campaign.

      1. heteresy

        I’m stealing that.

  22. May the ice skimming mammals that celebrate a large burst of high voltage in the atmosphere be victorious tonight

    1. The Chargers are playing on ice?

      /unclear on the concept

      1. I refuse to acknowledge visually observing the action you just engaged in

      2. Go Bolts!

    2. The squirrels are dancing in the hail?

      1. Yes, they are strong tonight

  23. THIS IS MY WOODCHIPPER! THERE ARE MANY LIKE IT, BUT THIS ONE IS MINE!

    I just wanted to note that for the record.

    1. “Win one for the chipper”..

  24. You know who else stated he was taking a “federal” tack while actually nationalizing things….

    1. Lake city arsenal?

  25. Woodchipper Servants!

    1. At your command, sirrah

  26. Fair weather federalists look like the flip side of politicians and law enforcement types who become anti-drug war advocates AFTER they leave office. I have no trust that an incoming politician would actually stand by his/her words that would have them act to release the Feds grip on anything.

      1. If Rand makes that his new t-shirt, he’s locked up my vote for good.

    1. And, notice the “I Love Compliance” items they offer.

      1. Where’s the fun in bending over if there’s nothing to take?

        1. Huh. An “I Love Compliance” strap-on….

      2. Rape Culture!!!!

  27. There really is no such thing as peak derp.

    Hey, let’s nuke Russia!

    1. Well, you say that.. buuuuuttt.

    2. What’s awesome is that was brought to you by the same guy who made this video:

      Miley Cyrus a Bisexual Illuminati Porn Star “

      1. Who knew Disney was a Bisexual Illuminati Porn Star producing factory? My respect for them just up a notch.

        1. Yeah, but it’s Miley Virus Cyrus….

          I mean, if they had produced something worthwhile, the praise might be warranted.

  28. Just posting because of my handle change (I did it because everyone else was, that’s how much of an individual I am)

    1. Yours has a… different meaning.

      1. He has to be careful of wood peckers now.

        1. Splinters and all that

      2. Playa,
        Hetch Hetchy in the water thread…

        1. So your water still tastes like a melted glacier. Lucky you.

          Mine is…. gritty.

    2. Also, if you’re looking for the toaster strudels, I got real high last night and ate them all.

    3. I myself would never behave in such a …….. oh, fine

  29. (Cosmo)tarians are perfectly happy to appeal to federalism whenever there is some federal government program they don’t like and they can claim the federal government has “no power to do this.” I’m sure in a few years we’ll be told the right to use marijuana, like the right to homosexual marriage, is a “constitutional right,” states can’t take away.

    1. “[…]I’m sure in a few years we’ll be told the right to use marijuana, like the right to homosexual marriage, is a “constitutional right,” states can’t take away.”

      What mean?
      Rights and freedoms have nothing to do with the constitution other than that document requiring the gov’t to recognize them.

    2. Would you like go head first or feet first into the woodchipper?

    3. “‘Im sure in a few years we’ll be told the right to use marijuana, like the right to homosexual marriage, is a “constitutional right,””

      Please point to the article in Reason saying that Gay Marriage is a “constitutional right”

      AFAIK, the word ‘marriage’ does not even appear in the document. Your insinuation that ‘this is what libertarians argue’ is a bullshit stawman.

      (some) libertarians may support a federal process to rationalize gay marriage across states (i.e. making requirements that states respect other states statutes), and some may not

      its certainly not any kind of doctrinaire view, and certainly not one appealing to “constitutional rights”

      1. So much spilled ink on a troll.

        We’re gonna get a lot of these in the near future.

        1. “We’re gonna get a lot of these in the near future.”

          Not sure.
          We’re getting Tony like always, Sam Hayson has shown up (tulpa sock?), but Bo, turd and commie-kid have *disappeared!*. The Obo-Iraq-war thread was pretty much a turd-signal and it got nothing. Could be coincidental or could be other incentives; I’ll take it.
          But some commenters like Scruffy Nerfherder have bailed; not good.
          Anyhow thx for the info.

          1. I really shouldn’t say that like I know for sure. With the national attention that Reason is getting, who knows what will happen?

            1. I guess that what will happen is that our yokeltarians will slowly be replaced with chavitarians.

              Just because.

              1. oy, i’ll ‘ave you, u moufy cunt

                1. U wot m9?

  30. I just remembered that gov can also V-chip our love of woodchippers!

    1. You can shred, you just can’t broadcast.

  31. Where is AC?! And I don’t mean Slater.

  32. So why not feralism? I believe in feralism. FYTW.

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