We in Oregon should be grateful to our neighbors to the north on the issue of legalization of pot. They’ve done what Oregon voters refused to do, and thus they are taking a lead in trying to make some sense of this aspect of American life and law.
Like Washington state, Colorado also voted in the general election to make recreational use of marijuana legal. Now these two leaders on this issue will test how legalization by the states works in the face of the continued federal ban. Let’s face facts here: Majorities of voters in two states have voted to rebel against Uncle Sam.
The feds have said little about this outcome other than to point out that marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal law. Theoretically, this should not be a problem.
Theoretically, the administration could say that marijuana prohibition is not among the limited powers of the federal government. The Constitution says nothing about it. That would leave regulation of pot in the hands of the states, where it belongs.
I doubt the government will adopt such a restrictive view of its own powers, even in this limited case. But the alternative — in the case of marijuana in Washington and Colorado now, and maybe on other issues elsewhere later — is an increasing tension between what the central government demands and what freedom-loving citizens want. If that tension builds, if Congress continues to ignore what people in the states want on matters that are not of national concern, then sooner or later that tension will tear the country apart. (hh)
Rhea Graham: The one good thing to them passing it and Measure 80 not passing (in my humble opinion) is that Oregon will not incur the legal costs fighting it at this point. I do believe the tipping point is just about here … Cannabis is a plant from our Creator … face it!