Minus The Nemesis
A Collaboration of Some of the Finest Thought on Today's World


Wednesday, June 08, 2005
On Monday the Supreme Court ruled on Gonzales vs. Raich and dissapointedly, if not suprisingly, continued a tradition of allowing excessive federal government powers under the guise of the commerce clause.

Angel Raich and Diane Monson, two terminally ill patients, were allowed under California law to grow and smoke pot. The DEA arrested them because while California may allow medical marijuana, the Federal Government does not. The Supreme Court's 6-3 decision explains that under the commerce clause the Federal Government's arrests are valid. Because, you see, two people growing their own pot that they, and only they, smoke for medicinal reasons is commerce. And interstate commerce at that.

Of the 6 concurring with the opinion, there were two different arguments. The first, which 5 Justices suscribed to, is that medical marijuana, if allowed even in small scales, will eventually affect interstate commerce-- thereby allowing federal regulation now. The second argument, authored by Scalia, is that since the Government is allowed under the commerce clause to regulate marijuana, overriding the state perogative to allow medical marijuana is a natural, and legitmate, extension of that authority.

The dissenter's (Thomas, Rehnquist, and O'connor) argument was summed up nicely by Thomas:

"...If Congress can regulate (medical marijuana) under the commerce clause, then it can regulate virtually anything-- and the federal government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers."

It isn't difficult to see the very frighenting potential of this ruling. Art work is bought and sold by various collectors in different states. Under the commerce clause, this opens the door to Federal regualtion. When a child then paints a picture and gives it to her mother that painting, using the case law established in Gonzales vs. Raich, is also subject to Federal regulation.

There is no longer a transaction made, or an item used, that is safe from Federal regulation. Once again, the Supreme Court has made America less free.

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