Pubdate: Fri, 02 Jan 2015
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2015 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Marc Garrett


The authors miss the point entirely by using Gonzales v. Raich as 
evidence that federal jurisdiction over home-grown marijuana for 
personal use "has been legitimately invoked." It is as absurd to 
think marijuana grown at home for personal use affects interstate 
commerce as it is to think the tomatoes I grow in my garden affect 
interstate commerce and should likewise be subject to federal 
regulation. While the conservative Justice Antonin Scalia jumped ship 
in Raich, the stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas with his usual 
adherence to the written word of the Constitution did not. He wrote 
in dissent that "in the early days of the Republic, it would have 
been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, 
possession, and consumption of marijuana," and warned, "if the 
Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants 
for personal consumption . . . then Congress' Article I powers . . . 
have no meaningful limits." Justice Thomas then concludes: "If the 
majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now 
regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers 
throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison's assurance 
to the people of New York that the "powers delegated to the Federal 
Government are 'few and defined', while those of the States are 
'numerous and indefinite.'" Mr. Rivkin and Ms. Foley, Congress, and 
the majority in Raich got it badly wrong.

Marc Garrett

Remsenburg, N.Y.
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