With the presidential election season in full power, it seems there is one thing on every marijuana enthusiast’s mind in legal states: who is going to protect my rights? Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington D.C. all have legal recreational marijuana, this is a big question in the upcoming election. Who is going to honor these states’ decision and who is going to shut it down when their term begin? Especially with the recent Republican debates, it seems some Republican candidates will have absolutely no problem showing up to Colorado’s door with federal agents.
However, this question may soon be over with. Diana Degette, a Democratic representative from the state of Colorado, has introduced the “Respect States’ and Citizens Rights Act,” which would disallow federal intervention of this kind. Whoever the president may be, they would not be allowed to interfere with states’ decision on the legality of marijuana for recreational or medical purposes.
Furthermore, another similar bill has been presented in the House of Representatives by the Republican representative from the State of California, Dana Rohrabacher, called the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015.” The goal of this bill is more focused on the immunity of marijuana businesses that are within their state’s laws from federal consequences, but it would also put some restrictions on the federal government’s ability to influence state law on marijuana.
But isn’t this all a bit ridiculous? Why is any of this necessary? Most states have democratically voted to legalize marijuana medically or recreationally on the ballot, and it wasn’t even a decision of state officials. Should the voice of the federal government really be more prevalent in state policy than the citizens that live in the state? Plus, why bother even have a 10th amendment if this would have to be decided upon by congress anyways?