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Legal Assignment Marijunana

2183 words - 9 pages

Federal law prohibits the cultivaton, distribution, and possession of marijunana, even for purported use in the course of a recommended medical treatment. Yet, California established the first state medical marijuana program, enacted by Proposition 215 in 1996 and Senate Bill 420 in 2003, making it legal under State law, to obtain or grow, and use marijuana if recommended by a doctor. As a result, the constitutionality of pro-marijuana legislation and Congress’ power to regulate this sphere have come into question. In light of the recent increase of marijuana related legislation enacted across the country, and for the welfare of North Carolineans, this paper shall address the legal ...view middle of the document...

Licensed collectives that distribute and physcians that recommend marijuana in the State will not be punished.

Does the State have the constitutional right to enact the California Compassionate Use Act?
One of the first fundamental questions that come to mind would be the power of the State to enact such legislation. Under the American Federalist system, according to the 10th Amendment, “powers not granted to the federal government by the constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.”[v] This implies two points on the assumption that regulation of consumption is a state right. First, the federal government can encourage but not force the states to to adopt federal regulations such as the CSA. Extending that argument, the federal government cannot command the state’s officers, or enforce legal compliance. Second, with respect to marijuana, Prop 215 was enacted by initiative process,[vi] meaning that Californians could initiate the voting process and vote for the legalisation of medical marijuana. Since it is the powers of the state and its people to decide so, and the people have spoken, the state does have the constitutional right to enact the California Compassionate Use Act. Even so, it only meant that the Act was enforcable within state jurisdiction, and does not negate Federal jurisdiction.

Can Congress limit the Law of the States?
Congress recognises its limits on its control over state delegated legislation, officers and resources. The CSA does address the above issue under Application of State Law,[vii] in that no provision of this subchapter (the CSA) shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operate, signaling sensitivity to the sovereignty of the States to enact their own laws and police their own citizens. That is “unless there is a positive confict between that provision of this subchapter and that the State law so that the two cannot consistently stand together,”[viii] meaning that Congress is unwilling to relinquish all control over this issue since it is responsible for its own CSA and interstate commerce. Even though Congress have the powers to remove marijuana from Schedule I,[ix] Congress also represents the interest of the United States with regards to the international treaty it signed regarding marijuana, which led it to be categorised as a Schedule 1 drug and ascribed no medical value status in the first place. While it seems to be the case that the federal government is unable to force state legislation to comply with that of federal policies, the above provision is a declaratory challenge to the states that state legislations cannot be in “positive conflict” with a federal statute. Congress is able to challenge the states’ legislation with substantial legislative force under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution[x] that estabilishes federal statutes such as the CSA, and U.S. Treaties such as the Single...

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