But people in California – and around the country too – are saying, “enough is enough!”
The issue is medical. It’s moral. And it’s constitutional too.
On the latter, one could simply look to the Tenth Amendment. This is the one which says that the federal government is only authorized to do a limited number of things, and everything else is left to the states or the people as the people of each state determine.
Yup, it’s pretty simple. For example, if you grow some strawberries in your backyard and eat them in your house, those berries would be outside the purview of federal power. It would also mean that if Sacramento authorized your neighbor to run a for-profit strawberry business which raised the plants here in California and sold them in your neighborhood, this business would be off-limits to the feds too.
When thinking of a marijuana advocate, do you normally get the vision of a blue blazer-wearing republican? Well neither do I. And when thinking of your standard constitution-waving Tenther, pushing for states rights and less federal power, do you normally get the vision of a young progressive?
Of course not. The idea seems kinda weird.
But, it’s true. And it’s not just us kooky Californians either. Americans everywhere are breaking the stereotypes that the heartland holds dear.
And when it comes to weed, you can throw those stereotypes out.
STATES VS FEDS
A new national poll has discovered the Tenther in all of us. Americans, by a huge margin, support states’ rights and decentralized decision-making. Well, at least on one issue they do.
In a recent survey of likely voters, Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found 74% – yes, that’s nearly three-fourths of the country – believe that President Obama should respect laws in states where growing and selling marijuana is legal for medical purposes. Only 15% of those polled want to enforce federal law, under which medical marijuana use is illegal.
Ok, so maybe this was just a survey of likely democratic voters, right? Nope. The respondents were approximately one-third each – democrat, republican and independent. Every age and every demographic showed overwhelming support for the Tenther ideology – that the people of the states have the right to be left alone.
More than two-thirds of republicans support the idea, and three-quarters of democrats do too. Men and women equally favor leaving the decision to the states. And, while people under 34 years old were even more supportive – 81% in favor – even older Americans act like Tenthers from time to time too – 64% of those aged 65 and up want the feds to butt out.
It’s got to be a fluke – just one errant poll result, right?
Days later, Rasmussen Reports released another national poll on marijuana. Voters were asked this question, “Suppose the Food and Drug Administration denies approval for a particular drug. If a state government believes the drug has benefits in some circumstances, should the state be able to approve the sale of that drug in that state?”
That’s a pretty radical view, one might think, with a state government not just opposing a federal mandate, but actually facilitating mass defiance to it too.
Barely more than one-third of Americans – 35% – opposed such a position.
WE’RE ALL TENTHERS NOW?
If “radical” tends to imply a minority or fringe view, it appears to me that those who want federal control over marijuana hold a far more fringe view than those of us who want to leave it to the people of each state to determine – the Tenther view.
The real question, though, is this: Like Obama on gay marriage or Romney on health mandates, will the American people prove to be selective Tenthers – advocating decentralization only when it benefits them politically?
I don’t think so. In time, I have a feeling most of us will learn the value and benefit of making the difficult decisions close to home rather than having them made for us thousands of miles away.
For me, I certainly trust my neighbors, even the annoying ones, far more than I’ll ever trust those bought-off politicians in Washington D.C.
NOTE: The preceding was recorded live at the close of Tenther Radio: Episode 51 on June 13, 2012. TRX: Tenther Radio is broadcast every Wednesday evening at 9pm Eastern and 6pm Pacific. Host Michael Boldin, along with rotating guest hosts Jason Rink, Lesley Swann, Nick Hankoff and others talk with top experts, newsmakers, and tenther activists every week. Call the show with questions or comments at 213.785.7848 and stream the broadcast LIVE at radio.tenthamendmentcenter.com