the following is based off a speech given at LibertyFest NYC on 10-13-12
Federal campaigns have been a failure. And I’m not talking about elections alone. For over a 100 years – and probably longer – people have been suing and marching and voting bums out. And the result? It doesn’t matter which political party is in Washington DC – or what person occupies the white house – federal power always grows and your liberty is always less.
The liberty movement is ready for a different path. I’m not talking about something new. I’m talking about getting on board with something that’s already happening and already winning. It’s a path that we’ve been advocating for at the Tenth Amendment Center since 2006.
What’s next for the liberty movement? I can answer that in one simple word. Weed.
People have been smoking, growing, buying and selling weed for a long time. Some people get punished for it – and many more actually get away with it. And in my state of california – eventually enough people were on board with this that the political activists decided to take action too – and in 1996, proposition 215 was passed which “legalized” cannabis for certain, limited purposes.
Over the years, the feds have absolutely hated this. At first, they were extremely aggressive in trying to stop people from growing, selling and consuming this plant. But people did it anyways.
And in time – more people got on board and the risk became less. Pretty soon, a number of businesses began popping up around the industry – to the point of what we have today – thousands of businesses around the state either directly or indirectly involved in the marijuana business. This is a market that is nearly impossible to shut down. In fact, today where I live in Los Angeles, there’s literally between 1000-1200 retail marijuana stores – that’s in one city alone.. There are more stores selling marijuana in LA than there are Starbucks and 7-11’s combined.
California, though, hasn’t been alone. By 2005, there were 10 states that were doing the same – and violating federal laws on weed. It was that year that a Supreme Court case was decided on the issue, and in the famous case, Gonzalez vs Raich, the Supremes ruled against the state marijuana laws.
As I was learning about government, I always thought that if the Supreme Court ruled against a law in one state, other states which had similar ones would repeal them. But after that case was decided in 2005, not one single state repealed their medical marijuana laws. And today, another 7 have gotten on board too.
The supreme court may have an opinion on marijuana – or just about anything else – but let ‘em come and try to enforce it!
This is something that we would call Nullification.
The way WE define nullification is like this – it’s “any act or set of actions which has as its result a particular law being rendered null, void – or even just unenforceable in your state.” And you could actually take this on down to the county, town, or local level.
While national efforts to end wars, stop NSA spying, repeal the patriot act, overturn health insurance mandates, audit the fed – and more – have all failed – they all fail – as these 17 states are showing us, Nullification works.
And this November, when people go to the polls, the most important vote isn’t being cast for Obama or Romney or Gary Johnson. It’s not being cast for a Senate or House race. It’s not being cast for anything on a federal level. This November, the most important votes are being cast in Massachusetts, Arkansas, Washington State, Colorado, and elsewhere
In Massachusetts, polls show medical marijuana question 3 up 69%-22%. The 18th state to nullify federal marijuana laws is going to do it by a landslide. Arkansas has a similar initiative that is up slightly in the latest polls.
In Colorado, Amendment 64 is taking things to the next level. they already have medical marijuana. This would legalize the “sale and personal use of marijuana” for people 21 and over. That one is up by 10 points – 50% in favor, 40% opposed. The same one in Washington State, Initiative 502 is polling at 57% in favor with only 33% opposed.
If any of these states pass their marijuana measures – especially the legalization efforts – it will further the de-facto nullification of federal laws on pot that is already happening in 17 states around the country right now.
JUST THE BEGINNING
As Democrats and Republicans continue to work together in DC to take away our rights, it’s states, local communities and individuals which will rise up and save them.
And what is our path? It’s not about federal elections, or federal candidates, or federal campaigns for liberty of any kind. Our path is resistance..
When Rosa Parks refused to move the to back of the bus – she taught us just how to deal with laws that are unconstitutional – immoral – or unjust.
She didn’t comply and then go and spend a bunch of time knocking on doors advocating for a new candidate for office. She didn’t comply and then spend her time in an expensive and unwinnable lawsuit. She didn’t just comply – and then plan on voting in a new politician to change the law which was oppressing her.
She did something that each one of us needs to start doing more often in our lives. She sat there and said NO.
This is really nullification in action – every single time a heroic pot smoker lights up a joint – violating federal law – they’re helping to render that law, null, void, and unenforceable.
The establishment knows this, and wants you to stay distracted with federal, instead of state and local efforts.
The neocon editors of the Wall Street Journal are afraid of our success
They recently wrote this about our work to nullify another monstrosity – NDAA “indefinite detention” powers. They said if these state and local efforts continue to grow around the country…
“[it] would undermine executive war-fighting authority”
Under their twisted view of executive war powers – absolutely. And with your help, that is exactly what we intend to do.