In 1996, voters in California passed Proposition 215 – the beginning of the modern nullification movement.
In the run up to the vote – three presidents came out to the state to explain that voters really weren’t “allowed” to do this, Why? The supremacy clause of course. And marijuana was and is illegal under federal law.
Well, that marketing campaign didn’t work out too well for them.
When Prop 215 passed, the message from the Clinton administration was the same – we don’t recognize your state law. Attorney General Janet Reno said, ”We want to make clear that Federal law still applies.’”
An LA Times article dated Jan. 1997 repeated the same message, noting that “Federal officials … vowed to pursue California physicians who recommend marijuana for their patients.”
The threats from the Clinton administration didn’t stop people in California, or other states for that matter. And by the end of his term, seven states authorized medical marijuana in defiance of federal law.
From there, the Bush administration ramped it up, taking a hard-line public stance asserting federal law ruled the roost on weed, conducting roughly 200 marijuana raids in states over his two terms. And in 2005, the Supreme Court also affirmed this uncompromising federal supremacy in Gonzales v. Raich.
Those actions didn’t stop the trend in the states either. By the time Bush left office, there were 13 states defying the feds on marijuana.
From there, the Obama administration ramped it up still further.
Now I know the propaganda is strong in this country – and for some reason, there are people who want you to believe that Obama took a hands off approach on weed.
This is a total lie.
By the end of just his first term, his administration conducted 270 raids. That’s more than four terms of Bush and Clinton combined.
At the end of his term, there were 29 states with some form of marijuana legalization on the books, and this summer, West Virginia will bring the number to 30.
COLORADO AND CALIFORNIA
Just about five weeks before Colorado’s retail marijuana law went into effect in Jan 2014, Obama and the DEA sent a warning shot – and conducted the biggest set of marijuana raids in Colorado history.
That didn’t work either. Today, it’s a 1.2 billion dollar business per year.
And that’s nothing compared to California, which doesn’t start retail sales like Colorado until sometime in 2018. As a medical product, marijuana is the #1 cash crop in the state – about 2.8 billions dollars in sales per year. That’s more than milk, almonds and grapes – combined.
There well-over 1000 marijuana shops in Los Angeles alone. Some have reported it being as high as 1700. That’s more than Starbuck’s and 7-11 stores … combined.
We ran some numbers on this and found that it would take about 40% of the DEA’s yearly budget to shut down just Los Angeles.
What’s the message here?
When enough people say no to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to force their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats.