At the ballot box this year, voters will have the chance to rebuke unconstitutional federal mandates on many key issues in states across the country. Here is an overview of the most important ballot measures pertaining to state sovereignty that are on the docket in 2014:
ARIZONA PROP. 122 – SAYING NO TO FEDERAL MANDATES
This measure, if passed, would bolster Arizona’s state sovereignty. It would allow the state to decouple its policies from the feds on issues deemed antithetical to the state constitution. Proposition 122 uses the same basis for much of our legislation, the anti-commandeering doctrine. The anti-commandeering doctrine states that the federal government cannot compel the states to act against their will under any purposes. This proposal could potentially utilize the anti-commandeering doctrine to its fullest extent, using it to deny state-level compliance to the feds on a limitless number of issues.
OREGON MEASURE 91 – MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
Oregon is looking to follow in the footsteps of Washington and Colorado by fully legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and nullifying federal prohibition of cannabis. The federal government bans marijuana in all cases, but the number of states legalizing the plant is making that prohibition a practical nullity. A similar ballot initiative failed for Oregon in 2012, but long-standing biases against the use of marijuana continue are quickly eroding. The vast majority of recent polls show Oregon voters backing the Measure, with one recent poll showing it failing.
ALASKA BALLOT MEASURE 2 – MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
Another state that is attempting to legalize marijuana and nullify federal prohibition during this election season is Alaska. According to a March poll conducted by the Alaska House Majority Caucus, 52 percent of Alaskan voters favor legalization while 44 percent are opposed. With Colorado flush in tax revenue with no spike in the crime rate post legalization, it is becoming more difficult for prohibitionists to mount an effective argument against reform. That stands to help legalizers and nullifiers in Alaska thwart unconstitutional federal marijuana policy.
ARIZONA PROP. 303 – RIGHT TO TRY EXPERIMENTAL DRUGS
Arizona’s Proposition 303 is another measure that would increase health freedom if it passes. It would allow terminally ill patients access to drugs that have yet to be approved by the FDA. Bureaucracies are known for inefficiency, and this lack of action can result in needless death for terminally ill patients. Prop. 303 is a measure that can use state sovereignty to circumvent some of the catastrophic results from the bureaucratic federal system. This measure also demonstrates that the questioning of federal power about what Americans put in their bodies is becoming increasingly prevalent, on more issues than just marijuana.
FLORIDA AMENDMENT 2 – LEGALIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA
While some states are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, others are still working to get medical marijuana legalized. Florida has Amendment 2 which, if passed, would legalize medical marijuana for sick patients. Legalizing marijuana for recreational use has the same nullifying effect as legalizing it for recreational use. Currently, 23 states have legal medicinal cannabis, making it impossible for the feds to enforce its unconstitutional prohibition. While recreational marijuana legalization is constantly gaining in popularity, an overwhelming majority of Americans support medical marijuana. The Amendment needs 60% to pass and it is expected to be very close.
MISSOURI AMENDMENT 5 – PROTECTING RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
By a 61-39 percent margin, Missouri voters passed Amendment 5, a measure that increases gun rights for individuals in the state. It broadens the state constitution so that the right to keep and bear arms encompasses ammunition and other firearm accessories. Language is also removed from the state constitution that prevents concealed weapons from being protected under law. Amendment 5 is a partial gun control nullification measure that can pave the way for further action while increasing the freedoms of Missouri citizens in the mean time.
MISSOURI AMENDMENT 9 – PROTECTING ELECTRONIC DATA
Amendment 9 overwhelmingly passed by a 75-25 margin, amending the Missouri state constitution to fully protect electronic data and communications from unwarranted searches. This is crucial because of the information-sharing agreements that the feds have brokered with state and local government agencies. The feds rely on state and local government to conduct important information-gathering activities that allows them to more effectively spy on all of us and harm the 4th Amendment. Amendment 9 prohibits that immediately. It forces the NSA and other unconstitutional federal bureaucracies to do their dirty work themselves with more far-reaching ramifications if more states follow Missouri’s lead.
To get a ballot initiative started in your state, contact your legislators and politely urge them to introduce one. If that is not possible in your state, urge them instead to introduce regular legislation to protect state sovereignty and fight back against unconstitutional federal behavior. Take these measures to promote nullification in your backyard today!