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Author Topic: How to Kill the Meth Monster
Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by ken_in_sc:
However, I think the War on Drugs in unconstitutional. Why did the outlawing of alcohol require a constitutional amendment and making it legal again require another amendment? Yet, why did making cocaine, marijuana, heroine, and meth illegal not require a constitutional amendment? Just asking.

First of all, states *did* outlaw alcohol prior to the passage of Prohibition. It's the feds that couldn't outlaw alcohol without an amendment, because alcohol was made (federally) illegal under pre-FDR Supreme Court interpretations of the Commerce Clause.

In contrast, federal restrictions on Heroin did not ever require passage of an amendment, because it requires substances which cross state lines.

Meth did not exist under pre-FDR Supreme Court interpretations of the commerce clause.

Some fed restrictions on Marijuana (the MJ act of 1937) *were* actually declared unconstitutional. Pot's even easier than alcohol for someone to make without involving anything that anyone with any respect for the constitution would call inter-state commerce. Unfortunately, respect for our constitution has diminished to the point that in 2006 the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Raich that "inter state commerce" encompasses a woman keeping a potted plant in her window and smoking some of the leaves for state-approved medical use."

As I see it, federalism died that day, and this is no longer America. The court had previously made number of decisions (Lopez, Morison) which restored meaning to federalism -- only to sweep it all a way out of reefer madness.

Whatever else you may think of Justice Thomas, he hit the nail squarely on the head when he said:

quote:
If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything — and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.

Based on post-Raich intepretations of the Commerce Clause, sex between a husband and wife could be construed as "commerce" and regulable under the commerce clause.

[ November 21, 2010, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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RickyB
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"In contrast, federal restrictions on Heroin did not ever require passage of an amendment, because it requires substances which cross state lines."

That a fact? What substances are those? What substances does marijuana require that cross state lines? Sunshine?

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OpsanusTau
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I think Pete was saying that federal restrictions on marijuana growing are a violation of the Constitution, whereas those on heroin are not.

I wonder - Pete, do you think that federal restrictions on raw opium, or on the opium poppy, are unconstitutional?

Heroin is a clearly different case (to me, at least). Although I suppose it would be possible in some cases to produce heroin out of opium with only local materials, it seems like an unlikely situation.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
I think Pete was saying that federal restrictions on marijuana growing are a violation of the Constitution, whereas those on heroin are not.

I wonder - Pete, do you think that federal restrictions on raw opium, or on the opium poppy, are unconstitutional?

Not at all, since Opium is primarily imported not only across state lines but across international lines, wheras pot will grow almost anywhere.

IF the state came out and said that it was OK for someone to use opium for medical purposes, and some person grew poppies in a small herb garden or in a potted plant, cut the pods, and used the opium goo personally ... then I'd say that federally prosecuting the person would be probably as unconstitutional, but not as grotesque as Raich. Because there are legal drugs on the national market that do have the same medical effect as opium, so in the aggregate, that would affect inter-state trade in a precise area that Congress has developed, i.e. through the FDA.

The Raich dissents are IMO very well written, and I strongly recommend them. I particularly like the Thomas section that I quoted you, and the short section III that O'Connor wrote that no one else signed onto.

I actually liked some of Scalia's legal reasoning when he formulated a proposed rule, but I think he must have been stoned out of his mind when he applied that rule to the facts in Raich.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
"In contrast, federal restrictions on Heroin did not ever require passage of an amendment, because it requires substances which cross state lines."

That a fact? What substances are those?

opiates are mostly made from base materials from Asia. Didn't you know that, Ricky?

quote:
What substances does marijuana require that cross state lines?
None. That's my point. I suspect that once again, you're in denial about the fact that you and I agree about something. [Big Grin] If you want to disagree with me, then you'll have to change your position, since I'm not going to change mine, no matter how much you want me to. [Razz]
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OpsanusTau
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Ok, makes sense to me.
Using raw opium medicinally seems criminally stupid anyways. But I suppose I'm biased - I dislike opiates enough that if prescribed them, I honestly prefer pain.

Incidentally, apparently there are a lot of doctors upset about the idea of "medical marijuana" meaning "grow it yourself and smoke it"; it's related to disliking herbal supplements.
Sure, there are bioactive molecules in there. Absolutely. But plants are amazing creatures, and in different conditions they'll do different things, so 70 mg of gingko biloba or whatever is just not going to always contain the same amounts and proportions of Stuff.

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Pete at Home
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In this case, you may be horrified to find yourself in agreement with Justice THOMAS. [Big Grin]

Ricky, look at the dissenters: O'CONNOR, THOMAS, and REHNQUIST.


What should make you more uncomfortable is the fact that EVERY SINGLE FOCKING LEFTY ON THE COURT signed onto the unrestricted power ruling in Raich. Held that this lady was a federal criminal for growing a potted plant in her window, to treat her illness as perscribed by a doctor in full accordance with California state law.

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OpsanusTau
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In the interests of random commentary - I feel the need to point out that nobody actually stopped growing opium poppies as ornamentals when the Feds said to. They're just too beautiful, and all the old ladies think it's a stupid law. I spent a long time landscaping, and I look at gardens a lot, and there are a LOT of opium poppies growing (and growing well) in the USA.

But nobody seems interested in prosecuting it, probably because the drug use of the plant requires too much processing - your average citizen can't just pick the plant and smoke it.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
In the interests of random commentary - I feel the need to point out that nobody actually stopped growing opium poppies as ornamentals when the Feds said to. They're just too beautiful, and all the old ladies think it's a stupid law. I spent a long time landscaping, and I look at gardens a lot, and there are a LOT of opium poppies growing (and growing well) in the USA.

But nobody seems interested in prosecuting it, probably because the drug use of the plant requires too much processing - your average citizen can't just pick the plant and smoke it.

I said earlier that even if you replicated all of the facts from Raich, and substituted opium for pot, that it wouldn't be as much of an offense against the constitution. For the reasons you cited, banning morphine or heroin would IMO not offend the constitution under the same circumstances -- the processing required makes 1-person use implausible, and this is a case where Scalia's reasoning about undercutting a legitimate federal commerce-clause law, does apply.

If I'm mistaken about how easy it is to get opium from the buds of certain types of poppies, then opium too should be constitutionally fed-controllable even at a micro level.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
Ok, makes sense to me.
Using raw opium medicinally seems criminally stupid anyways. But I suppose I'm biased - I dislike opiates enough that if prescribed them, I honestly prefer pain.

Incidentally, apparently there are a lot of doctors upset about the idea of "medical marijuana" meaning "grow it yourself and smoke it"; it's related to disliking herbal supplements.
Sure, there are bioactive molecules in there. Absolutely. But plants are amazing creatures, and in different conditions they'll do different things, so 70 mg of gingko biloba or whatever is just not going to always contain the same amounts and proportions of Stuff.

Agreed. And smoking something for medicinal purposes spits in the face of every precept of western medicine. Note that O'Connor says right out that she thinks the CA law is a bad law. And I doubt very much that Justices Thomas and Renquist were big on the whole new age smoke dope and get healthy idea.

They ruled based on the constitution.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
In the interests of random commentary - I feel the need to point out that nobody actually stopped growing opium poppies as ornamentals when the Feds said to. They're just too beautiful, and all the old ladies think it's a stupid law. I spent a long time landscaping, and I look at gardens a lot, and there are a LOT of opium poppies growing (and growing well) in the USA.

But nobody seems interested in prosecuting it, probably because the drug use of the plant requires too much processing - your average citizen can't just pick the plant and smoke it.

Monticello kept the opium plant strands that Jefferson had originally grown until just recently. It was either in the 80's or 90's that the Department of Whomever decided that it was necessary to have the plants uprooted and burned. [Frown]
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
As I see it, federalism died that day, and this is no longer America. The court had previously made number of decisions (Lopez, Morison) which restored meaning to federalism -- only to sweep it all a way out of reefer madness.

I think you'd have to go all the way back to Wickard v. Filburn in the late 30's if you're going to point to where Federalism took it's mortal wound. Raich doesn't seem like more than a natural (if somewhat eccentric) consequence of the power established in Filburn. (It's the same principle, just applied against the practical acceptance that there is an interstate market, despite the technical illegality.)

Raich, is more dancing on the grave, by effectively asserting regulatory control of a black market.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
As I see it, federalism died that day, and this is no longer America. The court had previously made number of decisions (Lopez, Morison) which restored meaning to federalism -- only to sweep it all a way out of reefer madness.

I think you'd have to go all the way back to Wickard v. Filburn in the late 30's if you're going to point to where Federalism took it's mortal wound.
Wrong. People said that, based on the rantings of legally ignorant conservative pundits.

But Six tons of wheat a year is not "personal use," Pyr. That farmer was feeding the grain to cattle and selling the cattle. That affects interstate commerce. And the exemptions written into the law addressed in Wickard would have been sufficient for personal use, even if you were the Brady bunch.

Like I said, read O'Connor's dissent. She spells out quite clearly why Wickard was distinguishable from Raich.

[ November 21, 2010, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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RickyB
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Yes, Pete, I get it now. I also share your revulsion towards anyone who voted on the winning side of that SC ruling. But poppies CAN grow in the US, and at least theoretically you don't have to cross state lines to produce heroin.
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
the whole new age smoke dope and get healthy idea.
Well, to be fair - everyone I know who's had prescriptions for medical marijuana has had it as pain control for an otherwise untreatable disease.

I don't think anyone thinks it's going to actually make them better. Goodness, or at least I hope not.

Someone or other was complaining about how the "Medical" Marijuana lobby is actually inhibiting the development of actual titered doses of THC as therapy. Because their actual motivation is legalization for recreational use, and they hope that the "medical" thing is a foot in the door - but if there were an actual product on the market, there would be no good argument in favor of letting people grow it and smoke it.

...that is a huge digression.

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Pete at Home
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Bounced this thread because of relation to other current threads, and also to share the following joke:
quote:
Originally posted by Urban Dictionary:
What's the difference between a crackhead and a tweaker?
The crackhead will steal your **** and bounce--the tweaker will steal your **** and then help you look for it.

quote:
Originally posted by ken_in_sc:
However, I think the War on Drugs in unconstitutional.

Some of it is unconstitutional, most of it is constitutional.

quote:
Why did the outlawing of alcohol require a constitutional amendment
It didn't. Only the FEDERAL outlawing of alcohol required an amendment. Also, SCOTUS was more scrupulous about federalism back then than it is now. If the feds had merely banned inter-state commerce of alcohol rather than prohibiting it, that would not have required an amendment.

quote:
and making it legal again require another amendment?
The 21st was necessary to undo the prohibition amendment.

quote:
Yet, why did making cocaine, marijuana, heroine, and meth illegal not require a constitutional amendment?
Cocaine by its very nature involves materials that MUST be trafficked across national borders therefore absolute federal control is OK under the commerce clause. Methamphetamine theoretically could be manufactured entirely within a state from scratch, but in practice, I don't think that has EVER happened; ineviatbly precursors are assembled thru inter-state commerce so federal interdiction seems appropriate.

OTOH, MJ federal laws that don't involve any sort of commerce were upheld by a 5-4 majority wherein Scalia backstabbed federalism. That's the Rausch decision, and it's completely repugnant, IMO, a complete betrayal of constitutional principles.

quote:
Just asking.
Sorry my answer comes 3 years too late.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
In the interests of random commentary - I feel the need to point out that nobody actually stopped growing opium poppies as ornamentals when the Feds said to. They're just too beautiful, and all the old ladies think it's a stupid law. I spent a long time landscaping, and I look at gardens a lot, and there are a LOT of opium poppies growing (and growing well) in the USA.

But nobody seems interested in prosecuting it, probably because the drug use of the plant requires too much processing - your average citizen can't just pick the plant and smoke it.

Monticello kept the opium plant strands that Jefferson had originally grown until just recently. It was either in the 80's or 90's that the Department of Whomever decided that it was necessary to have the plants uprooted and burned. [Frown]
It's a miracle that the schizo-federalist whores haven't burned the original constitution, since that was printed on hemp paper.
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Jordan
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quote:
Pyr:
Cough syrup and antihistamines are more in the category of things that don't really do much or tend to make you sleepy as much as anything else.

Antihistamines? Are you talking specifically for colds, or in general?
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