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Nullification at Work: Marijuana Law Advances in New Jersey

By: Michael Boldin

Source: Tenth Amendment Center

Dec. 03, 2009

Skeptics of the 10th Amendment Movement will often say something to the effect of – “It’s all talk, the Supreme Court has already ruled against just about everything you’re trying!”

They’re clearly missing the point.

This movement is not about waiting for Federal judges or Federal politicians to give us permission to exercise our rights – it’s about exercising our rights whether they want us to or not.

Possibly the greatest example of this in action is the decade-plus long movement to legalize marijuana for medical use on a state-by-state level.

Here’s the short story. Where I live in California, voters long-ago approved a law to allow medical marijuana. The feds balked – and “assured” people that federal law on this was supreme. DEA raids ensued. People were arrested and fined. People in California sued. It went to the supreme court. They lost.

What happened? Without legislation from Congress, and even in the face of a Supreme Court that ruled against them, the people of my home state basically said – “ok, you’ve got your opinion, we’ve got ours!” And today, there’s more outlets for marijuana in Los Angeles County than there are Starbucks.

In the meantime, a number of other states started passing their own medical marijuana laws, and today, the number stands at 13.

And, according to a report in Politics Daily, that number may soon be 14:

The New Jersey Senate has approved a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The legislation will now head to the state Assembly, which is expected to pass it, and then on to the governor’s desk. The outgoing Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine has indicated he would sign the measure if it reaches him before he steps down in January.

What’s the moral of the story? Nullification works. If enough states pass laws that oppose, or simply refuse to comply with, federal laws or regulations – D.C. simply doesn’t have the manpower to enforce them.

So kudos to you, New Jersey – it’s just another kink in the armor that will enable other states to take action on issues that are important to them as well.

Copyright © 2009 by TenthAmendmentCenter.com.

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Michael Boldin is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

The Tenth Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

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