The marijuana exception to federalism

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Last week White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer predicted ‘greater enforcement’ of the federal ban on marijuana in the eight states that have legalized the drug for recreational use. This week Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an old-fashioned drug warrior who thinks ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana,’ seemed to confirm Spicer’s warning, telling reporters, ‘We’re going to look at it … and try to adopt responsible policies.’ If those ‘responsible policies’ involve legal action aimed at shutting down state-licensed marijuana businesses, they will be contrary to public opinion, President Trump’s campaign promises, and Sessions'[s] own avowed support for federalism. As most Republicans seem to recognize, attempts to force marijuana prohibition on states that have opted out of it are inconsistent with the decentralized system of government established by the Constitution.” (03/01/17)