The issue, in this case, is the legalization of marijuana laws in the United States. The focus of this case study is the impacts that marijuana laws are having within the states and how this connects with intergovernmental aspects discussed in class. Also, how other agencies, organizations, and levels of government are interacting with this issue. Lastly, studying how organizations are collaborating and working together, or where disagreements are coming up. The three main points that will be focused on this study is the Obama memo, Marijuana Laws vs. Federalism, and the case of Gonzales v. Raich.
How organizations are collaborating and working together, or where disagreements are coming up? In Obama’s memo, directing DOJ not to enforce federal drug laws in states that passed legalization we see the collaboration and the disagreements. The organization is collaborating with organizations people that are compassionate and have. This situation is moving federal policy into an approach where the administration is unleashing federal prosecutors throughout the country to make decisions on how to prioritize the possession of marijuana. And how the distribution of the drug in the US is legal or not. CNN stated, that many states decriminalized, and legalized marijuana use when the drug is still illegal under the federal law. That created much conflict among both state and federal law.
Some departments have thought that this dangerous and could have a potential harm to people and could be a serious crime. Attorney General Jeff Sessions believes this is unsafe. Because the issue is that there a potential situation that could affect medical versus recreational marijuana use. According to Jarret (2018) CNN report, Congress was involved, they voted for an amendment which blocks the funds which are federal, so the implementation of medical marijuana use laws is prohibited. Currently, Trump, the current President and he promised to set their own policies.
So many people around the world use this substance without thinking that it could be a serious consequence for their health and life. The laws that the government has made over the past few years have had many implications for people and the economy. The state marijuana laws are three different groups which consist of: medical use, decriminalization, and legalization. Marijuana is one of the biggest substances in the entire world in terms of usage.
What are the biggest impacts that marijuana laws are having the states? According to USA Today (2017), the legalization will have legal circumstances and cultural conditions. The Federal Government has been in effect, and they have considered acting through the Justice Department. The impact that this is having in the states is a dangerous situation for certain advocates. For example, according to (Dills, Goffard, ; Miron, (2016)), they think “legalization reduces crime, raises tax revenues, lowers criminal expenditures, improves public health, bolsters traffic safety and stimulates the economy.”
Let’s begin by describing another intergovernmental issue that involves this case. Based on the intergovernmental aspects discussed in class, there was a Supreme Court decision made by Gonzales v. Raich, which focuses medical marijuana that involved the Congress and many other levels of government. According to O’toole ; Christensen (2013), the states have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana (p. 346). This also involved the Department of Justice, Courts of Appeal, the States, and law enforcement. They wanted to allow this because they thought medical marijuana was going to help serious medical conditions. Another type of marijuana use that is in the process of being a legalize use is recreational marijuana.
Medical marijuana was implemented by Gonzales v. Raich which involved the Supreme Court. This is to treat serious medical conditions that could have a dangerous side effect in the future. Both respondents mentioned on the readings Angel Raich and Diane Monson was able to get treated and receive prescriptions for cannabis through a State of California law that allowed the use of medical marijuana. The case is that her use of marijuana in California its legal at the state level, but still a federal crime. The District Court was involved, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA was sought injunctive and declaratory relief to be able to prohibit certain prohibitions that could lead to the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The reason of this was to be able to prevent certain possessions and manufacturing cannabis for personal use. U.S. Attorneys and DEA officials are including to apply target to the public health and the use of medical marijuana. This is to avoid violence that are affecting the enforcement actions.
What is the perspective of the state and federal laws regarding the marijuana laws? How do marijuana laws and federalism relate? Another intergovernmental aspect that could be related to this case its federalism. According to Chemrinsky (2017, p. 858), “these changing laws have resulted in an enormous inconsistency in the laws with regard to marijuana between the federal government and the states as well as among the states”. In the perspective of the constitutional law, there is an inconsistency because of federalism issues. According to Chemrinsky (2017, p.858), the most difficult situation about this is that these set of issues arise and there must be a consideration whether the federal law will prohibit the possession of this drug in small amounts or will it preempt the state laws. The state has the option of choosing whether to prohibit marijuana use with an exception of medical use.
This case was on courts for a couple of years and the conclusion of this case was up to the US Attorneys. They were seeking jurisdiction whether to authorize marijuana for medical use only. What did the state and local governments conclude regarding the Control Substances Act (CSA)? They concluded to have considerations of legislation that would have a cultivating and distributing way to have marijuana purportedly for medical use.
In conclusion, state marijuana legalization laws have intergovernmental aspects of state legalization of marijuana laws. If the Federal Government enforces the marijuana laws, anyone that is participating, possessing, distributing, or selling under the state law is at risk of federal prosecution. Each aspect mentioned in this study was all based on how marijuana laws are in today’s century. The DOJ marijuana enforcement priorities must be in place to prevent the distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing violence including firearms, selling marijuana from gangs and many more.
CHEMERINSKY, E. (2017). INTRODUCTION: MARIJUANA LAWS AND FEDERALISM. Boston College Law Review, 58(3), 857-862. Retrieved April 11, 2018, from http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3587&context=bclr
Dills, A., Goffard, S., Miron, J., & MOBI. (2016, September 16). Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations. Retrieved April 11, 2018, from https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/dose-reality-effect-state-marijuana-legalizations
Jarrett, L. (2018, January 04). Sessions nixes Obama-era rules leaving states alone that legalize pot. Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/04/politics/jeff-sessions-cole-memo/index.html
O’Toole, L. J., ; Christensen, R. K. (Eds.) (2013). American Intergovernmental Relations: Foundations, Perspectives, and Issues. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Samuel Stebbins, Grant Suneson, and John Harrington. (2018, January 05). Pot initiatives: Predicting the next 15 states to legalize marijuana. Retrieved April 09, 2018, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/11/14/pot-initiatives-predicting-next-15-states-legalize-marijuana/860502001/