Clash of Federal vs. State Laws: US completely Arbitrary

EconMatters's picture

By EconMatters



Should I race across state lines with a bag of weed in the car?


With the passage of two states Colorado and Washington in the last election cycle to allow for recreational uses of marijuana without a prescription or medical excuse which is in violation of Federal Law. With states like California and Montana voting for medical marijuana but fearing a fight with federal law officials even with this baby step it seems that laws are becoming even more arbitrary by the day.   

President Obama has come out and said he isn`t going to go after Colorado and Washington for a violation of federal law, even after his administration only two years ago was strong arming and threatening California and Montana for a “lesser” violation of federal law.


It does seem that the will of the people if we go by media coverage, mainstream pot portrayal/acceptance in movies and music, simple demand for the product, etc. that a significant amount of US citizens accept that recreationally using the drug is ethically, morally and legally right.


In short, public opinion has turned in this country, not that you can get a majority on any issue in this country, but that more Americans view Marijuana usage on a par with adult alcohol consumption recreationally. 


Do Laws have a shelf life?


It isn`t just marijuana as states have recently been voting for state online gambling whether it be New Jersey, Las Vegas or other states like Virginia that seek increased tax revenue from these activities. With the advent of the internet and its capabilities often clashing with archaic laws and regulations written well before modern technological and civilization advancements in this area.


It just seems that Federal authorities, legal scholars, and the Supreme Court need to take a hard look at some of the arbitrariness of these old and ancient laws that don`t really fit nicely with current legal interpretations of the internet and modern society. 


The DOJ seemed to back off somewhat from some of their initial hardline stance regarding online poker in settling with Full Tilt and Poker Stars in the classification of their wrongdoing. But it remains to be seen if Online Poker in this country is a violation of federal law if the case was ever taken to the Supreme Court.


A Good Precedent to have open Violation of Federal Law? 


But how can you have states practicing activities which are in direct violation of federal law on one hand, and not go after them, but on the other hand go hard after poker players playing online in a virtual world with no state or country boundaries, when gaming has been legal and is legal in several states to varying degrees like New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Nevada? The current government stance on Marijuana and Online/Casino Gaming is making their position from a legal standpoint look completely arbitrary and lacking in credibility. 


The slippery slope of the “Arbitrariness Path”


The real problem with this approach is that once a government goes down the “Arbitrariness Path” the unintended consequences are that other more conventionally and socially accepted laws start to lose their credibility and become just as arbitrary. It is one slippery slope that the United States is on right now if we throw into the mix the constitutionality of Obama Care, Gun Control, and various Taxing Mechanisms.


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working class dog's picture

During the vietnam war a fighter jet pilot was as high as a kite on dope when attempting to do carrier flight operations, result crash explosion death,

Exxon Valdez went outside the lane and the coast guard navigational watch on duty that night  was high on pot and did not warn or track the vessel properly. Result sad day for the environment, and a knee jerk reaction to get the gubbament more into our private lives for our own good!

Fed law for the transportation and military industries has strick drug testing and dismisall if you fail. I wish the same tests are required of lawyers and jury and judges when they perform their duties.

If we need pot to save California let it burn

All Risk No Reward's picture

There is a reason the gang bankster establishment demonizes marijuana so bad.

Could this be it?

Run from the Cure

Prostate Cancer Cured with Cannabis Oil - Part 1 - Spiral Up with Ava Marie

Cannabis Oil Eliminates Infant's Brain Tumor

Note, I don't think they 100% established that the cannabis oil cured the cancer in this case, but it well could have and more research is required to find out what is going on.

Oh, that's right, no research is done on this plant because of it gangster bankster government handmaiden's claim that it is so wicked the gangster banksters have to grow it in Afghanistan and then make billions selling back to the populations.  It also makes a nice pretext to destroy the Constitution and get law enforcement to blow through doors in the off chance they can confiscarte a home with some marijuana it, sell it and the enjoy the spoiles.

Isn't "freedom" grand?

Of course, none of those police have the guts to go after the real Enemies of the Republic

Debt Money Tyranny

The Traitor is the Plague

Fedaykinx's picture

stuff it, hater.  go have a beer and drool on yourself somewhere else.  i really don't like people who don't know jackshit about cannabis running their big stupid ignorant mouths about it.

JimS's picture

Cite proof on the "Vietnam" pilot "story". Pure "urban legend". Furthermore, what drug testing was around via Exxon Valdez incident?

jballz's picture

When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will be free.

Fedaykinx's picture

they'll pass a law outlawing outlaws.  oh wait.

outlawing the outlawing of outlaws.  or something.

The Heart's picture

Colorado voted to make the use of Marijuana legal. No one in the state really noticed any difference. Nothing changed, life was the same. The only ones that really noticed and made a big deal out of it were those who lived elsewhere outside of the state.

Another step in the State of Colorado's examples to other states with less freedom, is this move by the CSOC setting the pace once again for those in other states to mimic this true Americanism, and freedom in action.:

And just for some fun, Granny got her gun on!~




IcantstopthinkingaboutNINJAs's picture



Why is the drinking age 21 in every state?

Threat of federal highway $$$ getting pulled.  Daddy will take away the allowance that we've all become accostomed to.

Dunno why their stance on pot is weakening, maybe because the drug markets are flooded with cheap heroin now. 

And just where does that heroin come from again?



And how are those "purple freedom fingers" working out for you?

All Risk No Reward's picture

>>Daddy will take away the allowance that we've all become accostomed to.<<

That isn't an "allowance," it is our money that they took from us at gun point.

They then manipulate us by not "giving it back" to us...

Now, who is the stupid one in this relationship?  Funny how the stupid think they are smart and the smart pretend to be stupid as they blow our world into bits and pieces.

Debht Money Tyranny

jeff montanye's picture

not just the heroin.  lots of premium hashish.

JimS's picture

And what's your point? That people need to try something to escape the "new reality" that we now live in? 

All Risk No Reward's picture

All that matters is the what the tyrants want - what's the big deal?

Oh, you thought you were free? 

You aren't free under Debt Money Tyranny


Joebloinvestor's picture

The US government grows and distributes marijuana through a program at the University of Mississippi and has done so since the 70's.

It is hypocritical of the government to advance any other agenda pertaining to prosecution.

Lordflin's picture

US law is not arbitrary. It is Machiavellian.

All Risk No Reward's picture


Cui bono.

Debt Money Tyrants and their minions

The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline


hidingfromhelis's picture

Re: The slippery slope of the "Arbitrariness Path" Slippery slope?

We've already passed ludicrous speed and have attained plaid velocity with fascist "insurer" care, Patriot Act, revised FISA, TARP, selective enforcement of everything, denial of freedom to assemble, bankster cronyism, no-bid contracts, gun confiscation in New Orleans, stop & frisk, IRS intimidation, SOPA, and more.  Whoopee!  They threw the people a fricken bone (so to speak) with not prosecuting pot posession.  Sorta, kinda, maybe...

jeff montanye's picture

like with the lotteries, increasingly bankrupt state governments will eventually break the prohibition to tax the transactions.  the injustice of the incarceration/ruined lives, etc. not so much.  the silver inner feathers of the black swan.  the fourth turning is, after all, a turning.  the first one now will later be last...

akak's picture

Sentence fragments and badly grammar. 

Am I the only one?

Westcoastliberal's picture

Seems we're experiencing a "Paradigm Shift", please return your flight attendent to her/his normal upright position and brace for years of turbulance!

lasvegaspersona's picture

slippery slope? slippery slope? are you kidding? We feel down and broke the 'laws' ass years ago. GM bond holders...were they protected by the rule of law? How about MFGlobal clients? 

No the Federal government has made it obvious. The rule of men is what we get. The whole rule of law thing was just too.....much.

jeff montanye's picture

gm bondholders got hosed in a risk asset in a bankruptcy.  this has precedents.  mf global depositors/brokerage customers were stolen from in true violation of laws.  they are not the same.

neither reflect well on the current administration, however.  little does.

Gold Dog's picture

Who sent ya? If the state is blue, you can do. If the state is red, a bullet to the head!

PlaceHolder's view of Federal law enforcement.

fourchan's picture

Ahab, can i have all my doobage?