Jacob Sullum at Hit and Run wrote about a recent medical marijuana ruling in California:
Although the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the federal government can continue to charge medical marijuana users under the CSA despite California’s law, the judge said, that does not mean California’s law is invalid. According to the ruling, the removal of state penalties for medical use of marijuana does not constitute a "positive conflict" with federal law.
It is unfortunate that folks misconstrue a state’s “legalization” of medical marijuana, for example, and fail to understand that the Federal Government can still come after them, and even imprison them under federal laws. As a practical matter and in terms of percentages, it may not happen to many medical marijuana patients in California, but the threat is still there, and it’s real.
The comments section to Sullum’s post, however, is definitely worth a read, and for me, a laugh. The commenters are discussing the confusion caused by state and federal conflicting legislation when MikeP says:
You know, someone should propose a Constitutional Amendment to clarify this whole federal/state powers thing once and for all. I recommend something like:
"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."
That sounds a bit clunky, but I don’t have time to polish it up right now.
I actually laughed out loud when I read that. What can I say? It’s legal humor…