Monday, June 06, 2005

Hypocrisy alert: medical marijuana

Today's SCOTUS ruling on the right of states to regulate the medicinal use of marijuana, is turning out to be festival of bipartisan hypocrisy. As PBS puts it, regarding rightwingers, "This case was a challenging one for conservative members of the court who have pushed to expand states' rights in recent rulings."

No less pharisaical, of course, are the pro-pot liberals who have been pushing for federal management of the nation's health care -- at least in the terms of the procedural if not the substantive arguments on which this case was brought before the Court.

3 comments:

Chamelion said...

See http://www.mpp.org for a serious and well educated and funded attempt to change the marijuana laws. Also they have good coverage of what this ruling means:
http://www.mpp.org/raich/

Sam said...

This is only partly true. There are libertarians on the right, including the lawyer who argued Ashcroft v. Raich, who believe that federalist devolution is in the spirit of individual liberty (pot-smoking). (The lawyer, Randy Barnett, blogs at volokh.com.) Similarly, there are those on the left who favor decentralization in order to create room for experimentation during an era of reaction at the center. See, eg, David Barron in at dissentmagazine.org. So there were both "right" argument for pot and "left" arguments for decentralization here.

purpleprose said...

True, Sam, not everyone commenting on this subject has been a hypocrite. Just a large percentage, falling into two main groups:

1) Anyone (mainly rightwingers) who grandstands for federalism, but was against it in this case. No intellectually honest federalist can defend the isea that the Commerce Clause govens the activities of an individual who grows plants in his backyard to feed a personal, medical need.

2) Anyone (mainly progressives) who is in favor of national health care but has been defending the pot issue on federalist grounds. This is hypocritical, but perhaps a little less so than in the first case, because it actually points up a conflict between a substantive (pro-pot) issue and a procedural one (federalism and health care).