“Tenthers” Include Pot Legalizers


One of the problems of trying to adhere to the principles in the constitution is that there are always going to be a few principles that you personally disagree with.

For me, I didn’t like the fact that the commerce clause was abused to the point where congress could decide whether or not people can produce, own, or consume certain substances. The Tenth Amendment plainly states that unless it is in the constitution, the federal government can’t do it. The whole “War on Drugs”, at least, the bits where congress regulates the production and consumption of drugs, has always been a massive violation of the constitution.

The pot legalization movement in California has also discovered that they don’t like this, and they have discovered why as well. They are going to argue, whether the issue passes or not, that Californians have a right to determine what Californians put into their own body. I can’t disagree. Although I think that the government should have power to regulate what we put in our bodies, the power to regulate does not reside in the federal government.

Those who have recently discovered the Tenth Amendment and the other fascinating bits of the constitution are going to have to realize that the vast majority of things our federal government does “for” us (really, “to” us) is unconstitutional. How this has come to pass and how to stop it are two other issues that I’m not going to discuss today.

If we are a nation of laws, and not of men, then the constitution must be understood by all the people, collectively and individually. That Christine O’Donnell was mocked in the debate because she pointed out that the constitution doesn’t create a separation between church and state, but rather limits only the state in meddling with religion, shows we have a long way to go.

Today, I think we need to focus on certain issues before others. In the long run, the religion debate is largely pointless. Government can’t regulate religion in the public sphere, it can only oppress people who happen to express their religion in ways government like. No matter what government does, they can never, ever stop someone from observing their religion in public life.

The issues I believe we need to tackle are those issues in which the violations are most grave.

First, the commerce clause. I believe the commerce clause was intended not to limit trade between the states at all, but rather to regulate it, that is, make it regular.

The constitution allows congress to set weights and measures. This is a good thing because if a Washington State Pound is different than an Idaho State Pound, Washington and Idaho will have a difficult time conducting trade between themselves.

I believe the commerce clause allows congress to set standards as to what commodities are. If you’re familiar with the wheat market, you know that there are not a few different kinds of wheat you can buy. What confusion there would be if hard red wheat from Kansas was completely difference from hard red wheat from Nebraska? Having congress set the standards and definitions of commodities is a very good thing.

What the commerce clause should not interfere in is intra-state trade, production, and consumption. Those things have nothing to do with interstate commerce. The courts, since FDR, have found that the federal government has virtually unlimited power under the commerce clause. We, the people, need to demand that our congressmen and senators write laws instructing the court that the commerce clause cannot exceed certain bounds. Perhaps we may even need a clarifying amendment.

I believe a large number of people will join under the banner of the commerce clause. This will remove the influence of the federal government in a large number of industries, and eliminate volumes of regulation, making commerce much easier in our country.


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