Federal Marijuana Laws Unconstitutional, New York Bill Claims

The New York State Assembly approved legislation that initiated the process to allow medical marijuana in the state. The cannabis bill would “effectively nullify” federal pot prohibition laws, according to a Tenth Amendment Center report.

Assembly Bill 6357 passed easily in New York earlier this week by a 94-36 margin. Despite the initial and overwhelming support for the medical marijuana bill, the measure is expected to face a difficult battle in the state senate. Recently uttered Republican support for the cannabis legislation could make all the difference during the next vote, if statehouse source comments are accurate.

Marijuana, although now decriminalized in many states, is still listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic by the federal government.

Tenth Amendment Center National Communications Director Mike Maharray says federal pot laws violate the Constitution:

“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a Constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference.”

New York’s marijuana bill excerpt:

“This legislation is an appropriate exercise of the state’s legislative power to protect the health of its people under article 17 of the state constitution and the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

There are only four weeks left in the current legislative session, making full passage of the cannabis bill uncertain. The legislation would allow for the possession of up to two and half ounces of marijuana by “seriously ill” patients who have been certified by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or doctors to obtain a pot permit. Dispensaries will also be established as a part of the proposed New York law.

Drug Policy Alliance Gabriel Sayegh New York State Director appears to agree with the pending marijuana bill:

“New Yorkers living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and other serious and debilitating conditions have waited years for relief while our leaders in Albany have played politics with their lives. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop this needless suffering, it’s time for the Compassionate Care Act to become law. The last time half the states took action to nullify the federal government was in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.”

A similar marijuana law will be put before Florida voters in November. Whichever state passes the bill first will become the 22nd state to ignore the federal ban on pot in the United States.

Do you think that it is time for marijuana prohibition to come to an end?

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