Although it was long ago, I have been to law school. Back when I attended, among the first things we learned was that federal law preempts state law.
Knowing that, I am uncertain how Colorado’s new law which legalizes marijuana can exist as long as marijuana is illegal under federal law, being deemed a “controlled substance.”
Contrary to what some of you might believe, I was not around during Prohibition, when alcoholic beverages were illegal. Studying history teaches us that Prohibition did not work well and was repealed. Maybe Congress will change federal law to legalize marijuana. However, until that happens, we have a conflict between the federal government and the states of Colorado and Washington, which have each legalized marijuana.
Imagine if Colorado and Washington had, during Prohibition, legalized alcoholic beverages. Al Capone could have moved his headquarters from Chicago to Denver and stayed out of trouble. How do you think that would have worked out?
I have heard that the U.S. Attorney for Colorado is meeting with the Colorado Attorney General. It appears that there is something to discuss in order to work things out. I don’t get it. I don’t know know what there is to talk about. Maybe they were each absent from law school on the day that federal preemption was discussed.
I wish they had talked to me or my Constitutional Law professor before they went to the trouble of putting on the ballot the question of legalizing marijuana. Guess what I would have advised and guess how I voted.
Besides the legal issues, I remember Mama warning me, in the words of Three Dog Night — “That ain’t the way to have fun, Son.” Mom is upset with Colorado and I can tell you with certainty borne of much experience, when Mom is not happy, no one can be happy. They (everyone in Colorado and Washington) will rue the day this unconstitutional marijuana law was passed by the electorate. We are in big trouble with Mom and that, friends, is big trouble indeed. Mom preempts even federal law.