In this episode, you’ll get the latest tenther news. We’ll tell you about several local efforts to nullify unconstitutional federal acts. And we have some details on a sweeping nullification bill signed into law up in Alaska. Plus have you ever wondered if this nullification business can really work? Well, it already is working! And we share some proof later in the show.
Host: Michael Boldin.
Content Production: Mike Maharrey
Sometimes people will say to me: that’s great, but can this nullification business really work?
Well, yes – it can.
And it is!
The modern nullification movement started in the 1996 when California voters passed Proposition 215 laying the groundwork for legalized medical marijuana in the state. Of course, nobody called it nullification back then. But that’s exactly what it is – or at least the foundation for it. The feds claim the authority to regulate weed, despite the fact that no constitutional provisions delegates that power to them. That authority SHOULD remain with the state. So the people of California said, “You know what feds, we don’t really care what you think. We’re doing this anyway.”
And they did!
Of course, the federal employees at the Supreme Court unsurprisingly sided with their employers in their 2005 Riach decision. Did that stop California? Nope. In fact, other states looked to the west coast and followed suit. Today, 19 states have legal medical marijuana programs, despite the so-called federal law. And of course, voters in Washington and Colorado took things to the next level and legalized weed for recreational use.
So much for the federal prohibition.
But if we stop there, we don’t really have nullification. We need to go the next step and make the unconstitutional act unenforceable in the state to really claim a nullification victory.
The good news is that’s exactly what is happening. And we have the evidence to back that assertion up!
Get this: marijuana eradication by the DEA decreased from about 10 million plants to less than 4 million between 2009 and 2012. That’s a 60 percent decrease! Why? Well, according to the DEA, because of “Decreased availability of local law enforcement personnel to assist in eradication efforts”
Buried in this statistic, we see the power and potential of state nullification. Each time a state takes control of its own marijuana policy, it has less incentive to cooperate with the feds in eradicating weed. That leaves the DEA to operate on its own. And it simply can’t do it. The feds lack the funding and manpower to control marijuana in all 50 states against the will of the people.
And the will of the people has turned against the war on marijuana. A Pew Research Poll shows 59 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans think the feds should back off enforcing federal drug laws in states with legalized marijuana. The lack of public will translates to a lack of political will. With states facing tight budgets, officials simply won’t waste resources helping the feds enforce unconstitutional and unpopular acts. In California and other states, the funds simply aren’t there to lend support to the feds. Even if people don’t embrace, or even understand, the principles of nullification, the effect is the same: the federal “laws” become unenforceable.
This idea doesn’t just apply to marijuana. No matter the issue, a lack of compliance from the “bottom” – the state and local level – makes a huge difference in what the “top” – Washington, D.C. – can get away with. If state and local governments refuse to enforce federal gun laws, the feds will find it impossible to enforce them. If state governments continue to refuse implementation of the REAL ID Act, the act will never get implemented. If states refuse to cooperate with implementation of Obamacare, the national health care system simply won’t work.
Bottom line: the feds need the states. And the states do not have to play.
So you see, nullification works! And we’ll see even more results as efforts multiply. We can stop the federal government in its tracks. We don’t have to go to war with them. We don’t have to arrest federal agents. Simply refusing to cooperate with their illegal and unconstitutional acts at the state and local level can make them virtually unenforceable.