“My” Federalism

by Jonah Goldberg

Ramesh – I’ve been dreading the day you got around to responding to my syndicated column. And, now, I fear you might get angry email from people accusing you of letting me off easy. Anyway, you make a very good point and I guess I’ve got to think it through a bit more. But at first blush a few points come to mind. First, I would probably be against an amendment to the Constitution for the prohibition of narcotics too. Second, I’m for the decriminalization of pot, and I think that such a move would best be implemented on a state-by-state basis.

Third, the analogy doesn’t quite hold for me because I think drugs and gay marriage have very different social costs. The arguments about the direct, demonstrable, damage caused by gay marriage are often very abstract. I find some of those arguments plausible and a few even convincing to one extent or another. But, the damage to the individual and the society caused by drug use is not abstract but concrete and obviously demonstrable.

Fourth, the federal government historically has had very little role in marriage, but it has had a very large role in regulating food, drugs, narcotics and the cross-border (state and international) trade in same.

Anyway, I’ll think about it more.

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