The Corner

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Re: High Court High Anxiety


In response to my article on the Supreme Court’s federalism and medical marijuana case, one reader asks whether finding for Angel Raich would necessarily end all federal drug regulation. The answer is no. All it would mean is that non-commercial possession of marijuana (and perhaps other drugs) would be beyond the federal government’s regulatory reach. States could still ban such possession, and the feds could still ban the purchase, sale, distribution for profit, manufacture for the purpose of sale or profit, transport across state lines, etc. The feds could also offer states financial inducements to encourage state enforcement of such a rule. Even with all of the problems of the current commerce clause doctrine, there is a reasonably clear line to be drawn here, and it would hardly involve rolling constitutional law back to its 18th century roots.