Debra J. Saunders

For the DEA's part, it is charged with enforcing federal drug law, which does not recognize a medical use for marijuana. Neither, the DEA's Meyer notes, does the American Medical Association.

Even still, San Jose Police Chief William Lansdowne was so angered by the WAMM raid that he yanked his officers off a DEA task force. He told The Chronicle that the feds' "priorities are out of sync," as methamphetamines were a bigger problem than medical marijuana, which voters were right to legalize.

I can't imagine this lawsuit succeeding, even though attorneys were creative in claiming that since WAMM doesn't sell marijuana to members and since it is a -- pardon my pun -- homegrown operation, WAMM engages in no interstate commerce, which is the legal justification for federalized drug laws.

As a conservative, I tell Appel, I love watching the left argue in favor of local control, because local control is good for conservatives who want to opt out of onerous federal laws. Alaskans who want to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge can point to their buddies in the medical-marijuana community.

Except that the Supreme Court has been steadfast in its rejection of claims that state and local laws -- like Proposition 215, which California voters approved in 1996 -- can undermine federal drug laws. That's a job for Congress, Justice Clarence Thomas has maintained, and he has a point.

Congress should change federal law to accommodate medical marijuana use in states that have legalized it. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., has written a bill toward that end.

Sadly, many of the members of WAMM won't live long enough to see the day, if it ever comes, when Congress does the right thing. So they gathered in Santa Cruz to announce: Don't tread on me.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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