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Old 10-02-2003, 05:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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State Law Vs. Federal Law...

How does this work, does state law superside federal law or is it the other way around? I'm mostly asking this in regards to marijuana laws.
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Old 10-02-2003, 05:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In california, it has been mixed. The fact is that there really aren't many federal officers, so a federal indictment for drug possession is fairly rare unless you're a major dealer or doing something stupid like lighting up at an airport.

On the other hand, the feds arrested a person growing marijuana FOR the city of oakland in a very public way. You can read all about the plight of ed rosenthal here:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&lr...al&sa=N&tab=wn

Here in CA, we have prop 215, which mandates treatment for minor drug offenses rather than prison, but that only goes to the state and local level. At the fed level, they can still do what they want.
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Old 10-02-2003, 06:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In general, federal law supercedes state law, which is completely backwards imho.
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It depends....If a federal law is broad, the state can narrow it down or make the punishment more severe...anything not it the constitution is delegated to the state...However the state cannot go against federal law or lessen the sentences
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought it was specifically stated in the constitution that laws not specifically reserved for the Federal Govt. are delegated to the states. (But I'm to lazy to look it up right now.)
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lebell, the matter you are referring to, called 'reserved powers' is addressed in the Tenth Amendment.

However, in the larger issue of state versuses national power, the established precedent is indeed national supremacy.

For instance, in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland, the Supreme Court held that states could not deliberately interfere with the institutions of the federal government (here the matter at hand was whether a state could tax a federal bank.) This decision is still debated today in various forms.

As I understand it (and I'm no expert) the situation today between the national and state governments is arranged according to the principles of 'cooperative federalism' which means powers can be shared by the respective governments (each has the power to tax, and so on).

I'm not sure, however, how that would apply to the sweet leaf.
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
I thought it was specifically stated in the constitution that laws not specifically reserved for the Federal Govt. are delegated to the states. (But I'm to lazy to look it up right now.)
It is, but to a large degree this is not observed. I see nothing about a war on drugs in the Constitution.
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Old 10-03-2003, 07:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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One will not find support for many of the "wars" on whatever in the constitution. The supposed supreme law of the land and it's not observed. Wave your flag, feel better about it all. States rights. The anchor of the Bill Of Rights. The "Hey Ya'll, we got it from here." ammendment. At one time it was worth fighting for. Now the public is, with no direct offence intended, too lazy to look it up. Amendment X "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Wow! The people. Imagine that!
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Old 10-07-2003, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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US Congress can write laws that affect interstate commerce, and for many years, there were few limits to what they could define as interstate commerce. A few years ago, the Supreme Court threw out a law forbidding the possesion of guns near schools as not affecting interstate commerce, but it really has just meant that Congress goes to greater lengths to justify it's laws as affecting interstate commerce. Congress also has the power of the federal purse strings over the states, and can pass bills that say, in essence, "We want to promote safe highways, and so we will give federal highway funding to every state that has these speed limits and has the legal age for alcohol as 21 years old." Though Congress can't establish a national drinking age or speed limit, states need those federal $$ so much that Congress can effectively get states to do what it wants.
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