Mitt Romney and the Republican Party got slapped down yesterday but, if you ask me, that’s not the most interesting thing that happened… After all, *SOMEONE* was going to win the election and if it wasn’t this guy, it’d be that guy, and if it wasn’t that guy, it’d be someone else. Even in the alternate universes (I checked), there was a presidential election yesterday and, yep, somebody won.
What I think the most interesting thing that happened yesterday is that the War on Drugs took a hit. Wait, that’s a horrible pun. There was a real shot fired across the proverbial bow of the War on Drugs. Washington passed Initiative 502. Colorado passed Amendment 64. Two states legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults.
Now, of course, the politicians in charge were somewhat less than perfectly gracious… Colorado Governor Hickenlooper said “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly” (which, really, is a spectacularly jerky thing to say) but he raises an interesting point:
Federal Law still says marijuana is an illegal drug.
Reason (atheist god bless Reason) engaged in some light journalism and actually called the DEA and asked about these passing and, I’m going to cut and paste these quotations from that link there:
“the Drug Enforcement Administration’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged”
“In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. The Department of Justice is reviewing the ballot initiatives and we have no additional comment at this time.”
And what does this tell us? Well, that this is, indeed, tension between The States and The Federal Government and that means that this is going to go all the way to the Supreme Court… where, of course, half of the Supreme Court will stand upon precedent and point out Wickard v. Filburn while the other half will repudiate Wickard and, instead, point out the Supremacy Clause… which means that this law will be overturned before Hickenlooper actually gets around to finishing the aforementioned “complicated process”.
That said, this is something that will not be quite so easily undone. A tipping point has happened in some parts of the country… and it doesn’t seem like the momentum is going to be so easily stopped by the speed bumps that will be soon appearing. There will be, at least!, a schedule change for marijuana very, very soon. The crack in the… no, that’s a horrible pun. The change began yesterday. The more I think about this, the bigger a deal I suspect it is.