Category Archives: States Rights

Our Slave State

Medical marijuana bill fails,” by Brad Perriello, Associated Press,, 28 January 2005.

Treat adults like adults? Have mercy on the sick? Not in South Dakota!

Marijuana should not be legalized for medical purposes in South Dakota, legislators decided Friday.

The House Health Committee voted 11-1 against a bill that would have allowed people with certain debilitating illnesses to use pot.

HB1109 would have given doctors permission to prescribe up to 5 ounces of marijuana for those who suffer from such diseases as cancer, glaucoma and AIDs, and for people with chronic pain, nausea or seizures.

Rep. Gerald Lange, D-Madison, said the bill provides a necessary alternative for patients who do not get relief from traditional medications.

“There are certain debilitating medical conditions that are rather untreatable by contemporary medical practices,” said Lange, prime sponsor of the bill.

The measure would have required doctors to certify in writing that patients suffer from qualifying diseases and explain the risks and benefits of marijuana use to them. In addition, both doctors and patients would have had to register with the Health Department.

The excuse? It’s because South Dakota, a state that blockaded Canada, the last state that fought to the Surpeme Court to allow 20 year olds to drink, a state courageously fights against Federal governments and its insane bantuland treaties, suddenly believes in federal supremacy

Charlie McGuigan, an assistant state attorney general, urged legislators to reject the bill. He said marijuana use would still be a federal crime if the bill became state law.

And let’s not forget that South Dakota, a state which bitterly fought against seat-belt laws and federal speed limits, suddely cares about your health

Marijuana causes many adverse health effects, McGuigan said…

And let’s not forget that South Dakota, where even our Republican Senator supports importing prescriptions from Canada, now cares about drug company profits

…adding that the active ingredient in marijuana is currently available in prescription form.


It’s not your tax dollars, it’s the government‘s tax dollars
It’s not your child, it’s the government‘s child
It’s not your body, it’s the government‘s body

Dam Them All

Governor summit won’t gain much water leverage,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader,, 23 January 2005.

This article combines two themes of South Dakota politics. One is a yearning to conduct an independent foreign policy. Several times under Governor Janklow we blockaded Canada, in spite of the obvious difficulty of not sharing a border with that Northern Despotism. It wasn’t just symbolic, though. The Highway Patrol was quite active in interdiction activities and it caused real headaches for Canadians trying to drive through our interstate-stradling state.

The other theme is the Missouri River. The River defines the state (there is “East River is East River, West River is West River, and Never the Twain Shall Meet”), and we use it heavily for recreation and hydoelectricity. However, our desire for a high water level is constantly trumped by downstream states and the Army Corps of Engineers. While downstream states use the river only for shipping, and that traffic is minuscule, that special interest lobby has enough influce in Washington to prevent rational water management. During the last gubernatorial election, the President of the University of South Dakota suggested South Dakota and other northern states simply buy-out the downstream barge industry. The victor, Mike Rounds, is working with other states, but with little progress.

In that context, the Sfal’s modest proposals:

Gov. Mike Rounds has proposed another summit with eight governors from Missouri River states.

The goal would be to get everyone together and persuade the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to keep more water in South Dakota reservoirs this year.

He’s proposed keeping more water as a method – during drought – of ensuring a better barge season next year. It also would help recreation in upstream states.

While the governor will have a tough sell with downstream states …

Oh, who’s kidding whom? There’s no way in the world we’d persuade Missouri and Iowa, especially, to go along with such an idea.

The corps won’t help. It’s already has flatly rejected Rounds’ suggestion.

And we can’t expect any aid from Congress.

So getting some governors together to flap their jaws – never agreeing – won’t accomplish anything.

Maybe it’s time for South Dakota to take the bull by the horns. It seems we’ve got two choices:

# Rounds can call out the National Guard – once they all return from Iraq – and we can take over the dams. After all, they’re run by the Army’s engineers, not the Green Berets.

# Or we can build our own dam and trump the corps.

The second option seems best. There might be some objection to an armed insurrection. The USA Patriot Act probably has a provision against it.

If we built our own dam on the lower stretch of the river, we’d have the hand on the final spigot.

Why not? Governor, the ball’s in your court.

Lousiana for the Louisianers

Louisiana reinstates anti-gay marriage amendment,” Associated Press,, 19 January 2005 (from DU).

A decision everybody should hail

NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Supreme Court today unanimously reinstated the anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in September.

The high court reversed a state district judge’s ruling in October striking down the amendment on the grounds that it violated a provision of the state constitution requiring that an amendment cover only one subject.

“Each provision of the amendment is germane to the single object of defense of marriage and constitutes an element of the plan advanced to achieve this object,” the high court said.

The court’s ruling puts the amendment in the constitution.

Its a federalist victory because Lousiana is able to change their constitution as they see fit. It’s an antihomosexualist victory for obvious reasons. It’s even a “creeping homosexualist” victory because it slow momentum for a federal amendment (why bother when states can do so on their own?).

Congrats Louisiana!

Evolutionary Dogma

Ga. Evolution Stickers Ordered Removed,” by Doug Gross, Associated Press,,1282,-4730889,00.html, 13 January 2005.

Macro-evolution, the creation of a new species, is only fact,” by “spunky,” Democratic Underground,, 13 January 2005.

Another defeat for states, sciences, and common sense

ATLANTA (AP) – A federal judge on Thursday ordered the removal of stickers placed in high school biology textbooks that call evolution “a theory, not a fact,” saying they were an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

The disclaimers were put in the books by school officials in suburban Cobb County in 2002.

“Adopted by the school board, funded by the money of taxpayers, and inserted by school personnel, the sticker conveys an impermissible message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling…

Predictably the article babbles off into gaimisms, but what was the judge saying? That presenting a point of view tells some people they are outsiders? Schools have been pushing propoganda for ages. From historical viewpoints, to social science theories, to idiotic message posters, to Goals 2000 P.R.

The real question is, what was the federal reason for stopping Georgia from placing the following message in science books:

“This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

This is true. Facts are data points. Theories are models that explain data points. Evolution, meaning the historical change of species over time, is a theory. So is Newtonian gravity. For years we thought Newton was right, until observations shows series problems with his formulae.

Science is all about approaching material with an open mind. Buying into politically-correct evolutionary theory is not science, unless the student sees that its supported by the evidence.

I’m Catholic. The Church has, for centuries, taught that Genesis should not be taken literally. I believe the fundementalists are making a number of serious mistakes, and that their opposition to historical evoultion is one of them. But I don’t see how using public schools and federal courts to attack them with all the elegance of a chainsaw helps matters.

An atheist Master of Science in Physical Anthropology agrees

Macro-evolution, the creation of a new species, is only fact if someone has actually witnessed these fruitflies turn into a new species of fruitfly, incapable of mating with the previous species of fruitfly.

Perhaps this has been done and I am unaware of it, but I’d have to see a link to a scientific journal to believe it.

The choice for the federal courts and public schools is: should they teach free taught of dogma? By prohibiting disension of evolutionary theory, we know what they have chosen.

Land of Liberty

The Way We Live Now: What Color is Montana?,” by Kurt Markus, New York Times Magazine,, 2 January 2005 (from South Dakota Politics).

A peon to Montana, and the freedom of States

There are two kinds of voters, the formula said: the easygoing coffeehouse artistes who dwell on the coasts and in small parts of the North, and the uptight white-chapel patriots who live in the South, the middle and the West (or, as geographers put it, ”almost everywhere”).

Because of its location relative to the Mississippi River and because it voted overwhelmingly for President Bush, my home state, Montana, was colored red and tossed on a pile with Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and all those other cattle lands where men are still men, legend has it, and women let them be, leading to rigid behavior in the voting booth. Democrats? Hate ’em. Environmental laws? Them spotted owls are mighty tasty. Firearms? Handy for shooting them spotted owls. Gay marriage? Don’t know; I’ll have to ask my preacher. Ah, those predictable red Westerners. They’re either standing and saluting, kneeling and praying or lying down and breeding.

But sitting and puffing weed? It didn’t quite fit — which might have been partly why unruly Montana (which until a few years ago had no daytime speed limit and still permits motorists to drink while driving as long as they’re not intoxicated) blurred the national political color code by legalizing medical marijuana at the same time it backed the Republican president. As for the other questions put before them, Montanans didn’t just split their ballots; they shredded them. They elected their first Democratic governor in 16 years, upheld a prohibition on toxic mining practices, broke the Republicans’ hold on the state Legislature but also amended the state Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Long Live Montana!

AARP for States

Poll Shows Seniors Back Medical Marijuana,” by Elizabeth Wolfe, Newsday,,0,6004543.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines, 18 December 2004 (from Democratic Underground).

While the California medical marijuana case is being pondered by the Surpeme Court, the AARP announce a surprising poll result:

WASHINGTON — Nearly three-fourths of older Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use, according to a poll done for the nation’s largest advocacy group for seniors.

More than half of those questioned said they believe marijuana has medical benefits, while a larger majority agreed the drug is addictive.

AARP, with 35 million members, says it has no political position on medical marijuana and that its local branches have not chosen sides in the scores of state ballot initiatives on the issue in recent elections.

But with medical marijuana at the center of a Supreme Court case to be decided next year, and nearly a dozen states with medical marijuana laws on their books, AARP decided to study the issue.

More and more, the AARP can be counted on to take surprising positions. Sometimes correct ones, too

Left-Right Drug Imperialism

College Fails in Bid to Grow Marijuana,” by Donald G. McNeil, Jr., New York Times, 14 December 2004, (from Democratic Underground)

What’s New in the Legal World? A Growing Campaign to Undo the New Deal,” by Adam Cohen, New York Times, 14 December 2004,

A related article and op-ed. Both have some baggage, but both deal with a fundemental issue. The first chronicles a big-government crackdown on a state institution. The latter deals with some implications of the counter-attack.

A longstanding request to grow marijuana at the University of Massachusetts so it can be tested for medical uses has been turned down by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The decision was faxed to the university on Friday and made public yesterday by the Marijuana Policy Project, an independent group that favors legalization of marijuana, particularly for medical uses.

Perhaps President Bush can save the states.

…And last month in the Supreme Court – in a case about medical marijuana – the justices found themselves having to decide whether to stand by Wickard.

In that case, two Californians who use marijuana for medical reasons argued that Congress, which passed the Controlled Substances Act, did not have the constitutional power to stop them. To pass a law, Congress needs a constitutional hook, and the Controlled Substances Act relied on one of the most important ones, the Commerce Clause, which authorizes Congress to “regulate Commerce … among the several States.” The Californians argued that their marijuana did not involve interstate commerce because it never left their state.

Cohen mentions the catastrophic effect FDR had for freedom and states rights

That is where Wickard v. Filburn comes in. Roscoe Filburn was a farmer who argued that his wheat crop should not fall under federal production quotas because much of it was consumed on his own farm. The Supreme Court held that even if that wheat did not enter interstate commerce, wheat grown for use on a farm altered supply and demand in the national market. The decision gave Congress broad power to regulate things that are located in one state, like factories and employer-employee relationships.

The effects of states rights conservatives have already been great.

Some leading conservatives want the court to overturn Wickard and replace it with a pair of decisions from the 1800’s that one brief filed in the case said would return “Commerce Clause jurisprudence to its settled limits prior to the New Deal.” That would be a bold move, but the court has already been heading down this path. In recent years, it has struck down the Gun-Free School Zones Act and a crucial part of the Violence Against Women Act for exceeding Congress’s power.

He courageously exposes right-wing hyprocricy

It may be, however, that the justices are quicker to limit Congress’s power when it does things they don’t like (like gun regulation) than when it does things they do (like drug regulation). They may be waiting for a more congenial case.

But then engages in some of his own

If the Supreme Court drifts rightward in the next four years, as seems likely, it could not only roll back Congress’s Commerce Clause powers, but also revive other dangerous doctrines. Before 1937, the court invoked “liberty of contract” to strike down a Nebraska law regulating the weight of bread loaves, which kept buyers from being cheated, and a New York law setting a maximum 10-hour workday. Randy Barnett, the law professor who represented the medical marijuana users, argues in a new book that minimum wage laws infringe on “the fundamental natural right of freedom of contract.”

??? A perfectly good editorial, then it degenerates into fearmongering. States rights means rights for the state. Let the several united States decide their drug policies. Let them decide their leaf-weighing policies. This is the reason that Alabama, with some of the stricted anti-drug laws in the country, helped defend California in the medical marijuana case.

The federal imperialist can be right wing or left wing. He can be FDR or John Ashcroft. Federal imperialisms destroys the civic life of states.

In its order, drug agency said the lone government-licensed marijuana farm, operated by the University of Mississippi, grew enough for researchers. It said that 18 medical studies using the drug had been approved since 2000.

But Dr. Lyle E. Craker, the professor of plant biology at the University of Massachusetts who applied for the license three years ago, said researchers complained that the government’s marijuana was weak and that it was hard to get permission to use it.

“We wanted to have a source independent from the government and with a known potency so doctors can run clinical trials,” he said. Researchers would still have needed D.E.A. permission to work with the drug.

It also destroys lives.