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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Federalism in Focus: The Legalization of Marijuana and the CSA

Federalism Quiz Today!

Medicinal marijuana is now legal in nearly two dozen states, and several states have even legalized it for recreational purposes. These states are in direct conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) which classifies marijuana as a Class 1 drug. How can states legalize marijuana while it remains prohibited at the federal level? Is this a violation of the supremacy clause? How does the 10th Amendment play into this debate?

Read the US Government's memo to the states on federal enforcement of marijuana laws.

  • What is the message that the federal government is giving to the states?
  • How could that change with another president?
Read this editorial on the legalization of marijuana and the conflict with federal law.
  • Should states be able to pick and choose what federal laws they will choose to follow?
  • How does the Court's decision in Printz v. US relate to states' enforcement of federal law?
If states are able to legalize marijuana, what are the problems posed by prohibition at the federal level?

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