Thursday, January 4, 2018

Laws - Federal vs State

From a newsletter I get:
Medical Marijuana vs. the RKBA in Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Police officials are stirring up protest among Pennsylvania gun-owners who are also potential medical marijuana patients. “It disturbs me greatly to see the Pennsylvania State Police put on their website references to federal law while ignoring the fact that it is legal under Pennsylvania law,” says Patrick Nightingale of Greenfield. Nightingale is a gun owner, a criminal defense attorney, and a recent applicant for a medical marijuana card. What disturbs him is a State Police statement on their website, citing federal law, telling medical marijuana card holders, “It is unlawful for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and you should consult an attorney about the best way to dispose of your firearms.” Not true, says Nightingale. “Firearms are woven into the fabric of our country. It’s the second most important right in the Bill of Rights,” the attorney says. Here’s the issue. Under Pennsylvania state law, medical marijuana is legal and is no bar to gun ownership. But under federal law, it’s illegal and could keep you from owning a firearm. So the question is – will Pennsylvania state authorities, including the State Police, enforce the federal law over the state law? ...
So if the state cops (who answer to the Governor) decide that Federal law trumps state law, then all you MMJ folks must immediately turn in your guns. In Colorado, the issue has been side stepped although Mr. Sessions and Senator Gardner are about to go round and round on this in the immediate future. In Cali, if the Governor doesn't like federal immigration law, he instructs the state police to not enforce it. Now what?

In general I've been informed that federal law is the law of the land and whatever it says, the states may not say otherwise. There is a thing called the Cole Memo which told the federal cops not to take MJ all that seriously. Compliance has varied from state to state. The MJ issue is coming to a head as AG Sessions is no friend to the pot industry and is taking a hard line on this. Pot is currently classified with Heroin, LSD, and meth.  
The classification is in the federal regulations and I'm not sure if that's the purview of the congress or one of the alphabet soup agencies.

The root of the problem is, as usual, money. The states have discovered that selling drugs is a very profitable line of work and that they can bring in more money by becoming part of the operation than they can by taxing most legal industries.

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