Sunday, April 8, 2012

The peculiar issue of medical marijuana

I'm teaching a bit about medical marijuana in my state & local politics class this week. It turns out it's a really useful issue for understanding not only the conflicts between state and federal governments, but also between state and county governments. For a really nice review of the issue, check out Sam Kamin's article on medical marijuana in Colorado. As Kamin writes,
[Medical marijuana use] is seen as a serious felony (albeit an under-enforced one) at the federal level, as something akin to a constitutional right at the state level, and as either a nuisance to be regulated or as a tax source to be exploited at the local level. No other issue of the day -- not abortion, not alcohol, not prostitution, not gambling, not health care -- is treated quite so disparately by those various government entities that regulate it.


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