Utah Gov. Herbert signs bill demanding state control of federal lands by 2014
By Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill Friday that demands the federal government relinquish control of public lands in Utah by 2014, setting the table for a potential legal battle over millions of acres in the state.
House Bill 148, which easily passed the Legislature, is saddled with a warning from legislative attorneys that there is a high probability it will be found unconstitutional. But Republican lawmakers and Herbert are optimistic about their chances in court, especially if they can persuade other western states to pass similar legislation.
Ideally, state and federal officials should work together to improve access and increase development opportunities and improve conservation on public lands, Herbert said. Alternatively, the state’s congressional delegation would be able to work through Congress to give the state more control.
If those approaches fail, Herbert said a lawsuit to answer the constitutional question needs to remain an option.
“It’s not a slam dunk, but there is legal reasoning and a rational thought process,” Herbert said. “But this is the first step in a long journey. There is a lot of education needed to raise awareness.”
Opponents, including Utah Democrats and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, said the bill is not only unconstitutional but bad public policy. If implemented, they said, it could eliminate important protections from development and vehicle use for wildlife refuges, forests and other sensitive areas.
“The state has proven itself time and again to be a bad manager of public lands … This is a political stunt,” said David Garbett, an attorney with the environmental group. “It’s amazing that in one quixotic act they’ve offended the U.S. Constitution, the state constitution and the state’s enabling act.”
Legal experts have also said the state has no standing, noting that Utah, Arizona and other states passed similar legislation during the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion in the 1970s and 1980s.
So far, only Arizona has joined the fight, with legislation that has passed the state Senate. State Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, who sponsored the measure, said it’s designed to put the federal government on notice.
Melvin said federal regulations are killing industries like mining and timber, and the state could collect more money in property taxes if some of that land is sold.
The sponsor of the Utah law, Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, said the issue carries weight on a national scale and is extremely important to the entire region.
“This isn’t just a matter of chest-thumping in Utah,” Ivory said. “It’s time for us to stand as the model for the Western states, and for the nation, to show what it means to be self-reliant and free.”
At the core of the issue in all of the states is limited access to federal land, which hurts energy development, recreation and grazing. There are approximately 28 million acres of federal land in Utah, accounting for about 50 percent of the state. State lawmakers claim the federal lands cost the state millions of dollars every year, although no comprehensive studies have quantified those losses.
The Utah bill exempts national parks, military installations, Native American reservations and congressionally approved wilderness areas and monuments. It primarily focuses on lands controlled by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Most notably, the state would lay claim to the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, which President Bill Clinton designated in 1996. Since that declaration, state officials and residents of the rural area, which is dominated by red rock landscapes, have waged an endless battle with federal authorities over land use.
“The current situation is not what was intended to become of the West, yet greedy Washington bureaucrats have decided that hoarding land in the federal estate is more important than education,” said U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. “Like most Utahans, I disagree.”
As more people became dissatisfied with federal government controls and land grabs, it was inevitable that local law enforcement would eventually see the bigger picture. At the northern California fairgrounds of Yreka last month, seven California sheriffs and another from Oregon gathered with a large group of citizens to say that they are finally going to do something about it.
“A giant has been awakened,” said Plumas County, Calif. Sheriff Greg Hagwood, “and they didn’t count on that,” speaking of the federal bureaucracy.
With exposure of the Emergency Management Center in San Luis Obispo a few decades ago, California began to offer the rest of the nation some evidence of the psychological conditioning aimed from the federal level at state, county and city law enforcement.
Dean Wilson, sheriff of Del Norte County (Sacramento), is a great example of this great awakening. He received the loudest and longest applause for his candor in confessing past faults after apologizing for not understanding the central government assault and land grab being committed against the people and what he should have been doing about it. Only in the past year has he done a turnaround and begun to behave as a county sheriff instead of an extension of federal law enforcement.
“I had spent a good part of my life enforcing the penal code, but not understanding my oath of office,” he told the audience. “I was ignorant and naïve, but now I know of the assault against our people by the federal government.”
Host sheriff John Lopey of Siskiyou County, speaking about the federal environmental intervention, said: “I have told federal and state officials over and over that, yes, we want to preserve the environment, but you care more about the fish, frogs, trees and birds than you do about the human race. When will you start to balance your decisions to the needs of the people?” Later he told the audience, “We are right now in a fight for our survival.”
Glenn Palmer, sheriff of Grant County, Oregon, said, “If an elected official has not taken an oath of office, he does not belong in office.”
AFP readers are familiar with the work of former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, who has spent the latter half of his life teaching sheriffs that they are the top law enforcement officers in their counties despite continuing federal intervention attempts. The ears that were deaf for so long may finally be starting to hear.
“It’s becoming a national movement now,” Mack told AFP, citing Immigration and Naturalization Service failure at the Mexican borders, the phony drug war, plus IRS and other unconstitutional intervention within these states.
His plans to take this movement national will be launched at a January meeting, where he anticipates 200 sheriffs will be in attendance.
“The county sheriff is the last line of defense guarding our people’s liberty,” he said.
Retired USAF Col. Richard Niemela of Reston, Va. has been exposing the federal monster for years.
He told AFP: “It’s the surreptitious domination by international globalists insidiously using unauthorized and illegal tactics to render null and void those historic and unique powers of the sheriff.”
A group of US representatives plan to introduce legislation that will legalize marijuana and allow states to legislate its use, pro-marijuana groups said Wednesday.
The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, and allow people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal.
The bill, which is expected to be introduced on Thursday by Republican Representative Ron Paul and Democratic Representative Barney Frank, would be the first ever legislation designed to end the federal ban on marijuana. Ron Paul and Barney Frank have teamed up to introduce legislation legalizing marijuana. Not decriminalizing it, but actually totally legalizing it.
It is being billed as “bipartisan legislation” but Ron Paul is the only Republican co-sponsor. According to the Marijuana Policy Project: “The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.”
On this, the 40th anniversary of the WAR ON DRUGS, basically every thinking person agrees that marijuana prohibition is an expensive failure. Will this bill even get a floor debate in the House of Representatives?
Sixteen of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
But planting, selling or commercially distributing marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Last year, California citizens voted not to legalize recreational marijuana use, although the debate continues in about half a dozen other states.
Three weeks ago a group of ex-presidents of Latin America as well as former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan denounced the failure of the global war on drugs and called for urgent changes, including the legalization of cannabis.
Between 1998 and 2008, worldwide consumption of opiates increased 35 percent, with cocaine use growing 27 percent and marijuana use growing 8.5 percent, according to the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
June marks the 40th anniversary of the “WAR ON DRUGS” launched by President Richard Nixon in 1970, the first major US anti-drug initiative.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. 10th Amendment
BY MICHAEL BIESECKER – Staff Writer
RALEIGH — Cautioning that the federal dollars in your wallet could soon be little more than green paper backed by broken promises, state Rep. Glen Bradley wants North Carolina to issue its own legal tender backed by silver and gold.
The Republican from Youngsville has introduced a bill that would establish a legislative commission to study his plan for a state currency. He is also drafting a second bill that would require state government to accept gold and silver coins as payment for taxes and fees.
If the state treasurer starts accepting precious metals as payment, Bradley said that could prod the private sector to follow suit – potentially allowing residents to trade gold for groceries.
“I think we’re in the process of inflating a dollar bubble that could be very devastating,” said Bradley, a freshman legislator elected in November’s GOP tide. “The idea is once the study commission finishes its work, then we could build on top of the hard-money currency with an actual State Tender Act that will basically [issue currency] in correspondence to precious metals stored in the state treasury.”
Bradley’s bill has yet to attract any co-sponsors among his fellow Republicans.
Mike Walden, an economics professor at N.C. State University, said the notion of North Carolina reverting to having its own currency is outlandish.
“We dealt with this issue about 100 years ago when the Federal Reserve was established,” Walden said. “If North Carolina were to have its own currency, that would put us at an extreme competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis other parts of the country and other parts of the world.”
State Treasurer Janet Cowell joked that Bradley’s precious metals proposal could increase efficiency in state government by providing a good use for her department’s old basement vault, which is currently used for storage.
“I look forward to engaging in an important public policy debate about whose face should be on the gold coin,” quipped Cowell, a Democrat.
But Bradley predicts that world events could soon prove him prescient.
“I don’t necessarily believe [the Federal Reserve] is about to collapse right now,” said Bradley, 37. “There are still a few things they can do with qualitative easing to sort of extend their survival. It’s just a question of how long. Right know we have a lot of sovereign debt going to China and Japan. When that debt stops being purchased by foreign countries, that currency is going to flood back onto American shores, potentially creating hyperinflation and bursting the currency bubble we have coming in Federal Reserve notes today.”
The Austrian School
Bradley, a self-employed computer technician and former Marine, attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest until he could no longer afford tuition, he said. While he has not taken any in-depth classes in economics, Bradley described himself as a devotee of the Austrian School, a branch of economic thought that originated in Vienna and was influential before World War I.
Back then the value of most of the world’s currencies were tied to the amount of the gold amassed in their national treasuries. The United States abandoned the gold standard in 1933, after it was blamed for worsening the Great Depression.
Though the ideas of the Austrian School have been rejected by mainstream economists for much of the last century, they are in vogue with Libertarians and some supporters of the tea party movement.
The language of Bradley’s House Bill 301 predicts a dire future for the U.S. economy.
“Many widely recognized experts predict the inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System’s currency through hyperinflation in the foreseeable future,” the bill declares. “In the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System, for which the State is not prepared, the State’s governmental finances and private economy will be thrown into chaos. …”
Asked who are the “widely recognized experts” to which his bill refers, Bradley cited U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Peter Schiff, a precious-metals dealer and investor who regularly appears as a commentator on Fox News.
Walden, the economics professor, said the views espoused by adherents of the Austrian School are well outside the mainstream of modern economic thought.
Bradley’s ideas for taking the state back to the Gilded Age don’t end at economics.
About Commerce Clause
A strict Constitutionalist, he has also introduced bills to exempt North Carolina agricultural products and firearms manufactured in the state from federal regulation as long as they are not sold or exported across state lines, measures that fly in the face of more than a century of U.S. Supreme Court rulings interpreting the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“They’re wrong,” Bradley said confidently of generations of justices. “The 10th Amendment is quite clear that those powers not reserved in the Constitution for the federal government are reserved to the states. It’s doesn’t take a high-priced lawyer to interpret the Constitution.”
Rep. Becky Carney, a Charlotte Democrat, said she found Bradley’s currency bill “perplexing.”
“There has absolutely been no indication of the collapse of the Federal Reserve system,” said Carney, who serves on the House banking committee. “It sounds like the Chicken Little story about ‘the sky is falling.'”
The office of House Speaker Thom Tillis declined to say whether the GOP leadership supports Bradley’s proposal to create a state currency. His bill has been referred to the House rules committee, where legislation is sometimes sent to die.
“There are a lot of diverse opinions and diverse views in our caucus,” said Jordan Shaw, Tillis’ spokesman. “I don’t think we’re going to forecast what will happen.” [email protected] or 919-829-4698
If you’re not convinced the threat of inflation in the U.S. is real, there’s a handful of Utah senators (17 to be exact) who respectfully disagree. The Utah Senate passed HB317 yesterday, 17-7, moving the state a few steps closer to a gold and silver standard. The bill allows businesses and individuals to exchange federally issued gold and silver coins instead of paper dollars in financial transactions.
The gold and silver would be valued at their current market price, meaning cashiers would probably need a calculator and a running Kitco ticker beside the register when processing transactions.
A state committee will now look at whether Utah should recognize an official alternate form of legal tender. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, who has not taken an official stance on the bill according to the Washington Times, will have the final say to veto or sign it into law.
If the bill ultimately becomes law, the implications would be interesting. On one level, it’s a symbolic move designed to send a message to Washington. On another, actually using gold and silver as legal tender would be difficult as users would have to file federally required transaction reports, according to the Deseret News.
If inflation becomes a reality, though, the appeal of such a system might be worth the headaches. Just last month, J.P. Morgan announced it would take gold as collateral for loans. It’s a sign that more sophisticated gold and silver transactions could be on the way.
Here’s a hypothetical: what if employers could pay employees in gold and silver? That amount could be electronically deposited into employee accounts not in USD but in XAU (the currency symbol for gold) or XAG (the currency symbol for silver). Banks could then issue special debit cards so that purchases could also be made in XAU and XAG.
If a business didn’t directly accept gold or silver as tender, credit card companies could apply an exchange rate for the gold or silver in the account, charge a fee to the purchaser and convert the purchase amount to USD at prevailing prices.
If the dollar were in the midst of a free fall, the consumer who’s holding gold or silver in the bank rather than dollars, would win. It’s almost enough to make me want to move to Utah.
Not enough gold in the world to return to a gold standard, Bernanke says
Rumblings that the U.S. should return to a gold standard have started trickling into the media as the public grows wary of a ballooning budgetary deficit. In an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was asked directly about the possibility of the U.S. returning to a gold standard.
“It did deliver price stability over very long periods of time, but over shorter periods of time it caused wide swings in prices related to changes in demand or supply of gold. So I don’t think it’s a panacea,” Bernanke said.
The soft response to questioning from Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) – a long-time Bernanke detractor – leaves a tiny window of hope that a gold standard might be something the Fed’s actually considering. “It’s not a cure-all, but it could be helpful,” Bernanke seems to be saying.
It’s difficult to imagine Bernanke would endorse a gold standard. He’s long maintained that the Federal Reserve kept too tight of a grip on the money supply by raising interest rates during the Great Depression. Once the public began losing faith in the dollar, they were all too eager to trade greenbacks for gold, which further contracted the money supply and ultimately led to deflation.
Linking the dollar to a fixed amount of gold would constrict the Fed’s ability to prop up the money supply. Bernanke himself pointed to another flaw he sees in a gold-backed currency: namely, that there’s not enough gold in the world to go around.
“I don’t think that a full-fledged gold standard would be practical at this point,” Bernanke said.
He could be implying a watered-down gold standard of sorts is possible in the future, but I’m not convinced Bernanke believes that. Inflation is one of the few tools the Fed has to spur growth (or at least the perception of growth). Giving power up is always more difficult than accepting it, and – so long as the public retains faith in the dollar – it would serve little purpose.
To understand the Gold Standard you have to understand money. To understand money you have to understand other things. Permit me to explain:
1. Money is a symbol for something that has a universal value. Most societies have only permitted gold and silver as money. Even our Constitution forbids the States to recognize anything else as legal tender:
Section. 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
If you are looking for a legal way to challenge the Federal Reserve, this is it. It appears that you could file a motion in your home state under this section of the U.S. Constitution to force your state to stick to gold and silver as legal tender. The U.S. Constitution is the highest law of the land. Nothing trumps it. However, there are ways around this provision. One is the so-called “Gold Standard”. In other words, we can use pieces of paper that actually represent gold or silver.
Some of you might even recall “gold and silver” certificates that floated around in past century. These were redeemable in actual gold and silver at your nearest Federal Reserve Bank. So, if you had a $1 certificate, you could redeem it for $1 worth of silver or gold. This is one of the reasons why Kennedy was assassinated, by the way.
MYTH 1: The Gold Standard is the Answer to our Economic Woes.
The fact of the matter is that there is only a limited amount of gold out there. In fact, you could put all the available gold produced in one year in your living room (about 50 million troy ounces.) That would have a market value of about 80 billion dollars. If we estimate all of the gold available to us today from previous mining operations, we are looking at a cube about 1/3 the size of the Washington Monument.
In other words, we would have about 10 billion ounces of gold. We would have about 10 trillion dollars worth of gold if we put the entire amount into circulation. With a global economy of about 60 trillion dollars, we would be about 50 Trillion short. Or, we could contract the global economy by 50 trillion dollars and be right there.
But, here is the problem:
1. People hold onto things of value. That means they pull it out of circulation. Gold is used for much more than just currency, so it would be fair to estimate that half of the 10 trillion would be pulled from circulation in the first year and reallocated for other uses.
2. It would eliminate all third party transactions. Using gold itself as a physical means of exchange would make it impossible for you to buy anything that was further than you could drive.
Which brings us back to the “Gold Standard”.
If every dollar were backed by the equivalent amount of gold than you have eliminated the problem of third party transactions, but you still have the problem of scarcity. There were about 829 billion US dollars in circulation as of December 2007 according to the US Treasury. That means we would need 20% of the available gold to back our currency. Europe would need another 20%. That means the rest of the world would have to fight over the remaining 60%. So, the question remains, what currency would they use to conduct business with the rest of the world and how would it be backed?
Now, if we throw silver in the mix, we have something we can work with.
MYTH 2: The Gold Standard Will Stop the Banksters from Stealing Our Money.
I wish it were true. But, it is not:
1. The Knights Templar were the first bankers of Europe. They would take in deposits of gold and silver and issue “wooden chits” that could be redeemed at any Templar facility in Europe or elsewhere. This was the “gold standard” in action. But, Banksters will be banksters and they figured out that very few people actually redeemed the “chits”. Instead they stayed in circulation.
2. Pretty soon, they started lending money to kings and Popes alike. They handed out wooden “chits” and demanded to be paid back in gold and silver. Thus, they leveraged the “gold standard” by issuing “notes” that actually had nothing behind them. All because they knew that 98% of the wooden chits would remain in circulation and very few would ever be redeemed for the gold and silver they kept on deposit.
3. Inflation is always the result of what we call “fractional lending”. The Banksters end up with the gold and silver, and we end up with a worthless currency that continues to decline in value.
The Real Problem is the Federal Reserve System Folks!
1. The Federal Reserve System is a private corporation controlled by Illuminati Jews and the literal descendants of the Knights Templar. Most of the families that own the Fed are not even American Citizens.
2. The Fed uses the Treasury to print its privately owned currency and then charges us interest just to keep that currency in circulation.
3. The IRS and Federal Income Tax were created for the sole purpose of paying off the Interest owed to these Private Bankers for Using their currency.
Imagine what life would be like without an income tax. The divorce rate would plummet. One spouse could support a family. America would truly be the “Land of the Free”.
John F Kennedy was Murdered for trying to shut down the Illuminati Banksters:
1. He actually created a publicly owned currency that was backed by gold and silver. Some of you might recall the gold and silver certificates of the early 60s.
2. The currency was owned by “We the People” and it was interest free!
3. If he would have lived, and his program would have succeeded none of this current mess would have happened.
But, they killed him. If you remember nothing else, remember this: Anyone that calls for a gold standard without also calling for the abolishment of the Fed and a “Silver Standard” is throwing you a “red herring” and either stupid, or employed as a mouthpiece by the Illuminati Banksters. You need gold, silver and an interest free currency if America is to be truly free.
There are a few core beliefs that guide me in everything I do as the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center
1. Rights are not “granted” to us by the government – they are ours by our very nature, by our birthright.
2. ALL just political authority is derived from the people – and government exists solely with our consent!
3. We the people of the several states created the federal government – not the other way around!
4. The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people to the federal government in the Constitution – and nothing more.
5. The People of each State have the sole and exclusive right and power to govern themselves in all areas not delegated to their government.
6. A Government without limits IS A TYRANNY!
7. When Congress enacts laws and regulations that are not made in Pursuance of the
powers enumerated in the Constitution, the People are not bound to obey them.
These seven items – are what establish the proper role of government under the constitution. But sadly, an honest reading of the constitution as the founders and ratifiers gave it to us makes clear that MOST of what D.C does today is NOT authorized by the constitution.
Question – What do we do about it?
Do we lobby congress and ask federal politicians to limit federal power? Do we go to federal courts and ask federal judges to limit federal power? Do we vote the bums out in the hopes that the new bums will limit their own power?
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both warned us that if the federal government ever became the sole and exclusive arbiter of the extent of its own powers – that power would endlessly grow…regardless of elections, separation of powers, courts, or other vaunted parts of our system…..
They were right. For a hundred years, we the people have been suing, and marching, and lobbying, and voting the bums out – but yet…year in and year out, government continues to grow and your liberty continues to diminish – and it doesn’t matter who is the president, or what political party controls congress – the growth of power in the federal government never stops.
The problem we face today is about power – and until we address the absolute fact that the federal government has too much power, things will never change.
Question – What do we do about it?
Answer – Jefferson, Madison and others advised us on what we should do when 2 or more branches conspired against the constitution and your liberty….and it’s best described with a few quotes from Jefferson:
“the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government”
But wait – that’s not all. He went on to say that all undelegated powers exercised by the federal government are “unathoritative, void and of no force.” And, that a “nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”
In 2007, Maine…one state rep introduced a non-binding resolution opposing the REAL ID Act
In 2008, two state legislators in Oklahoma introduced a simple non-binding resolution reaffirming the Constitution as defined by the 10th amendment,
In 2009, one state rep in Montana introduced a Firearms Freedom Act, to nullify some federal gun laws and regulations
In 2009, one state rep in AZ introduced a Health Care Freedom Act, effectively banning a national health care plan in the state.
• Already nearly a dozen states have passed 10th amendment resolutions
• 25 states have stopped the real id act dead in its tracks in most of the country.
• 8 states have passed binding laws nullifying some federal gun laws and regulations in their state – including Wyoming, which included a penalty of a fine and imprisonment for fed agents violating the state law
• And 5 states have already passed laws to nullify federal health care mandates – with more on the way.
The reality is this – when enough people say no to the federal government, and enough states pass laws saying no to the federal government – they will not be able to enforce their unconstitutional mandates on us.
During the Great Depression, while millions of people were out of work or starving, the FDR administration required American farmers to restrict production of wheat in order to raise prices.
As a farmer, Roscoe Filburn was told he could plant a little over 10 acres of wheat, which he did grow and sell on the market. He also decided that it was in his best interest – possibly because he had less revenue due to the production limitations – to plant another 10 or so acres. But, the “excess” wheat grown was used at home to feed his livestock, among other things. He never sold it, so he saw this as being outside the scope of Congressional power to regulate “interstate commerce.”
What did the federal government do? The expected – they ordered Roscoe to destroy his crops and pay a fine. Think about that for a moment and you’ll really understand the evil of having too much power in too few hands. At a time when large numbers of people were starving, these thugs in government forced people to reduce production for the sake of raising prices. From this, it seems clear to me that corporate bailouts have been going on a long, long time in America.
Roscoe sued, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. In Wickard v Filburn, the Court ruled against him and the result was that the Federal Government assumed a power that was new in the history of this country. It now had the power to control the growing and consuming of something that never left one’s back yard.
John Adams, In 1775 he wrote, “liberty once lost, is lost forever.” He went on to explain that when the People allow government to gain power and restrict liberty, it will never voluntarily give that power back. Liberty given up to government power will never be returned to the people without a long and difficult struggle.
If we fast forward to present times, we can see this principle at work.
In the 1990s, the People of California voted to legalize consumption of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Angel Raich, who has a huge cancerous tumor in her brain was told by her doctor and California law that using marijuana to relieve some of the pain associated with her cancer was acceptable.
The Feds don’t take too kindly to states passing laws in direct contravention to theirs. Marijuana, for example, is illegal on a federal level in all circumstances, and federal agencies have consistently said they don’t recognize state laws. You can probably guess what happened, right?
Federal agents destroyed Angel’s homegrown marijuana plants without much resistance. Like Roscoe before her, Angel sued. The suit went all the way to the Supreme Court, and in Gonzales v Raich, Angel lost. The 2005 ruling made clear that the federal government did not recognize state laws authorizing the use of marijuana – in any situation.
In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas gave a stark warning:
“If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption…then Congress’ Article I powers…have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce.”
You might be asking, “What’s the point of this?” Well it’s pretty simple. The constitution is not about political parties. It’s not about political ideologies. It’s about liberty. It’s about limiting the federal government to certain enumerated powers so the most difficult and most divisive issues can be dealt with where they belong – close to home.
Even though she lost the case, Angel indicated she’d continue to use marijuana. At the time of the ruling, there were 10 states that had such laws. Not one of them has been repealed. Since then, another 4 states have passed similar laws, and many others are considering them, including South Dakota, Kansas, and New Hampshire.
This is the lesson, the blueprint – the Supreme Court may have an opinion on Obamacare, but let them come and enforce it! They may have an opinion on the EPA and Cap and Trade, but we don’t have to go along with it. And if Texas does what she should be doing – which is following the Constitution every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses – she would say no to every federal gun law, she would say no to all the EPA, she would say no to all the Obamacare mandates, and maybe even the marijuana laws too.
The reality is this – we don’t need approval from the federal government to stand up for our rights. We need to stand up for them whether they want us to or not!
Over the past 2 years, I’ve been interviewed by mainstream media sources literally dozens of times. And whether it’s Fox News, or CNN, or the New York Times, the reporters invariably ask the same question, “What political party do you support?” Each time, I give them the same answer, “The Tenth Amendment Center is a non-partisan think tank that supports the principles of strictly limited constitutional government.”
They always have virtually the same follow up question too – “what about you? As the founder of the Center, what’s your political background, what political party do you support?”
“None,” I tell them. I don’t know if they believe me, but it’s true.
I’m no conservative, and I’m no liberal. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. And I’m not a green or a libertarian, or a socialist or an anarchist. I’m not even an independent.
All I am is me, and all I want is to live free. Thank you for joining me…