Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Suthers is All Over the Map on States' Rights

Kudos to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers for announcing that he'll join with a number of other states in suing to block ObamaCare health coverage mandates. But where's that fighting spirit when it comes to defending Colorado's right to go its own way on medical marijuana legalization?

The voters of Colorado ten years ago approved partial legalization, for medical purposes, but the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still is raiding dispensaries and grow operations in the state, superimposing federal drug control laws on Coloradans, without a peep of protest from Suthers. It appears the AG's stance on states' rights is selective and situational -- "political" instead of principled, in short. If it's a federal encroachment he's politically opposed to, he'll fight it. But when it comes to the medicinal use of marijuana, a state-sanctioned activity which Suthers opposes, the feds are free to run roughshod over Colorado.

Republicans could be on the vanguard of the neo-federalist revival taking place in some parts of the country, as the revulsion to what's happening in Washington grows. But in order to have any credibility on the issue, party leaders will have to show more consistency and determination than they have been in applying these principles. The test of credibility isn't in evoking states' rights selectively, when it's the politically popular thing to do, as with ObamaCare. Credibility comes from taking such stands when the issue at hand is politically controversial, even within one's own party, as with Cannabis-Care.

How about a little more consistency, and credibility, Mr. Attorney General?

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