I sent this out to a few select people in advance of posting this here and had a interesting conversation with Mike Gaddy in regards to my interpretation of the second portion of this regarding the 2nd Amendment. As always, I do not expect people to take me at my word, but to study on their own and come to their own conclusions. But please, stop believing everything your teachers have taught you, what the news media tells you, and what lies spew forth from the lips of your elected officials…
On November 8, 2016 Americans took to the polls to choose who will fill the office of president of the United States for the next four years. Of minor note, the residents of the State of California passed Proposition 64, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. One would have thought, with California being that bastion of liberalism that it is, that it would have been the first State to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but even Colorado and Washington State beat us to the punch on that one; but that’s beside the point.
So now, technically, should someone choose to partake of the devil’s cabbage, as marijuana is sometimes called, they could without fear of arrest. But wait, should someone choose to fire up a bowl on Friday night after work and then be tested at work on Monday morning during a random sweep for drug users; they will most likely lose their job. You see, marijuana, or the active ingredient THC, remains in ones system much longer than alcohol. If you are a frequent user it could take up to two months to rid your body of all traces of THC; and that’s only if you quit smoking it altogether.
But why should anyone face termination for something that is legal within their State is the more important question? You see, most employers abide by federal law when it comes to such things as drug usage; and the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal according to Uncle Sam. So it doesn’t matter if all 50 States in the Union legalize it, as long as Uncle Sam says it’s a no-no, you can, and probably will be fired if caught using it by your employer.
You see, my real concern here is not whether people are allowed to smoke marijuana when they are away from their jobs; it is the abuse of powers by our federal government; telling us what we can and cannot put into our own bodies.
All the time we hear the pro abortion movement stating that it is a woman’s right to choose whether to keep or terminate a baby growing inside her; their argument being that it is her body and should be her choice. Why should it not be the same for those who wish to use marijuana recreationally? The government fears going anywhere near the abortion issue for fear of the backlash from the pro-abortion movement, yet they have an entire agency dedicated to going after those who cultivate or produce, sell, and use drugs recreationally.
If I may be so bold to ask; where in the Constitution is this authority granted them?
The problem, as I see it, is that people in this country have not sat down and actually studied the Constitution. Oh, they may have read it once or twice even, but they have not studied it; read it to see how the words are used and what they mean.
Our government was established with a bicameral Congress which required that both the representatives of the people and the representatives of the States both agree to any law before it is sent to the desk of the Executive to sign into law, or send back to Congress with his objections. There is a little understood clause within the Constitution known as the Supremacy Clause, found in Article 6, which states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
People read that and all they see is the part where it says supreme law of the land; while they fail to notice the part that says made in Pursuance thereof. For any law our government passes to be valid it must be in accordance with the specific powers granted government when the Constitution was first written; and these powers are found within Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. I have read through those powers hundreds of times and I have yet to find one with gives government the authority to tell people what they can and cannot consume.
So, if it is not among the powers granted the federal government to decide whether or not people can smoke marijuana, then to whom does that power belong to? Well, there is this little thing called the 10th Amendment.
When the Constitution was written and submitted to the States for their approval there were those who from the get go hated it and the powers it gave this new central government; fearing it would turn out to be tyrannical. Then there were those who felt that with a few amendments to better protect certain rights, it could become a fine outline for a system of government.
Fearing that the Constitution might not be ratified by a sufficient number of States the Federalists, (those who wrote and supported the Constitution), agreed to adding amendments to it if the States only would ratify it first. Once ratified the States submitted long lists of proposals for amendments regarding issues they felt were of great importance to them.
James Madison culled those lists down to 12 and submitted them to the States for their approval. Ten of them were eventually ratified; and they became our Bill of Rights. These amendments are just as much a part of our Constitution as is the main body which was written in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787 and ratified by the States over the course of the following year. They are, to put it bluntly, also the Supreme Law of the Land.
The tenth of these amendments states, “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.”
What this means is that if a power is not clearly defined as belonging to the federal government, or the State government, it is reserved to either the States or the people. So, if the federal government is not granted the authority to pass laws saying a person may use marijuana for their own personal use, then the power to enact such laws either is given to the States or to the people directly.
I could also delve into whether or not each State’s Constitution allows for them to prohibit the use of marijuana; making it a decision that is left to the people of the States to decide upon, but that would probably bore you beyond your ability to withstand.
The point is that the federal government, and its war on drugs, is unconstitutional. All the agencies created by the government to enforce their unconstitutional prohibition on the use of drugs are unconstitutional. Therefore, employers who abide by federal law, and not state law, in regards to the use of marijuana are enforcing unconstitutional laws.
There you have it; ya’ll are breaking the law more than those you seek to terminate for the recreational use of marijuana. But as long as people do not understand this critical balance between what is within the federal government’s ability to do, and what is reserved to the States, nothing is going to change; people will still be punished for doing something that is within their right to do.
As a side note, if the people of this country were that staunchly opposed to the usage of marijuana they could put forth an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the use of marijuana; making it part of the Supreme Law of the Land. They did so in the 1920’s with the 18th Amendment, prohibiting alcohol. But look how well that turned out; creating an entire substructure of organized crime that provided alcohol for those who chose to disobey the law. Eventually they realized that the 18th Amendment was a mistake, and it was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933; making the sale and consumption of alcohol legal again.
But until something like that happens in regards to the use of marijuana, if a State makes it legal for its citizens to use it, then there is nothing the federal government can do to prohibit them; at least according to the Constitution.
And while we’re on the subject of attempting to understand the meaning of the Supremacy Clause and the Bill of Rights, let’s take a moment to discuss how all this applies to another right that is constantly under attack; the right to keep and bear arms.
As already discussed, once the proposed amendments were ratified by the States they became as much a part of the Constitution as all the other Articles in the main body of that document; in essence they too became the Supreme Law of the Land.
The 2nd Amendment simply states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Now there has been a lot of discussion over the wording and the use of punctuation in the 2nd Amendment, with various versions being used to explain its intent. But this is the version that is on display at the National Archives, and the one on record as being ratified by the States.
The part that I wish to address is, “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” That is a prohibition on the federal government from enacting any law which restricts the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
There are those who say that our Founders could not have foreseen the advancements in the type of arms made in the future and that therefore these so-called assault weapons should be banned from the public. But what did the word arms mean back when the Constitution was written?
You see, words change in their meaning over time and to understand their meaning in a document such as our Constitution we must understand the meaning they had back in the late 18th Century. For instance, when I was growing up gay meant extremely happy and today it means one who is homosexual. So what did arms mean in 1789?
Arms, as it was used back then, comes from the Middle English word armes, which simply means weapons of a warrior. Arms in the 18th Century meant the same weapons as found in the arsenals of the militia, and those used in time of war.
To understand why our Founders, or at least those who pushed for an amendment protecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms, you must understand the reason why this amendment was so important to them. It was not so that they could hunt or protect their homes against crime; as crime was far less an occurrence back then as it is now. So why would they want an amendment protecting the people’s right to keep military style weapons? It was so that the people could stand up to tyrants.
On June 5, 1788 Patrick Henry arose and delivered a lengthy speech to the Virginia Ratifying Assembly. You have to remember, at the time Mr. Henry spoke the Constitution had not yet been ratified, and there was no Bill of Rights or 2nd Amendment. Therefore take into consideration these things when attempting to understand what Mr Henry said. Mr Henry’s words were, “Oh, Sir, we should have fine times indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people. Your arms wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical; no longer democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”
That is why we have a 2nd Amendment, to give the people the power to stand up to tyranny in their government. To allow government to pass laws which restrict our ability to own the same weapons law enforcement carries, or our standing armies carry, is to tip the scale in favor of government should the people decide they need to rise up and shake off the shackles of oppression imposed upon them by their government.
That is why all federal gun laws are a violation of the intent of the 2nd Amendment; but what about State laws which do the same?
If you recall, the Supremacy Clause says that the Constitution, and all laws passed in pursuance of the powers granted government shall be the Supreme Law of the Land. If restrictions were imposed upon the federal government from enacting laws which restrict our right to keep and bear arms by constitutional amendment, then those restrictions become the Supreme Law of the Land and are not subject to restrictions by State law, for the Constitution supersedes State law in regards to this matter.
So if the 2nd Amendment says my right to both KEEP and BEAR arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, why do I need a permit to bear an arm for my own defense? Why are certain guns restricted in my State, while permitted in other States? If arms are arms all across the land, why the wide range of laws which interpret which arms a person in one State may own in comparison to what arms another person in another State may own? Why the variances in what is meant by the word bear? Why do some States allow for open carry, while others only allow for concealed carry?
The 2nd Amendment makes no distinction between what type of arm one chooses to keep, nor upon how they wish to bear it; just that the right shall not be infringed.
And infringed our rights have been, both by the federal governments restrictions on certain types of weapons and the States various laws which further restrict that right.
This could only happen because the people of this country are ignorant of what the Constitution says and what it means. Yes, IGNORANT! You vote for these people to fill the seats of power without knowing the powers granted them and the restrictions placed upon their powers. You vote for them based upon how they come close to filling your twisted views as to the purpose government should serve, not the purpose defined in the Preamble; to “…secure the Blessings of Liberty…” You would rather be slaves without rights, being tossed handouts and a few paltry benefits than you would freemen who stand up for the same thing those valiant men did in 1776, and again in 1861…their independence for tyrants.
I refuse to participate in the charade of voting for these traitors and imposters who claim they will support and defend the Constitution, while their acts and campaign promises prove they don’t care about what that document says are the powers granted them. Until I see a candidate run that bases his entire platform on repealing laws previously passed by our government I will know that no matter who is elected the end result is that our government will continue to grow larger and more powerful, and our rights will be further diminished.
But you go ahead, keep playing their game. That’s how they know they still have a majority of the people fooled. And I suppose that makes you a fool; doesn’t it?