Recreational Marijuana Case Study

1622 Words 7 Pages
First and foremost I would like to say thank you Attorney General Peterson, for bringing me on to help advise on the potential success that may come from a challenge in the Supreme Court that is in opposition of the legality of the state of Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. The constitutionality of Congress being able to regulate recreational marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, as well as the use of the Commerce Clause, is something that the court system needs to intensely scrutinize. Looking back at the precedents that have been set throughout the history of the Supreme Court, such as “Wickard V. Filburn (1942),” “Gonzalez V. Raich (2005),” “Gibbons V. Ogden (1824),” among others is a great way to gain a …show more content…
Maryland (1819),” that show the origin of the legality in the argument that recreational marijuana should indeed be federally regulated. In McCulloch V. Maryland, Chief Justice Marshall uses these words to justify the use of the elastic clause to make the creation of a national bank constitutional by saying, “Congress is not empowered by it to make all laws, which may have relation to the powers conferred on the government, but such only as may be “necessary and proper.[Gilman, Graber, Whittington, 131]” This use of the elastic clause sets the precedent that new laws can be seen as or deemed legal, so long as they are conveyed to be “necessary and proper,” although later on in his opinion he does say that it should be viewed at in a case by case basis[Gilman, Graber, Whittington, 129-134]. That ruling then leads to the court case of “Gibbons V. Ogden (1824).” Chief Justice Marshal again enacts the elastic clause in the case, using it to validate the courts ruling that it is necessary for the federal government to be able to regulate water ways over state authority. That decision in part was also in conjunction with the use of the supremacy clause, which gives the federal government authority over state government when there are competing constitutional claims. The decision from the court also set precedent in terms of how the …show more content…
That Congress has the supreme authority over states when it comes to competing constitutional claims, as well as absolutely authority to regulate all types of commerce. This includes purely intrastate activity that is not itself intended for commerce. Additionally if an activity falls under the three bread areas outlined in the Lopez case mentioned previously. Taking all of those factors into consideration you can see where the federal regulation of marijuana falls under a number of the outlines and regulations. Recreational marijuana falls under the umbrella of interstate commerce, therefore making it necessary and proper to regulate, and while the state of Colorado may be making a claim that the state has the right to regulate it independently, Congress ultimately has supreme authority over competing claims, which only helps to stimulate our case. A counter claim that Colorado, and other state who have since legalized the use of marijuana recreationally, could make is that it is only an intrastate act, but that argument is nullified by the second area outlines in the Lopez case, specifically saying that Congress has the right to regulate, even though the threat may come only from intrastate activities. Difficulties tracing the origin of marijuana (as looked at in US V. Gonzalez) is another argument that can bolster

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