Day 2 of the Los Angeles Times’ “Dust-up” between Jacob Sullum and Cully Stimson on drug policy is now up. It’s turning into a real gem of a series.
The Part 2 question: Do federal raids of legal local marijuana dispensaries violate state sovereignty?
Here, Stimson at least gets it technically right in terms of what the government can legally do given how the Supreme Court has allowed the Constitution to be perverted from its original intent over the years. But Sullum gets it right.
One part of Stimson’s argument really got a little surreal:
But when you disagree with a law, it’s too easy to forget that we have a government of laws and not men — in other words, not a dictatorship but a self-governing democracy. That means that the law applies to each of us equally, so you cannot ignore a law simply because you disagree with it.
First, he’s using the wrong argument for his case and he doesn’t even see it. The issue regarding people using medical marijuana isn’t related to a friction between between imposed dictatorship and democracy; it’s a friction between representative democracy (albeit skewed by political pressure) and individual rights. Nobody is suggesting that someone should dictate to everyone what they must do, but rather suggesting that states and individuals should be free to pursue their will.
Second, it’s harder every day to talk straight-faced about the rule of law as it relates to preventing sick people from taking medicine, when our government ignores the rule of law in so many areas (think FISA).