Stoned federalism

The United States Constitution sets up a system of federalism, a union of states, each of which can have separate laws.  We are seeing some quirks of federalism today, as certain states legalize and commercialize what neighboring states treat as a serious crime.

Colorado is turning marijuana into a major industry and tourist attraction, while police from the states next door are filling their jails with people who have brought their purchases over the state line. [Read more...]

Where’s the opposition to legalized marijuana?

Our nation’s capital is gearing up to join Colorado and Washington state in legalizing marijuana.  Already about half of the states have legalized the drug for medicinal use.   Journalist Richard Leiby has noticed what would seem to be an odd fact:  Despite our supposed political polarization and our alleged culture wars, pro-marijuana initiatives are attracting virtually no organized opposition!

Why not?  Well, conservatives these days tend to lean libertarian.  Aging Baby Boomers of all persuasions, being Sixties veterans, don’t consider marijuana all that big a deal (though today’s genetically-engineered strains are far more potent than what they grew under ultra-violet lights in their basements).  Churches today don’t seem to care that much about minor personal vices since there are so many major ones.  Can you think of any other reasons?  What does this tell us about our culture today, and is it good or bad?  Read Mr. Leiby’s article, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more...]

Contradictory court rulings on Obamacare subsidies

One federal appeals court threw out the Obamacare subsidies, but hours later, another federal appeals court upheld them! [Read more...]

Religious liberty vs. LGBT Discrimination

Gordon College, a respected Christian institution, is under fire for asking for a religious exemption from the president’s executive order that no one doing business with the government may discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  The Hobby Lobby decision allowing a religious exemption for Obamacare contraception coverage explicitly said that the ruling did not apply in cases of discrimination.  David Skeel, in a discussion quoted after the jump, says that the Gordon College controversy would be the next major religious liberty issue.

The administration has made it clear that the president’s executive order  does NOT exempt religious groups.  A previous policy allowing an exemption for grants still stands.  World Vision and various other ministries receive grants, rather than contracts, so they would not be affected.  The president’s order did, however, leave intact a provision allowing religious groups to have a preference for hiring those who share their religious beliefs.  Perhaps that could include  religious beliefs about homosexuality.  [Read more...]

Senate fails to nullify Hobby Lobby ruling

As we blogged about, Democrats in the Senate, which they control, fast-tracked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling that Hobby Lobby and other privately-held companies could opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate by citing their religious objections to abortifacients.  The bill would prevent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from applying in such cases.  And since Republicans would probably oppose it, the bill would advance the Democrats’ narrative that Republicans are engaged in a “war against women.”  Well, the bill was defeated in the Senate, though House leadership says it may come up again. [Read more...]

Drug money

Colorado has legalized the sale and possession of marijuana, with Washington state soon to follow suit.  But it’s still illegal under federal law.  Which means that banks are not allowing companies that sell marijuana to open accounts, lest they violate federal laws and regulations.  This means that the legalized marijuana industry is accumulating mountains of cash and storing it in warehouses.  (A special dispensation allows for bank accounts to be opened for the sole purpose of paying taxes, so the government has that covered, at least.) [Read more...]


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