In America, we are fortunate to have a “social compact” that protects the people from “government intelligence.” Rather than relying on “government intelligence” for governance, America relies on the Constitution, in theory. In theory, America is a nation of law and the federal government only has limited, specifically stated powers and no others. This means the federal government has to have a stated power or it cannot make a law regarding a particular matter.
For the Congress to make legitimate laws (all others are by definition “unjust” under the American theory of government) it must have been given that power in the Constitution, specifically Article I §8, which specifies the law-making powers given Congress. Government intelligence is not a basis for Congressional power, precisely because “government and intelligence” is known to be oxymoronic, thank the Founding Fathers!
Government by the best and the brightest without limitation would be an invitation for the power hungry to satiate their lust on the backs of the people.
Of course, that is precisely what has happened as the Congress has usurped powers it was never given. This is where pot comes in. In a way, it is a perfect example of how the American federal government has; excuse the pun, gone to pot.
Congress has no express power over pot in Article I §8, nor over drugs generally, nor governing what people can take into their own bodies, nor even the power to protect our health. The federal government is not your nurse or doctor or caretaker. The recent trend towards legalization of pot on the state and local level results from the tremendous abuse the war on drugs conducted by the federal government against the people has caused in communities across the nation. More people in jail, families broken up, futures destroyed, violence, excessive police actions, all because the war on drugs was also a war on the Bill of Rights, eviscerating those rights of the people with foreseeable destruction to communities.
These negative results, combined with science showing pot actually is much better than alcohol and has medical uses that help people has caused a re-evaluation of the federal war on pot, with such drug war traitors as John Boehner and Chuck Schumer arising from the ashes their war created to try to cash in as sanity sweeps the people.
But it is essential, a lesson be learned here, one that benefits every American, a truly nonpartisan lesson: Beware when Congress disregards the supreme law and usurps powers not granted to it. Even if it is for something you agree with! Especially then! Congress is a creature of the Constitution. When Congress decides to defy the Constitution, and usurp powers the people never gave it, not only are the rights of the people imperiled, Congress becomes lawless, in effect a crew of pirates, not legitimate lawmakers representing the people.
Once freed from the limits of the Constitution, a lawless Congress gives rise to lawless enforcement, excessive enforcement, abuse of rights and collateral damage to all kinds. Why not? If not bound down by the literal words of the Constitution, why should Congress limit its grasping reach for more power? If the people let it, Congress would usurp all power to itself, and every usurpation is detrimental to the rights of the people. Simply put, the Congress is made of people who want power, the Constitution is a limit on their power and thus Congress necessarily detests the Constitution. If the Congress can persuade the people to let it usurp powers, Congress can escape both the legal limits on its power, the Constitution, and the political limits — the people become co-opted and co-conspirators in the drive to destroy the rights the Constitution reserved to the people. To rephrase H. L. Mencken: The power hungry do not want us to think as they do, they try to make us do as they think.
The fact Congress never had power over pot, but exercised a war against the American people for decades under false pretenses, ought to concern every American. The claim is made that the “interstate commerce” power granted in Article I §8 is a basis for their lawmaking in this regard, is a flawed argument at best: It might be cause to mitigate punishment, but it is no defense to the claim of usurpation. Even the Supreme Court, with its dubious history of upholding the peoples’ rights having okayed slavery, segregated schools and other failures of judgment, faced a brutally honest dissent in the case of a grandmother who grew pot in her own yard to self-treatment of her reaction to chemotherapy, whom the prosecutors stipulated never sold nor tried to sell or even give any way: The dissent revealed the naked power grab — if such facts showed an implication of interstate commerce, then any activity a U.S. citizen engaged in down in a back room of their basement, which no one else never ever knew about could be conduct the Congress could legislate as a crime. Such a Congress was never envisioned by the language of the Constitution, and is antithetical to the idea of a limited government championed by America as a model for the world. Such a Congress, claiming power limited only by its own brand of “government intelligence” is a Congress befitting the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR, not the USA. Such a Congress is lawless and must be repudiated by every American as repulsive in theory and abusive in practice.
Hence, the recent retreat by former congresspersons and current congresspersons is not “leadership.” It is “followership.” The war on drugs has been a disaster.