Allard Shreds Constitution

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Allard Shreds Constitution

by Ari Armstrong, September 12, 2002

Senator Wayne Allard wants more gun control, more socialized medicine, and economic controls. He signed the PATRIOT Act, which violates due process and rights of privacy. All these things are unconstitutional.

In a letter to a constituent dated August 8, Allard wrote:

As you may know, apart from being closely associated with an illegal drug, the plant species Cannabis sativa (hemp) has been used as a source of fiber and oilseed for consumer and industrial products. The crop has been illegal in the U.S. since 1937 because of the narcotic properties of some varieties (marijuana). I oppose efforts to legalize industrial hemp because it could complicate the identification and eradication of drug-producing varieties and undercut national anti-drug policies. ...I do not believe that legalizing hemp production is the answer to addressing economic needs in the agricultural sector.

Hemp used to be subsidized by the U.S. government for military purposes. It makes excellent rope, cloth, paper, and other products. Drafts of our nation's founding documents were written on hemp paper. For Allard to support the prohibition of hemp farming is inexcusable. Allard obviously does not respect private property rights.

But quite aside from the moral and economic argument against hemp prohibition, the policy flatly violates the U.S. Constitution. The Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights 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."

Does the Constitution elsewhere delegate Congress the authority to prohibit the farming of hemp? No, it does not. But the Constitution seems not to matter not a whit to Senator Allard.

I hope Allard's staff does not start whining about the Congressional power to "regulate Commerce... among the several States." Growing hemp on one's land does not constitute "commerce among the several States." The commerce clause authorizes Congress to regulate (make regular) commerce per se; it does not authorize Congress to prohibit the farming of certain products.

In another letter about medical marijuana, Allard writes:

Although I do not believe the federal government should legislate concerning this issue, it is a state's decision to debate it within the community if it chooses to do so... I do not support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. A number of free market theorists as well as some extremely liberal advocates support legalization of addictive drugs. I feel we should be very careful about exploring a policy with such a potential to endanger public health. Also, in the past I have not supported any legislation that would provide for the therapeutic use of marijuana to treat illnesses. While I understand the desire to ease the pain of those who are severely ill, I feel we should be very careful about exploring a policy with such strong potential to endanger public health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected marijuana for medicinal use in the past and has discontinued its single patient investigational new drug program for therapeutic marijuana due to a lack of support for beneficial claims.

But Allard must know that the federal government is cracking down on medical marijuana users despite state laws. What's this about "a potential to endanger public health?" Perhaps no other policy now in existence endangers public health more than drug prohibition does. Professor Jeffrey Miron of Boston Universtity estimates the U.S. homicide rate is 25-75% higher than it would be in the absence of prohibition. Drugs like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and heroin can be dangerous and even deadly. But the dangers of these substances do not begin to compare to the harms of prohibition.

It is indeed odd that Allard cites an unconstitutional federal agency as his sole source about medical marijuana. Peter McWilliams smoked marijuana to relieve nausea, so that he could keep down other medicines he was taking for his AIDS and cancer. After the federal government prohibited McWilliams from smoking marijuana, he died from choking on his own vomit. I have heard enough stories from sick people that I believe marijuana can help. But who in the hell is Wayne Allard to deprive the sick and the dying of a drug that even might help them? For Allard to invoke "public health" to hurt sick and dying people is truly disgusting.

Where does the Constitution authorize the existence of the FDA? Where does the Constitution authorize any federal legislation prohibiting any drugs? It apparently doesn't matter to Allard that his policies violate our core legal document.

The Denver Post reported May 12 Allard voted for Amendment 22, the 2000 initiative that expands gun registration at gun shows. Allard told the Post he "would support legislation at the federal level that is identical to the state ballot initiative." Stickland supports similar legislation.

Allard voted for a law that violates the Colorado Constitution. Now he wants "identical" legislation on the federal level. But does the Constitution authorize Congress to pass any laws pertaining to firearms? No, it does not. A real senator -- one who gave a damn about the Constitution -- would demand the repeal of the Brady Law and other federal firearms restrictions. Instead, Allard wants to expand those unconstitutional laws.

On September 12, both Allard and Democrat Tom Strickland said in the Rocky Mountain News they support the further socialization of medicine. Allard writes, "I strongly support adding an affordable prescription drug benefit to Medicare... It is my hope that the Senate will take seriously the concerns and health-care needs of the citizens who elected it."

But we need to restore medicine to the market -- not further socialize it. Socialism doesn't work. It engenders poor service, high costs, and human-rights abuses.

The federal government has no business getting involved in health care at all -- at least according to the Constitution.

The "debate" between Allard and Strickland is one over how fast the men can increase the unconstitutional powers of the federal government. It will be a travesty if either of those candidates wins the race for U.S. Senate.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com