Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Says Federal Weed Laws ‘May No Longer Be Necessary’

Clarence Thomas, one of the Supreme Court’s most conservative justices, said Monday that because of the hodgepodge of federal policies on marijuana, federal laws against its use or cultivation may no longer make sense.

via: Complex

More generally, the entire case in which Thomas’ comments were a part makes clear just how convoluted the current situation is for many across the country, even as more and more states continue to make the progressive move of legalizing marijuana for recreational (or at least medicinal) use.

Thomas’ comments, excerpted below, were given while presiding over the appeal of a case focused on a state-licensed cannabis business in Colorado. As regional outlet KMGH noted on Monday, the previous ruling of the Tenth Circuit court against the dispensary in question will now stand and the Supreme Court will not hear the appeal.

“Once comprehensive, the Federal Government’s current approach is a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana,” Thomas, widely considered a conservative, said. “This contradictory and unstable state of affairs strains basic principles of federalism and conceals traps for the unwary. This case is a prime example.”

After an extended breakdown including mentions of previous cases, as well as references to fairly recent statements from the Justice Department, Thomas again pointed to this case as merely the latest example of how the current federal approach isn’t working.

“A prohibition on intrastate use or cultivation of marijuana may no longer be necessary or proper to support the Federal Government’s piecemeal approach,” Thomas said.

Of course, Thomas’ sentiment here is one that’s been held for eons by many in the general public. When addressing Thomas’ widely headlined comments in a statement on Tuesday, Erik Altieri—the executive director at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)—shared a reminder of just how “absurd and problematic” it is for the federal government to continue defining cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance.

“This intellectually dishonest position is in conflict with the available science and the current cultural landscape, and it complicates the ability of states to successfully regulate and oversee state-legal marijuana businesses,” Altieri said.

Weed needs to go ahead and become legalized federally. More importantly everyone imprisoned over marijuana offenses need to be let out.

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