Marijuana is not a state’s rights issue and misguided bills like the STATES Act create more confusion and problems than it claims to solve. We are living in unprecedented times — never before have states bypassed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to legalize a federally illegal schedule I substance on the state level and call it medicine, but 33 states have legalized some form of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. The federal and state conflict is not one of big government versus small government; it is not one of natural medicine versus the establishment — it is a conflict of what science and medicine says is safe and effective versus what big businesses and advocates say is safe and effective. There is no doubt the federal government and state governments are at an impasse, one entirely created by the marijuana industry and exacerbated by informal guidance from the Obama Administration.
This paper scrutinizes the arguments used by proponents of the STATES Act and follows the scientific evidence, extrapolates logical conclusions, and elucidates the real effects of marijuana legalization. The marijuana legalization problem is one created by the marijuana industry, and it should not be up to Congress to solve. Rather, we should take big business, clichés, and financial interests out of the marijuana conversation and instead focus on the sociological and scientific evidence which says legalization harms individuals, families, and communities.