The Supremacy Clause : Conflict Between Federal And State Law

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Term Paper LU2 Christina Wood
The Supremacy Clause: Conflict between Federal and State Law as it relates to Medical Marijuana

The American Constitution provides for a division of government powers between the federal and state governments, as well as provides solutions in an event of conflict between these two governments. The Supremacy Clause is derived through Constitutional Law and determines that the Constitution, Federal statutes, and United States treaties contain the “supreme law of the land”, creating the framework for the highest areas of law within the American legal system. Article VI, Section 2 of the United States Constitution contains The Supremacy Clause. “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States
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Another limitation set forth in the Constitution is that of anti-commandeering. Even though federal governments can enact law they cannot use the states as instruments of federal governance. Often overlooked, this argument used in appropriate cases to limit the Supremacy Clause, is found in the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment, “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. “The anti-commandeering principle applied to the issue of medical marijuana raises the question of protecting states’ prerogative to legalize activity that Congress bans. In a case where Congress legalizes an activity that the states have banned the issue of conflict need not arise because the individual’s choice remains whether to engage in said activity or not. In the instance of Congress banning an activity legalized by the states, conflict emerges with unclear boundaries. In 1970 Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to regulate the possession, manufacture, and distribution of drugs. This statute includes marijuana. Drugs are determined by their potential for abuse, medical value, and physical / psychological effects on the body. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I which is the class or drugs most restricted, making the manufacture, distribution, and
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