Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently made an announcement that caused pot smokers all over the nation to momentarily put down their joints in frustration: the Trump administration will start enforcing federal laws against marijuana. 

Wait, you’re surprised that they weren’t being enforced already?  Well, during President Barack Obama’s administration, law enforcement was told to focus on bigger issues. Also, in the meantime, some states decided to lift restrictions in their states regarding the drug.

Writing in USA Today, however, Glenn Reynolds explains a unique and novel approach to all of the angst over this decision.  He begins with a basic lesson in civics:

Article I, Section 1 of the United States Constitution provides that: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Legislative powers are the power to make and repeal laws. Those powers are not vested in the executive branch, which includes the president and, more relevant to this discussion, Attorney General Jeff Sessions…

Then, he gets to the heart of the matter, when he says that he approves of the move Sessions made:

He’s basically told Congress that if they don’t like the marijuana laws that are on the books, they need to get off their butts and change them. As an executive official, he’s telling the legislative branch that he’s going to respect the constitutional separation of powers, which means that if the law is changed it will have to be changed by the lawmakers.

I agree with this completely.  If we, as a nation, think states should be able to legalize marijuana, then Congress needs to get off its collective butt and legislate that result.  All that Sessions is saying is that the DOJ will enforce the laws as Congress has written them. 

That’s called governing according to the Constitution.

This is something that the Trump administration is doing quite a bit lately, and I’m a fan.  The separation of powers is important and integral to a self0governing society.

Moving that direction is always a good thing.  Do you hate the new policy?  Well, put down your bongs and start working to change this nation.  Freedom requires a little effort, but it’s worth it.

Hat Tip: USA Today

Image Credit: Charles LeBlanc on Flickr

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.