The Atlantic

The Superiority of a States' Rights Approach to Marijuana

The public wants it, and the Tenth Amendment demands it.
Source: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo on marijuana to federal prosectors Thursday, reiterating their leeway to prosecute federal marijuana laws as they see fit, regardless of whether the plant is legal under state and local law, he likely spurred future infringements on liberty, struck a blow against federalism, and defied public opinion. But he also acted in a manner consistent with the rule of law as it has been clearly interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

To defang the prohibitionism that Sessions has a legal right to advance—and that rescinds what some saw as an overstep of executive authority by his

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic24 min readPolitics
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet
If Mark Sanford runs against Donald Trump, he’s doomed—for reasons that have nothing to do with the Appalachian Trail.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
House Insurrections Are Here to Stay
There’s nothing new about a speaker managing dissent. And these fights are likely to intensify.
The Atlantic4 min readSociety
The Suffragists Who Opposed Birth Control
Editor’s Note: Read more stories in our series about women and political power. You would think suffragists, those corset-clad beacons of girl power, would support women’s right to have sex for pleasure. You’d be, for the most part, wrong. Mainstrea