opinion

Hypocrisy and State’s Rights

Stephen Yagielowicz
One of the most contentious issues in American politics has been the long-standing battle between the interests of the individual states and the interests of the federal government – which supersede the legal interests of the states.

A recent example of this battle unfolded this past week when federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) swooped down on a large number of marijuana grow houses in the San Francisco bay area.

Why this event is an issue of state’s rights and not a typical drug bust is because these grow houses were run in accordance with California’s medical marijuana laws, which allow the cultivation of marijuana for sale to licensed buyer’s clubs, where patients suffering from a variety of illnesses can legally receive the compassionate treatment that they are entitled to.

The federal government, however, does not recognize the legal use of medical marijuana, so as far as Uncle Sam is concerned, “fuck the pot heads.” Can’t hold down a solid meal because the chemotherapy that you need for your cancer treatment makes you nauseous? Tough shit for you... Going blind from glaucoma? Tough shit for you too. The fact that marijuana has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments takes a back seat to the interests of the pharmaceutical companies that would rather sell you more costly and less effective treatments, as well as a back seat to those close-minded individuals that can’t accept the fact that something natural can be a good form of medicine – but I digress.

The reason I’m telling you this is to provoke a reaction. You see, I have a feeling that a majority of my readers have no problem with a well-regulated, state-approved, medical marijuana program. I also have a feeling that a majority of my readers do have a problem with the federal government preventing an individual state from exercising the will of its constituents. Or do they?

You see, I bet that many of you are now outraged that a state can’t make its own laws unless Uncle approves of them. Correct? But then what about Utah? If California can pass a law that allows pot smoking, then surely Utah can pass laws prohibiting porn – right? I’m now equally certain that some of you are thinking that California’s pot laws are “enlightened” and of course should be allowed, while Utah’s anti-porn laws are “ignorant” and should be denied.

Now you know why the word “hypocrisy” appears in the title of this post.

When it comes to state’s rights, you have to either be for them – or against them – you can’t just pick and choose which rights are ok to YOU and which rights aren’t. Keep this in mind the next time a city, state, county or country passes a law you don’t like.

And for those that were brought up on revisionist history where a pretty picture was painted for you about how the American Civil War “was fought to free the slaves” – the reality is that it was fought over the issue of state’s rights and whether or not they were subservient to the rights of the federal government. While the real motive for this deadly conflict has been muddied by political correctness, its outcome has not been: just because a state says that something is – or isn’t – “ok” doesn’t make it so…

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