Marijuana Prohibition Loses Ground to Federalism

Spatial Orientation

As a constitutional republic, the US system of government is designed on the principles of federalism. In our federalist system the federal government is one of enumerated powers and those powers not explicitly granted to the federal government are reserved to the states. The framers of the Constitution established this system through the Tenth Amendment, which reads: “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.”

As James Madison put it in Federalist 45:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part…

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