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Nullification: Colorado and Washington Disregard Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Ryan W. McMaken
Lew Rockwell Blog [1]
Nov 7, 2012

Both Colorado [2] (my increasingly beloved home state) and Washington State [3] legalized recreational use of marijuana tonight.

This is essentially an act of state nullification of federal law. Marijuana will continue to be illegal under federal law and the DEA will still be able to throw peaceful people into cages for growing or possessing a plant of which the government disapproves.

The change is good for more than one reason. Obviously, legalization is good because it increases freedom and decreases the power of the state governments and the police.

It is also good, however, because it is bad news for the federal government. If the feds attempt to enforce federal marijuana laws within Colorado or Washington, such actions will helpfully expose that the idea of self-government and democracy are no more than a farce in the United States and that the federal government will invade the lives and privacy of peaceful citizens who are not lawbreakers even according to their own state statutes.

Obviously, this is not total legalization, since it puts marijuana on the same level as alcohol, but partial legalization is always better than prohibition.