While the presidential and congressional elections are perceived as a big yawn for many, there are some very interesting ballot initiatives that challenged Federal powers, especially on issues of marijuana/drugs, healthcare and federal dominion over land.
Voter Initiatives On Dope, Health, and Land Breathe New Life Into Federalism Bastiat Institute
There's an important constitutional issue on ballots across the country next month, but it's not labeled by its name anywhere that it appears. That issue encompasses concerns traditionally considered both conservative and liberal, even if it is embraced oh-so-selectively by its newfound friends. That's right, federalism is back, though you'll find it labeled “marijuana legalization,” “health care choice,” or even “state sovereignty.” In all cases, the ballot measures are criticized as symbolic or futile challenges to federal policy—but, as such, they also represent tests of just how much free rein the states retain in a country increasingly dominated by the behemoth on the banks of the Potomac. And, hell, if you don't tweak D.C. from time to time, you're just not trying....
* Colorado's Amendment 64, says the always-helpful Ballotpedia, would “legalize the use and possession of, at most, an ounce of marijuana for residents who are 21 and older. In addition … would allow the state to regulate retail sales of the drug.”
* Oregon's Measure 80 "allows commercial marijuana (cannabis) cultivation/sale to adults through state-licensed stores; allows unlicensed adult personal cultivation/use; prohibits restrictions on hemp."
*Washington's Initiative 502 "would legalize the production, possession, delivery and distribution of marijuana. The initiative would regulate the sale of small amounts of marijuana to people 21 and older. According to reports, marijuana grow farms and food processors would be licensed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board."
All three initiatives directly challenge federal law prohibiting marijuana for pretty much any use whatsoever....
Also addressing a headline-grabbing political issue are measures in several states that would block enforcement of federal laws forcing people to participate in Obamacare-approved medical coverage. If these pass, they would join similar measures already approved in states including Arizona, setting the stage for further legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and guaranteeing that Obamacare, if implemented, will require much greater effort from D.C. than originally planned, without the assistance of many state governments.
* Alabama Amendment 6 would amend the state constitution "to prohibit any person, employer, or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system."
* Florida Amendment 1 "aims to prevent laws or rules from compelling any person or employer to purchase, obtain, or otherwise provide for health care coverage."
* Missouri Prop E "would prohibit the establishment, creation, or operation of a health insurance exchange unless it is created by a legislative act, a ballot initiative, or veto referendum."
* Montana LR-122 "would allow residents in the state the choice to decide if they want health insurance or not, and which health insurance to buy if they choose to do so."
*Wyoming Amendment A says "[n]o federal or state law, rule or administrative decision shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system."
As with the marijuana initiatives, there's a lot of assumption that federal law will prevail and that these Obamacare mesures, if they pass muster, will stand in for Western Union in sending a message to D.C....
More of a regional issue—specifically, a western issue—is local control over public land, a concern that's rising once again across the arid mountains and deserts. And no wonder, in a region where the federal government controls half or more of the real estate. Utah, which is two-thirds owned by D.C., passed a law earlier this year demanding the federal government relinquish its lands to the state and threatening outright seizure of the same in 2014. Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a similar bill, so legislators did one better and put a constitutional amendment before voters.
*Arizona's Proposition 120 "would declare state sovereignty over the state's natural resources based on the argument of 'equal footing.' Natural resources would include land, air, water, minerals and wildlife."
Only the states have the power to reign in unconstitutional acts of the federal government. If the states don't revolt against Fedzilla, then the monster Fedzilla will continue to voraciously devour everything in its path until all Americans lie in the belly of the beast that hungrily consumed our civil liberties, property rights and economic freedom.