One of the most conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday denounced the federal government’s inconsistent approach to marijuana policy, suggesting that outright national prohibition may be unconstitutional. While the court declined to take up a new case related to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation into tax deductions claimed by a Colorado marijuana dispensary, Justice Clarence Thomas issued a statement that more broadly addressed the federal-state marijuana disconnect. He specifically discussed a 2005 ruling in Gonzales v. Raich, wherein the court narrowly determined that the federal government could enforce the prohibition against cannabis cultivation that took place wholly within California based on its authority to regulate interstate commerce. “Whatever the merits of Raich when it was decided, federal policies of the past 16 years have greatly undermined its reasoning,” Thomas wrote. “Once comprehensive, the Federal Government’s current approach is a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana.”

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 06/28/2021 11:15:00

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