Q. Federalism is at issue in an ongoing dispute between the states and the Federal Government over the legalization of marijuana. California voters, as well as voters in a number of other states, have approved laws and ballot initiatives permitting doctors to prescribe marijuana to relieve pain and other ailments.
Also, in a policy change during 2009, which was reaffirmed in 2012 and 2013, the US Department of Justice announced that it no longer would prosecute the use of marijuana if used for medical purposes, even though Federal law prohibits its use. A number of states also have approved legislation to decriminalize or legalize marijuana.
A. Should the states have authority to create medical exceptions to the federal ban on marijuana?
B. As a matter of policy, do you think the Federal Government should permit the states to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes?
C. More generally, should the federal government legalize marijuana?
Marijuana — Should Federal controls over marijuana be liberalized and brought in line with recent changes in state laws?
Pro: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Con: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee