Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Says Federal Marijuana Laws May Be Outdated
Justice Clearance Thomas said recently that due to some of the policies on marijuana, federal laws against its use or cultivation may no longer hold ground.
Thomas is also known as one of the most conservative judges on the Supreme Court. Here’s what he wrote last Monday:
“A prohibition on interstate use or cultivation of marijuana may no longer be necessary or proper to support the federal government’s piecemeal approach.”
The judge’s comments came after the court declined to hear the appeal of a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary that was denied federal tax breaks which other businesses receive.
He said the 2005 Supreme Court’s ruling upholding federal laws making the possession of cannabis a crime may now be pointless.
“Federal policies of the past 16 years have greatly undermined its reasoning,” Thomas said.“The federal government’s current approach is a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana.”
Currently, the use of marijuana is allowed in 36 states. 18 states allow the plant to be used for recreational purposes. However, federal tax law prohibits marijuana businesses to deduct their business expenses.
“Under this rule, a business that is still in the red after it pays its workers and keeps the lights on might nonetheless owe substantial federal income tax,” the judge said.
WOW: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued a scathing statement slamming the federal government’s “contradictory” and “unstable”position on marijuana and suggesting that national cannabis prohibition may be unconstitutional.https://t.co/jJJRlDLYgg pic.twitter.com/YncfSTySkD
— Tom Angell 🌳📰ⓥ (@tomangell) June 28, 2021
The DoJ has advised the nation’s federal prosecutors not to go after marijuana businesses that follow state law.
In 2015, Congress forbade the DoJ to use federal funds to prevent states from carrying out their own laws.
However, the IRS is still enforcing its own rules against dealers and cultivators.
According to Thomas, the federal government’s “willingness to look the other way on marijuana is more episodic than coherent.”
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