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Federalism

Food and Drug Law

Vanderbilt Law Review

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Federalism And Drug Control, Michael M. O'Hear Apr 2004

Federalism And Drug Control, Michael M. O'Hear

Vanderbilt Law Review

Federalism issues have been neglected in the scholarship on drug control policy. This Article addresses both empirical and normative questions relating to federal-state-local relations in the "war on drugs." Contrary to common views of federal domination and national uniformity, drug control policy actually varies considerably from state to state. State diversity has increased since the mid- 1990s, when drug reformers began to use the ballot initiative to change state laws. While the federal government has contested these reforms, it has not sought to use its preemption powers to enforce federal preferences.

The Article employs public choice models to explain the …