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Federalism

Food and Drug Law

Series

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Our Federalism On Drugs, Jonathan Adler Jan 2020

Our Federalism On Drugs, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

Over the past decade, voters and legislatures have moved to legalize the possession of marijuana under state law. Some have limited these reforms to the medicinal use of marijuana, while others have not. Despite these reforms marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Although the Justice Department has not sought to preempt or displace state-level reforms, the federal prohibition casts a long shadow across state-level legalization efforts. This federal-state conflict presents multiple important and challenging policy questions that often get overlooked in policy debates over whether to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Yet in a “compound republic” like the …