Last Sunday, on Townhall.com, I noted ten state ballot measures to watch. Third on my list was Colorado’s Amendment 63:
If swing-state voters in Colorado join Missouri voters, who in August enacted a state measure protecting citizens from being forced to purchase health insurance through the “Obamacare” mandate, it will go a long way in strengthening GOP backbone to repeal the mandate should Republicans regain control of Congress.
The surface issue is your right to contract, freely, with medical professionals. Or not.
Below the surface lie the doctrines of enumerated powers, individual rights, and state prerogatives. After all, the logic runs, the Constitution — a deal among the states — grants the federal government no power to regulate medicine. And nullification, one of Thomas Jefferson’s favored notions, promises to serve as an actual, effective check on out-of-control federal politicians.
A similar storm brews in California, where the state’s Regulate, Control and Tax Marijuana Act goes way beyond a narrow reading of “medical marijuana.” Flouting federal (and probably unconstitutional) law, this citizen initiative seeks to legalize the plant for recreational use.
At issue, really, is not drugs or medicine, but who’s in control: Distant and privileged politicians and bureaucrats, or the citizens of the states.
On the side of the citizens is the founder’s theory of federalism, with its corollary that the states should serve as experiments in legal innovation.
We sure need innovation.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.