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Please Congress, Don't Make Winston's Potty Walks A Federal Crime
Winston's worried. He does not want to go to federal prison. Don't tell Congress Winston sometimes relieves himself in a county park near a creek that ultimately--miles away-- flows into a river that crosses state lines. Congress might use their Interstate Commerce Clause authority to make Winston's potty walks a federal crime even though the city, county and state say they're okay.

In case you missed the news recently, the US Supreme Court just ruled that Congress and the federal government can regulate (i.e., make illegal and throw you in jail) the medical use of marijuana, even when the pot is home grown, has to be prescribed by a doctor, is only used by the patient, never crosses state lines, and the state says it's legal.

There were three Justices who dissented: Thomas, Rehnquist and O'Connor. They thought this was clearly a states's rights issue. As Justice O'Connor wrote, "The states' core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety and welfare of their citizens." Apparently, that's not true any more.

Winston fears that if Congress can overrule the state on the pot issue-and tell the Justice Department to arrest sick people for taking their medicine-- then Congress can also make Winston's potty walks a federal crime. Now that he thinks about it, why stop at park walks? When Winston walks down the street, on a leash of course, he sometimes answers the call of nature there. The inevitable results, like night after day, flow into storm sewers which drain into a treatment works, which ultimately discharges into "navigable waters." Not only that, cars from out of state sometimes drive down the street. The might see Winston doing his business there.

What if Congress decides all of Winston's potty walks are illegal? What will Winston do?

Winston's fear is not much more ridiculous than the Court's majority opinion. On his next potty walk, Winston will be thinking about the six justices who wrote it.


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