Dr. Chris discusses his position on intoxicants containing cannabis and related plants, as well as the marijuana or other raw or refined byproducts derived from them. Please see below for the transcript.
I’m Dr. Chris Magiera from Warsaw, Indiana, and I’m running for the United States House of Representatives from the third congressional district of Indiana.
Out on the campaign trail, I’m frequently asked many questions, and one concern I hear from the people is about cannabis or marijuana laws. Well, as a follower of the Constitution, I would like to run through this from a constitutional standpoint to give you an idea of the complexity of the situation—and the Constitution’s solution.
Upholding the Constitution is always the best solution. If elected to the United States House of Representatives in the 2020 election, I “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.” This statement is from Article 6, Section 3 of that document.
No federal law can be accepted as the supreme law of the land, unless it derives its justification from the enumerated powers of Congress, most notably as specified in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Also, as clearly stated in Article 1, Section 1: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” This sentence is absolute. Neither the executive nor the judicial branches are capable of legislative action. This prohibition also carries over to the departments of the executive branch.
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1: “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts, and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3: “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”
Amendment 10: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Considering the above Constitutional clauses, it would fall under the enumerated powers of Congress to regulate the importation and exportation of a plant, crop, or commodity such as cannabis and its derived products.
Also, it would fall under the enumerated powers of Congress to establish uniform duties, imposts, and excises on the cannabis plant and its byproducts.
The Constitution provides no justification for Congress to regulate domestic agriculture, medications, or medical care. There is no constitutional justification for a Department of Agriculture, a domestic DEA, FDA, HHS, and tens if not hundreds of other executive branch departments, agencies, commissions, boards, and bureaus.
Powers not specifically enumerated to the federal government by the Constitution devolve to the States or to the people. It was well established in the writings of the Founders that such unconstitutional acts were to be considered simply null and void. However, Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 12,13, and 14 DO specify military-related items: “(12) To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; (13) To provide and maintain a Navy; (14) To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” Federal government involvement in veteran affairs would be justified by these clauses.
Assuming that is the case, and if it was to be the action of Congress to specify regulation of medications for veterans and active-duty military personnel, and if current FDA/DEA/CSA drug schedules were to be adopted in such legislation, and if such acts were to be signed into law by the president, then I would support moving marijuana, marijuana extract, and the still specified Schedule 1 THC compounds from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. This move would be solely for the purpose of promoting research into the efficacy of the various chemical constituents found in the Cannabis species.
However, as a practitioner of modern medicine and an advocate of the scientific method, I do not support the consumption of raw cannabis as a medicine any more than I would advocate the chewing of digitalis leaves instead of standardized and refined digoxin, or the injection of Gila monster venom rather than the derived diabetic control products Byetta, Victoza, or Bydureon.
Our veterans deserve the best medical services available, and this care should be the result of rigorous research and development and controlled clinical trials. If, after exhaustive research, it was to be concluded that a standardized raw botanical preparation of cannabis was to be more effective as a treatment for specified medical conditions than any refined or synthetic chemical compound or mixture of compounds, then I could support the use of such a raw botanical preparation to be used as a scheduled item for medical treatment in the military and veteran situation, until such time as continued research and development proves otherwise. Regarding the rules for military conduct and justice, intoxication, impairment, or addiction from cannabis products should be treated in the same manner as any other intoxication, impairment, or addiction.
Moving back to the general population, does this mean that the several states cannot cooperate? No, it does not. Look to Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3: “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
There exist today interstate compacts, such as the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, to facilitate commerce and regulation, so that each state does not have to “reinvent the wheel,” and states with common goals can choose to cooperate for their collective benefit.
It is within the above context that I place the situation of cannabis and its byproducts—raw, refined, or synthetic.
If elected to the United States House of Representatives, my primary duty will always be to uphold the Constitution. I do not hold positions simply because they are easy, convenient, or popular.