Homework Question on Federalism and the Exercise of National Power
- Our federal government has many duties, obligations, and powers under the Constitution. Some scholars argue that the reach of the federal government should be limited and constrained. Other scholars argue that the federal government should not be constrained or limited where the welfare of the U.S. people is concerned. For example, in the case, Gonzales v. Raich, the boundaries of the federal government’s definition of interstate commerce are in question.
- In this case, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents took marijuana plants from a woman’s home in California under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. However, under California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the plants were allowed for medical use. For this discussion, address the following questions
- Does the federal government have the right to ban marijuana under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution?
- Is this an overreach of the federal system, or is this effort in line with the duties and obligations of our central government described in the Constitution? Be sure to explain your reasoning, discuss why you do or do not think this issue is an overreach of the federal government, and utilize the Commerce Clause to augment you claims.
Homework Answer on Federalism and the Exercise of National Power
A federal government system is a ruling system where there are two different levels of governance in a given country. In United States of America there are two governance system made up of national government and government consisting of individual states. According to United states constitution federal government cannot limit nor regulate a given single state commerce activities since it only has power over interstate commerce activities as stated in commerce clause.
According to Mank (2007), “The provision of the U.S. Constitution that gives Congress exclusive power over trade activities among the states and with foreign countries and Indian tribes”, (pg 375). As this law only regulates the interstate commercial activities, one can argue that it close to impossible for the federal government to monitor and ensure that marijuana does not leave the source state. If it happens to go beyond California, it may reach a commercial level and adversely affect the commercial activities in other states thus justifying the constitutional use of the commerce clause.
Furthermore, it can also be argued that the sale of illegal marijuana in a given state, may affect the commerce in that state which in turn leads to interstate commerce being affected. This is because a certain item will have to be abandoned to incorporate marijuana.The federal government has the mandate to control the use of marijuana in the nation. This act is not an overreach of the federal government as it concerns the welfare of United States people.