Federal vs. State: Who Yanks My Chain Hardest?

Sitting at my own personal media center thumbing through the pages of Denver’s local counter-culture fish wrap while Al Jazeera Englsh streams over my computer. I have found Al Jazeera to be a great counter balance to the bias media coverage our own country feeds us so by taking a little bit of ours and mixing it with a little bit of theirs I figure I’m getting about as close to the whole story as I can. The local rag, Westword magazine, is about 2 percent story and 98 percent advertisement for tattoo parlors, massage therapists who imply a ‘happy ending’ treatment and page after page of pot clinics; $60 doctor evaluations and renewals of license, $39 quarter ounces, buy an eight and get one free. The ads are pretty much the standard now and with Colorado gearing up to put full blown legalization on the ballot this fall it makes a lot of Coloradans wonder why they should give a fuck about the big Presidential gaff taking place?

Seems local efforts raised at least two times as many signatures as is needed to put this marijuana law on the ballot which, in my mind, shows a great local effort toward getting what they want. This kind of free wheeling law would never fly in Birmingham and I wouldn’t want it there, not unless the people decided for themselves that it was time to run crazy in the streets like my little Cow Town wants to do. State and Federal laws constantly clash with one another which brings about some subtle changes to one’s lifestyle, some major changes. Certain nationwide policies step aside to local demands if the push is strong enough. Why else would Montana have portions of their interstates allowing record breaking speeds as opposed to the more standard 55 in large metro areas? Why is Carson City, Nevada allowed to let prostitution carry on unfettered by a bunch of Federal badges poking their noses in with arrests warrants? Why are there dry counties in Utah? Why is Louisiana constantly fighting to keep oral and anal sex laws on the book (that’s a really good question)? Federal laws are a good standard for keeping emergency services available, to guarantee certain rights and freedoms to us all and to regulate fair trade commerce but when it comes to more minor lifestyles adjustments, do they really need to be governing us? Why not let the position of local citizens vote be the governing factor for what constitutes their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? A true democracy.

There is an evil side there that most people will pick out and want to argue; how could you allow a community to vote for, say, legalizing sex with minors or making it okay to hunt wild animals within a metro downtown area or any number of acid-induced what-if scenarios. That same Devil’s Advocate approach was put before a number of states who worked to gain legal recognition of same sex marriage. The opposition balked that it would open the door to people marrying dogs and cats, sex with llamas and an entire race of mutant horse people being born. I think most people would have enough discerning powers to know whether or not they lived in a community of citizens that wanted to fuck goats and I know if I found myself living in such a community, I would definitely move. We are a nation of fairly slow to move individuals and won’t jump too quick into life altering decisions so our Federal government should let the strings ease up a bit and allow for more local representation. Feds can still print the money and tax the liquor to help support national programs, parks and highways but when they get into the practice of telling people like Joe from South Dakota that he has to follow the same laws as Marcel from the Bronx, that world of difference is gong to result in someone’s dissatisfaction. Mandatory goat fucking is not a federal law, but if it was, where would the people who didn’t want to screw those devil-eyed beasts go? Carson City?

The upcoming Presidential election is whooping it up and soon we will have two men facing this country in debate. On one hand, I am quite cognizant of the power our Supreme Leader holds-it wasn’t too long ago when George W. Bush held the football and that was pure hell. He screwed up a huge portion of our country with his mad laws and bylaws but what power did I have to stop that evil Witch Doctor? No more than a single vote that was aborted via the Electoral College. Local voting is a different issue. I have seen the cause and effect of a number of local Colorado issues that I voted for (or against) and the fruition of planned campaigns to get certain items on the ballot, i.e. legalization of marijuana, played out over Federal laws to win. We all need to choose wisely when it comes to deciding who we want as President, but just as important-if not more important at times-are the local and state representation we pick.


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