The news that President-elect Donald Trump picked Senator Jeff Sessions to be the next Attorney General has many libertarians up in arms for the pick. The Senator has been one of the strongest proponents of the prohibition of marijuana at the federal level and with this pick, we must hold Trump’s feet to the fire.
Sessions has opposed legislation to make mandatory minimum sentencing less harsh and has said that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Despite these ridiculous policies and ideas from Sessions, we must realize that marijuana legalization will not come through the federal government but will be achieved at the local and state levels of government. We must join the fight for the radical decentralization of government if we are to make any change at all.
This word has been foreign for many years with the libertarian community as many have advocated that if we just get the right president or the right amount of senators and congressman to support ending prohibition that we will eventually win. This is a terrible strategy that has failed time and time again on many issues, including the drug war. The states have not held their breath waiting for the federal government to step in and legalize marijuana. A combined 29 states now have medical and/or full outright legalization of marijuana, without federal permission. This is a very positive sign in the steps to limit the federal government’s power, and there isn’t much that Sessions can do about it!
Efforts against civil asset forfeiture were successful in a state like Nebraska, which is arguably the most conservative state around. Nevertheless, they were able to defeat the powerful police union lobby and have made civil asset forfeiture illegal. Was this due to asking the big brother federal government to come in and do the right thing? Of course not, this was a direct nullification of unjust federal powers and saying no to the federal overreach which was affecting the communities to the core.
As the great Murray Rothbard once said, “It’s important for libertarians to lay the greatest stress on the forgotten Tenth Amendment.” One of the greatest minds in the history of the libertarian movement has called many times to nullify federal law down to the point where it will not matter what the federal government does because the states will have the power… and then eventually down to the individual to make the decision for themselves. This is an underutilized strategy that must be championed by libertarians today if we are to be effective. It is time to quit the dog-and-pony-show in Washington D.C. and take up the cause of state nullification to keep us free.
We must work tirelessly with this strategy to create real change in our backyards. We won’t have to worry whether Trump is going to “Drain the Swamp” because the swamp will be nullified out of existence. We must keep a close watch on the swamps in our individual states, and the change will resonate upward from there. Mr. Sessions does not matter in our efforts to eradicate government out of our lives. He is just another cog in the federal machine. Let’s work locally and at the state level to subvert his power and cut him down to size.