The federalist model of separation of powers often sets up protracted conflict over the extent to which the federal government is able to preempt the actions of states. Among the growing arenas for such preemption disputes is the field of controlled substances, which the federal government regulates under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). However, several state legislatures have challenged the federal government’s preemptive authority by creating medical marijuana cardholder systems, where individuals can register for a card to obtain and consume medical marijuana. Any such state medical marijuana laws (“SMML”) that were modeled this way would prevent cardholders from being discriminated against by their employers, and shield doctors who prescribe medical marijuana from criminal liability. This article will demonstrate that any such state statute should be preempted under a theory of obstacle preemption, for the state would have affirmatively authorized conduct that Congress prohibited with the CSA, thus frustrating the purpose of the federal legislation.
The Proceedings of the NYU Moot Court Board, or just “Proceedings,” is the online journal of the NYU Moot Court Board, documenting new approaches to unsettled legal questions proceeding from moot court activities, particularly law student competitions.
Proceedings aims to realize for the wider legal community a benefit of mooting that has hitherto accrued only to participants. As most appellate lawyers know, one of the best ways to refine a theory of a case or an area of law is to argue about it, either with colleagues or before law school professors. But student Moot Court competitions, which consider some of the most interesting and intractable problems in law, generate hundreds of hours of formal, inquisitorial analysis of those problems by professors, practitioners, and judges (not to mention reams of legal writing)–and then, too often, the results are thrown away when the competition is over.
No longer. Proceedings is the journal where lawyers and law students can publish their “test results” from the legal laboratory of mooting that tests both old and new approaches to unsettled areas of law. It aims to realize mooting’s potential not only as a valuable educational exercise, but as a productive forum for legal research.