The Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling today, paving the way for states to legalize sports gambling. This will have massive reverberations across the country, and not just when it comes to betting on sports. This case is a distillation of the tension between state and federal governance in America. Sports gambling was illegal in the United States thanks to the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that made Nevada the only state where someone could wager on the results of a single game.
The Supreme Court today decided that federal law violated the 10th Amendment, which was the founders’ failsafe as a way to guard against unforeseen circumstances. Effectively, the 10th Amendment means that the states have powers which are not expressly delegated to the federal government, and because the constitution doesn’t say anything about gambling on sports, seven of our nine justices agreed that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act doesn’t line up with our constitutionally stated principles. This is where marijuana legalization comes into play.
The United States federal government has declared marijuana to be a schedule one narcotic—meaning that it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Other schedule one narcotics include peyote, meth and heroin—proving beyond a shadow of a doubt the utter insanity of this position. The list of states who have defied this classification is longer than those who adhere to it.
Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine have legalized it for recreational use, while Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas, Hawaii, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland and Florida have legalized medical marijuana. Eventually, a court will have to choose who gets