As a lifelong Democrat, I warmly remember when I was in grade school how northern Democrats took much of the lead (with reasonable Republicans) in enforcing new Civil Rights legislation. Since the post-Civil War Const. Amendments, part of the explicit price paid by (southern) states to come back into the Union was for them to respect the areas in which decisions of the federal government were supreme. States' Rights is a stupid rallying cry when the question is clearly in the purview of the federal government. With growing societal tolerance for pot use, many states have been effectively thumbing their nose at the fact that what is sanctioned as permissible by a lot of states is still illegal under federal law. And as the current administration makes noises about actually starting to enforce these laws over the states' implied or explicit permission, people on the political left are using it as a reason to rail against that administration. But respect for federal authority means the states' permissive view on this issue has to be subordinated to federal policy. (Similar issue with "sanctuary cities," but I can understand the conflict between what the states or subdivisions like cities want vs. what the federal government pursues - but I am a little more tolerant of the tension because I have no deep seated views on whether pot should be legal, and therefore I focus on process than the effect on people. So it's a clearer issue for the purpose of this question/study.) 

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