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The Role of Preemption in the Federal Legalization of Marijuana
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This thesis analyzes the role of preemption in the federal legalization of marijuana. First, the paper reviews the history of drug enforcement in the United States. The legal framework of the Controlled Substances Act is surveyed and used as a point of reference for a historical perspective on marijuana regulation in the United States. The focus then shifts to an analysis of federal preemption that was used in Ter Beek v City of Wyoming, which was a case heard by the Michigan Supreme Court in 2013. Finally, the future of marijuana legalization at the federal level is analyzed by identifying potential paths to legalization. Some paths to legalization include the court system, by executive order, and by an act of Congress. Recommendations are then made on how to best move toward legalization.