Regarding the Mail Tribune article on lawmakers' defense of states' rights regarding marijuana on Saturday, Oct. 15: The Bill of Rights is a common term used to encompass the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, and itself lacks any force of law. You can search the Constitution high and low, but will find no reference in its text to "states' rights."

The Constitution reserves certain powers to the states which are not prohibited to them nor enumerated or implied as those of the United States.

Hence, controlled substance and drug laws passed by the Congress take precedence over those of the states under what has become known as the "supremacy clause" in Article VI.

Given the history of claims of "states' rights" to justify rights of secession, establisment of slavery and continuing attempts to enshrine segregation and discrimination, today's politicians might want to distance themselves from it. It is a discredited claim unsupported in the Constitution.

Admittedly, the federal drug laws are Draconian and the war on drugs a fiasco, especially as regards marijuana cultivation and use, but such laws require overturning in the federal courts or revision by the Congress, not a petulant reference to unsupportable and historically shabby claims for "states' rights." Furthermore, the best motivator for elimination of bad law is strict enforcement. — Gary R. Collins, Jacksonville

In response to Herman Cain's assertion that most blacks in this country are brainwashed because we vote Democratic, all I have to say is, "nonsense!"

I, as an Afro-American who loves this country just as much as Mr. Cain, am not, nor have I ever been brainwashed because I am a Democrat.

I am a Democrat because I see what damage 30 years of "trickle-down economics" has done to this country. I am a Democrat because I cannot vote for a political party that is reinstating modern-day Jim Crow laws to win a presidential election.

I cannot countenance a party that tolerates Sen. Jim DeMint saying he is "going to break Obama." That's what slave masters of this country said of slaves when they would not obey.

And finally, the election of Obama has exposed the racial hatred that still dominates the GOP and tea party. — Lindsay Earl Paulk, White City

Why is a death group featured on the front page of your Tempo entertainment guide?

After reading the tragic accounts of shootings, stabbings, serial murders and other various acts of violence in the front pages of the Mail Tribune and feeling sadness for the victims and anger toward violent offenders, I'm presented with a menacing picture of the Five Finger Death Punch group along with an invitation to receive the fruit of their message and their talent offered for a price at the Medford Armory?

Please don't place this kind of offensive stuff in my newspaper box! — Paul Hagedorn, Jacksonville

To the lady driver on Foothill Road near the Home Depot Sunday evening, Oct. 16: You moved into the right-hand turn lane, only then without looking you proceeded to make an illegal U-turn, causing a collision, then you left the scene of an accident. Someday you will kill somebody with your reckless driving. — Pete Venuto, Medford

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