The comic Steve Martin, man of many talents, has written a book titled “Pure Drivel/” There is a good deal of drivel in the book. In one chapter, though, Martin hits the nail on the head. You have heard countless drug advertisements on television where almost as much time is spent explaining side effects as in telling the good things the pill will do for you.
Martin makes the most of this exasperating practice by devoting an entire chapter of his book to the side effects of an unnamed drug. He goes on page after page explaining the dread the pharmaceutical miracle can force its way into your life. Of course, the drug he is tongue-in-cheek funning is APPROVED by the Food and Drug Administration.
He closes the chapter with these succinct words, speaking volumes. "This drug is legal in the United States only when the user is straddling a state line.” (Page 58, “Pure Drivel” Published by Hyperion Press, New York.)
What does “straddling a state line” have to do with drug legality?
Here is the point. The Federal government has the authority to regulate the people working for the Federal government and to control certain aspects of inter-state commerce. Its laws are often not applicable within a single state. That means an issue or activity that is not legal in your state can be legal in inter-state commerce.
This comic who began is career on television with a paper bag over his head (I saw that performance) has an intelligent brain in that head.
We need to give him credit for more than his wit and his clever banjo playing.
-- Richard Palmquist
September 3, 2012