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The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

An experimental state

Colorado’s pot experiment is a testament to the Founding Fathers — no kidding

Colorado’s experiment with legalizing marijuana for recreational use shows the genius of the Founding Fathers — and, no, I’m not kidding.

A federal system means something. The states that banded together to form the United States were independent entities that under the Constitution kept significant power for themselves. In one conception, they’re “laboratories of democracy,” a term drawn from a comment by Justice Louis Brandeis in a 1932 case that “a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory, and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

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