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Massachusetts Medical Society




Mark Twain wasn't thinking about federalism or the structure of American government when he wrote “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” Nonetheless, he would be amused to know that today, almost 150 years later, the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee not only has a jumping-frog contest but also has its own Frog Welfare Policy. The policy includes a provision for the “Care of Sick or Injured Frogs” and a limitation entitled “Frogs Not Permitted to Participate,” which stipulates that “under no circumstances will a frog listed on the endangered species list be permitted to participate in the Frog Jump.”This fair, like medical practice, is subject to both state and federal laws. Care of the sick and injured (both frogs and people) is primarily viewed as a matter of state law, whereas protection of endangered species is primarily regulated by Congress under its authority to regulate interstate commerce.


From The New England Journal of Medicine, George J. Annas, Jumping Frogs, Endangered Toads, and California's Medical-Marijuana Law, Volume 353, Page 2291 Copyright ©(2005) Massachusetts Medical Society. Reprinted with permission.

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