High Court To Rule on Medical Pot

  High Court To Rule on Medical Pot

Posted by CN Staff on April 04, 2005 at 08:30:57 PT
By Josh Richman, Staff Writer 
Source: Oakland Tribune 

San Francisco -- Oakland's Angel Raich moved through the crowd like a rock star. With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling imminent in her medical-marijuana case, she was a head-turning honored guest at the annual conference of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws this weekend at the Cathedral Hill Hotel.
"My whole image has changed, and I take that with great honor" she acknowledged Thursday, moments before taking part in a panel discussion of people who've tangled with the federal government on medical marijuana. She said she takes comfort in knowing she's "speaking on behalf of so many patients," and this buoys her when she's feeling down or in pain. Raich and Oroville resident Diane Monson sued federal officials in 2002 to halt raids against medical marijuana patients and providers operating under California's 1996 compassionate use law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 ruled in their favor, ordering an injunction to halt the raids. The U.S. Supreme Court heard their case last November and will rule on it sometime between now and the end of the court's session this June. Anticipation is running high within NORML and other marijuana advocacy groups. "These women are the embodiment of thousands and  thousands of other patients out there today who don't have a voice, who feel like they're not recognized in this gray area of law, medicine and culture," said Allen St. Pierre, a longtime NORML officer who became its executive director in January. Raich's and Monson's lawyers argued that the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause lets Congress regulate only interstate commerce, and that Californians' medical marijuana use neither crosses state lines nor is commerce. The idea that the federal government shouldn't be allowed to infringe upon state powers is a classic conservative argument; several states without medical marijuana laws filed friend-of-the-court briefs on the women's behalf. The government claims it has a right to regulate local activity that's an essential part of a larger regulation of economic activity. Marijuana trafficking regularly crosses state lines and involves money changing hands, it says, so all marijuana — even that grown within a single state — affects the overall black-market supply and so can be federally banned. Raich reiterated Thursday that if she wins, "it really is a major victory for patients everywhere," spelling an end to the federal government's "war on patients" in all states with  medical marijuana laws. But if she loses, she noted, all those state laws will still stand, and the status quo conflict between those laws and federal law will remain. If that happens, she said, it'll be "just the beginning of the next new fight for me" as she pressures Congress to change federal law. She said she has "tricks up my sleeve ... that will help bring this issue to the next plateau." St. Pierre agreed there's "no downside to their legal effort" — a victory could embolden other states to pass medical marijuana laws, while a defeat leaves patients and providers no worse off than they were before. The  NORML conference continued through Saturday with speeches, panel discussions and breakout sessions on topics such as student activism, police tactics and hemp cultivation. Note: Oakland plaintiff a celebrity at S.F. conference panel.Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)Author: Josh Richman, Staff WriterPublished: April 4, 2005Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc. Contact: triblet Website: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Raich v. Ashcroft News Founder Believes Headway Made Marijuana on Trial Really Consider Cannabis My Miracle

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Comment #15 posted by Pete Guither on April 05, 2005 at 10:40:44 PT:
You're welcome.And to those of you who freaked out over it...
Yes, it could, theoretically, happen that easily. But it won't. No President that could get elected would still have the integrity left in this area to do it.It'll take a lot of hard work yet -- in the courts, the legislature, local, state, fed -- hitting them from every angle. But we'll get there.
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Comment #14 posted by jose melendez on April 05, 2005 at 09:12:38 PT
Id like to personally thank Pete Guither for the laugh . . . 
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on April 05, 2005 at 09:04:20 PT
Jose, Jose, Jose
You bad boy.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 05, 2005 at 08:07:27 PT
Unfortunately that is an April Fools joke.
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Comment #11 posted by Patrick on April 05, 2005 at 07:36:21 PT
Comment #10
Please tell me that this is not an April Fool's joke?
The President has removed "marijuana" from the Controlled Substances Act??? If that is true??? Then we have won!!!
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Comment #10 posted by jose melendez on April 05, 2005 at 06:15:08 PT
Good "news" from the page linked at comment #
from: the New York Tribune:  April 1, 2005. WASHINGTON DC: President Bush today announced the administration's decision to change the classification of cannabis (marijuana) under Controlled Substances Act (CSA) scheduling. While there had been some speculation that a re-classification from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 might be possible to allow controlled use of so-called "medicinal" marijuana, the President surprised experts by removing marijuana from the CSA entirely.  "The federal government has more important things to do than waste a lot of time and money on marijuana enforcement," said the President. "There are terrorists out there who hate our freedoms, and our efforts should be focused on them."  When asked if he really intended that marijuana should be declassified not only for medical purposes but for recreational purposes as well, President Bush replied. "Well, that's up to the states, as it should be. I believe that each state can choose that decision as they so choose."  Some critics charge that the decision is simply a matter of the President pandering to the traditional conservative base that supports states' rights. Complaints that the Republican leadership had abandoned federalism had been threatening to cause a split within the party.  Legal scholars are scrambling to figure out how this decision may affect the upcoming Supreme Court ruling in Raich v. Ashcroft. - - -note the dateline . . . grin
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Comment #9 posted by westnyc on April 04, 2005 at 11:31:07 PT
Hi !Go to and click on recent decisions. It should be posted there the minute it is ruled. ;-)
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 04, 2005 at 10:53:37 PT
I Hope This Case Helps Us
Lessons of the Schiavo BattleApr. 4, 2005 Pat Robertson called the removal of her feeding tube " judicial murder," and House majority leader Tom DeLay described it as an " act of medical terrorism." Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut, one of only five House Republicans to vote against Congress's emergency legislation throwing the Terri Schiavo case into the federal courts, declared that " this Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy." Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, acting as spokesman for the parents of the severely brain damaged woman and making even his counterparts on the conservative right wince in...,10987,1042460,00.html
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 04, 2005 at 10:41:11 PT

Don't hold your breath! I can't do CPR from here. LOL!
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Comment #6 posted by Truth on April 04, 2005 at 10:37:22 PT

O. K.
Guess I'd better stop holding my breath, I'm starting to turn blue....
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Comment #5 posted by Pete Guither on April 04, 2005 at 10:05:39 PT:

Raich dates
The next possible date for a decision to be released in Raich is April 19. I keep this regularly updated on my Raich page: plan to have the decision there within an hour after it's available to the public.Another good source for information is Scotus Blog, they have decisions posted within 10-20 minutes.
Drug WarRant
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Comment #4 posted by Druid on April 04, 2005 at 09:58:47 PT

Is there a webpage that can be monitored for supreme court rulings? Where is the ruling released first? How long after it is released does the press get a hold of it?thanks in advance to anyone that can help me out here.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 04, 2005 at 09:56:27 PT

I have been anxious to know since last Fall. I know we are not alone. I'm keeping my fingers crossed but I know how our government is.
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Comment #2 posted by Druid on April 04, 2005 at 09:52:24 PT

I sure do hope we find out some good news today :)
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 04, 2005 at 09:30:25 PT

News Brief from
Medical Marijuana Case Against Feds Heads To Court April 4, 2005Two Bay Area medical marijuana patients could find out as soon as Monday if they can use marijuana without the fear of federal prosecution.In California, medical marijuana patients are protected under state law. But federal law supersedes state law and agents can arrest people for using marijuana at any time.Angel Raich is a medical marijuana patient and is suing, saying it is the only way to treat her diseases. Raich filed a lawsuit against the federal government three years ago."I was really afraid that the federal government would come in and knock down my door and arrest me and take me into custody and because I'm so ill and because cannabis is a life support for me I wouldn't have the opportunity to put on a defense," she said.Raich's case already won in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.Supporters of the medical marijuana law say if she wins, it could change the landscape of United States' marijuana policy. Copyright 2005 by NBC11.com
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