Supreme Court Marijuana Ruling Raises Questions

Supreme Court Marijuana Ruling Raises Questions
Posted by CN Staff on June 06, 2005 at 16:55:50 PT
By David Kravets, AP Legal Affairs Writer 
Source: Associated Press
San Francisco, Calif. -- Some lingering questions and answers about the Supreme Court's medical marijuana ruling: Q: What was the case decided by the Supreme Court?A: The justices overruled an injunction against federal prosecution of two California women with doctor's recommendations for marijuana use. The decision clarifies that the federal government can prosecute violators of federal drug laws, even when people are following state law.
Q: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state allow patients with a doctor's recommendation to smoke and grow marijuana, or to have it grown for them. Should medical marijuana users in these states now fear federal prosecution?A: Federal authorities have already made more than 60 medical marijuana arrests in the last five years nationally, almost all of them in California. But such raids remain relatively uncommon. The Justice Department declined to discuss its strategy, but "people shouldn't panic," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said. Q: What have the 10 states done in reaction to Monday's ruling?A: Oregon tentatively stopped issuing medical marijuana identification cards to new patients, but it was business as usual in the other states.Q: How can the states seemingly ignore both the Bush Administration and the Supreme Court?A: Actually, this has all happened before. Rejecting a challenge to a federal raid on an Oakland cooperative, justices said in 2001 that the marijuana clubs were violating federal law. Federal authorities raided a few more clubs and made arrests in several large-scale medical pot operations. However, the pot clubs are still proliferating, doing business in the open with the blessing of local governments.Q: Can doctors be prosecuted or sanctioned for recommending marijuana?A: No. In October, 2003, the Supreme Court refused to let the federal government punish doctors for recommending pot to their ill patients in states with medical marijuana laws. The justices declined without comment to review a lower-court ruling that said doctors should be able to speak frankly with their patients.Q: Are more legal challenges planned?A: Yes. One of the plaintiffs, Angel Raich of Oakland, plans to argue that people have a constitutional right to marijuana "to be free from unnecessary pain and suffering." Raich and her doctor say marijuana is the only drug keeping her alive.Q: What does Congress have to say on the issue?A: This month, lawmakers are expected to consider the States' Rights To Medical Marijuana Act, which would prohibit the federal government from spending money prosecuting lawful medical marijuana users. Passage is not expected.Editors: David Kravets has been covering state and federal courts for more than a decade. On the Net: The ruling in Gonzales v. Raich is available at: Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: David Kravets, AP Legal Affairs Writer Published: Monday, June 6, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Angel Raich v. Ashcroft News Sick Pot Smokers Can Be Prosecuted'No' On Medical Marijuana Use Rules Against Pot for Sick People
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on June 06, 2005 at 21:06:07 PT
2 POLL questions...
Vote here Should the federal government prosecute medical marijuana users, now that it has been given the OK by the Supreme Court? * 69575 responses Yes 
10% No 
88% I'm not sure 
2%&&&&LOU DOBBS TONIGHT QUICKVOTE Do you believe the federal government should prosecute doctors who prescribe medical marijuana? Current Results: Yes -- 7% No -- 93% Total: 3264 votes
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on June 06, 2005 at 20:49:23 PT
Now, There Is a Picture of a Criminal, NOT!
FoM, you ought to put the picture at the top of Let the Prohibitionists see it again and again until their hearts melt. For they have hardened their hearts like a stone.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 18:50:32 PT
Updated Photo and Articles
I really like this picture of Angel and Robert so I put it on the top of the page.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 18:32:04 PT
Justice Thomas, dissenting.
“Even the majority does not argue that respondents’ conduct is itself 
“Commerce among the several States.” Art. I, §8, cl. 3. Ante, at 19. 
Monson and Raich neither buy nor sell the marijuana that they consume. 
They cultivate their cannabis entirely in the State of California–it never 
crosses state lines, much less as part of a commercial transaction. 
Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that “commerce” 
included the mere possession of a good or some purely personal activity 
that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the 
Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the 
local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana.”
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on June 06, 2005 at 18:25:39 PT
Chris Conrad - Tonight
He will be commenting on today's ruling during the first half-hour of "Coast to Coast" AM tonight.Check for your local affiliate...
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 18:23:53 PT
Several good photos on this page
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 18:12:45 PT
Welcome the Hero.
The illegal grower, the illegal smuggler, the illegal dealer.God bless them.There is no alternative.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 18:03:17 PT
A Very Sad Picture
Cancer patient Christopher Campbell sits by his bedside at his home Monday, June 6, 2005, in Portland, Ore. Campbell who has a medical marijuana card, said he will not cease using the drug that he takes in order to quell his pain and improve his appetite. State health officials suspended issuing medical marijuana cards to patients on Monday in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that federal authorities may prosecute sick people whose doctors approve marijuana use to ease pain. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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