User of MMJ Says She'll Continue To Fight

User of MMJ Says She'll Continue To Fight
Posted by CN Staff on June 06, 2005 at 18:44:59 PT
By Evelyn Nieves, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
Oakland, Calif. -- Of course she would never stop using marijuana, Angel Raich told reporters over and over again. "If I stopped," she said, "I would die."Raich's belief that medical cannabis keeps her alive is what spurred her to fight the federal government's ban on marijuana. So on Monday, she was disappointed -- "a little in shock" -- that the Supreme Court had ruled that the government can still ban possession of marijuana even in states that have legalized its medical use. But she will press on, she said, to change federal law.
"We have a lot of fight left," she said as she was whisked away from a news conference on the steps of Oakland City Hall to her house, where a camera crew was waiting for her. She had back-to-back interviews all day, taking breaks to ingest marijuana through a pipe or vaporizer every two hours or so.She told reporters during a morning telephone conference that she had taken medical marijuana before and during the meeting. "I don't like using it," she said, adding: "It doesn't make me high."Instead, for Raich, 39, a mother of two teenagers who says she has been suffering from a litany of disabling ailments since she was a teenager herself, medical cannabis has worked where scores of other prescribed drugs have failed. Marijuana makes her hungry, she said, which fights a wasting syndrome that would otherwise steal her appetite. It relieves pain, she said, from progressive scoliosis, endometriosis and tumors in her uterus. Raich even believes it has something to do with arresting the growth of an inoperable brain tumor.She is convinced that her use of medical marijuana, which began in 1997 after she had been using a wheelchair for two years, made her strong enough to stand up and learn to walk again. She said doctors could find no other explanation.The drug that she says soothes her has also made her an activist. In 2002, with the help of her husband, Robert Raich, a lawyer she met when he was defending medical cannabis clubs in Oakland, Raich and Diane Monson of Oroville, Calif., another medical marijuana user, sued then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft to stop federal raids on patients who use medical marijuana and their growers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in their favor, and the government appealed to the Supreme Court.Monson, 47, an accountant who has a degenerative spine disorder, had her home raided by federal drug agents in 2002 because she was growing six marijuana plants on her patio. She could not be reached on Monday to comment.Raich, who has been anxiously awaiting the high court's decision, made sure she was available. Two months ago, she said, she was told that her cervix was covered with precancerous cells. She waited until the Supreme Court decision to schedule an operation to remove the cells, she said. After that, she said, she is to undergo a hysterectomy.She said she is trying to look on the bright side of the Supreme Court decision. The timing, she said, was perfect, just before the House is to vote on an amendment next week that would end government raids of medical marijuana patients.She said she plans to go to Washington in two weeks to lobby. But she also said that all this activity does nothing to help her health. On busy days, she said, "I don't get enough medicine. I'm constantly playing catch-up. It's really hard on my body, on my mental state. When the day is over and all the media is gone, I'm probably going to end up crying."Complete Title: User of Medical Marijuana Says She'll Continue To FightSource: Washington Post (DC)Author: Evelyn Nieves, Washington Post Staff WriterPublished: Tuesday, June 7, 2005; Page A08Copyright: 2005 Washington Post Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Angel Raich v. Ashcroft News Court Marijuana Ruling Raises Questions Sick Pot Smokers Can Be Prosecuted'No' On Medical Marijuana Use
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on June 06, 2005 at 21:03:37 PT
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 jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 20:20:40 PT
defend yourself with the truth!
From:    "DPAlliance"alerts actioncenter.drugpolicy.orgSubject:    Raich Decision is In!SUPREME COURT RULES ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA
CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESSDear Jose, You probably remember Angel Raich ( ), the 
woman who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and uses medical cannabis 
to help ease her pain. You may also remember that last November, Angel 
took her case against Attorney General Ashcroft to the Supreme Court ( ) in a 
matter of what is for her a life-or-death situation, to allow patients to 
cultivate and use medical cannabis upon the recommendation of a doctor.The verdict is in. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 today that Federal 
authorities can prosecute Angel and other patients who use medical marijuana 
even with their doctor's recommendation. The Court said that it's up to 
Congress to change federal law. Join Angel and her husband Robert Raich, along with the Alliance's 
Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann for a live web chat to get Angel's 
firsthand reaction to the ruling.WHEN: Wednesday, June 8, at  5 PM EDT / 2 PM PDT 
WHERE: email mailto:questions before June 8 to submit 
questions, and don't forget to bookmark the chat address!GET INVOLVEDIt's important to note that the ruling only affects federal law. It 
does not overturn state medical marijuana laws which protect patients from 
state arrest."This ruling changes nothing," said Dan Abrahamson, director of legal 
affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "States still have the right to 
pass legislation that protects the rights of patients to use this 
life-saving medicine. The federal government still has a choice-it can waste 
taxpayer dollars by going after sick and dying patients or go after 
individuals who pose a real danger to society."While the ruling may be life-saving news/ distressing news for Angel, 
the battle to make medical cannabis available to patients like Angel 
still continues. Congress now has a unique and timely opportunity to deal 
with the marijuana issue once and for all.  Fax your congressperson to 
tell them that it's time they protect sick and dying patients.Take Action Now: MORE ABOUT THE CASE:In 2002, Angel Raich and Diane Monson were launched into the national 
spotlight when both seriously ill medical cannabis patients -- along 
with two anonymous caregivers who grow and provide medical cannabis to 
patients free of charge -- sued Attorney General John Ashcroft and the 
federal government.   As part of our continued effort to defend the rights 
of sick and dying medical marijuana patients, Drug Policy Alliance has 
been helping to fund the Raich v. Ashcroft case.  The goal in launching 
Raich v. Ashcroft was to put an end to the government's cruel and 
illegal raids on sick people who legally use medical cannabis according to 
state law.  Today, more than two years after filing the lawsuit, the 
U.S. Supreme Court reached a decision in Raich v. Ashcroft.  In their opinion, the Justices have rightly recognized that marijuana 
does have medical efficacy and is necessary for Angel Raich and other 
seriously ill patients.  Read the Supreme Court opinion here ( ), and the 
Alliance's brief on behalf of Raich here ( ). - - -Hinchey Medical Marijuana Amendment 2005 Dear DRCNet supporter: Since medical marijuana initiatives were first passed nine years ago, the DEA has conducted raids against medical marijuana clinics in California, recently with increasing frequency, forcing hundreds if not thousands of patients to procure marijuana in the black market instead. In an unfortunate ruling issued on June 6, 2005, the US Supreme Court upheld the government's power to do this. While this doesn't change anything -- state laws protecting medical marijuana patients and their providers still are binding upon state and local law enforcement authorities -- it is a missed opportunity for the Court to rein in federal overreaching and help some of our society's most vulnerable members. Fortunately, Congress will have a chance this month to set things right. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, being considered this month in the debate on the Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill, would prohibit the federal government from arresting, raiding or prosecuting patients who are abiding by state medical marijuana laws. This debate may happen as soon as June 15th, and your help is needed to get it passed. Please visit to support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment and medical marijuana patients today! When you are done, please visit to find out about a demonstration supporting Hinchey-Rohrabacher at the local office of your member of Congress.  must . . . sleep . . . now.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on June 06, 2005 at 20:11:16 PT
I just realized this will mean more of that horror of injustice where if they do haul you can't defend yourself with the truth!The prohibitionists or preventionists or whatever they want to call themselves are systematically and legally, destroying this country and every thing it was supposed to be.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 19:39:03 PT
News Night With Aaron Brown
The transcript of tonights program will be available on this link tonight or tomorrow.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 19:27:43 PT
Irvin Rosenfeld is his name!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 19:23:46 PT
Thanks Taylor
I hope I didn't miss it. I quick turned on CNN!
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Comment #2 posted by Taylor121 on June 06, 2005 at 19:18:22 PT
(CNN)Aaron Brown About to be On Dicussing It
They are going to have Raich and a legal Federal user (forgot his name).
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 19:15:09 PT
NORML: Supreme Court Rules On Medical Marijuana 
DPFCA: NORML Action Alert: Supreme Court Rules On Medical Marijuana Take Action Now! 6, 2005To: NORML Supporters From: Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director, NORMLHello,Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that federal law continues to prohibit the use of cannabis?even for the sick, dying and sense-threatened.The first Associated Press story related to this morning's breaking news is found below along with NORML's reply.As Justice Steven's writings for the court below indicate: "Perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress."It is hard to argue with Justice Stevens' point. Per usual, the greatest gains for cannabis law reform are to be made by achieving legislative changes in the law rather than looking to the courts for relief. In light of this, it is imperative that you contact your member of Congress today and urge him or her to support the States' Rights To Medical Marijuana Act, which would reschedule marijuana under federal law and protect patients in states with medical marijuana laws. Please take two minutes to send your member of Congress a pre-written letter today by visiting: years after NORML launched the 'medical marijuana' debate by suing the federal government to re-schedule cannabis, regrettably that debate will apparently continue do to this morning's United States Supreme Court decision.Challenges to cannabis prohibition laws are principally funded by citizens who support a change in the status quo regarding cannabis so please continue to provide the valuable resources, to NORML and other cannabis law reform groups, which are needed to keep pushing hard for these social reforms.Regards,-Allen F. St. Pierre, Executive Director NORML Washington, DC***Court Rules Against Pot for Sick PeopleBy GINA HOLLAND The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) - Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug's use to treat various illnesses.Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.The closely watched case was an appeal by the Bush administration in a case that it lost in late 2003. At issue was whether the prosecution of medical marijuana users under the federal Controlled Substances Act was constitutional.Under the Constitution, Congress may pass laws regulating a state's economic activity so long as it involves "interstate commerce'' that crosses state borders. The California marijuana in question was homegrown, distributed to patients without charge and without crossing state lines.Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, "but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress.''California's medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 1996, allows people to grow, smoke or obtain marijuana for medical needs with a doctor's recommendation. Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state have laws similar to California.In those states, doctors generally can give written or oral recommendations on marijuana to patients with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses.In a dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said that states should be allowed to set their own rules."The states' core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens,'' said O'Connor, who was joined by other states' rights advocates.The legal question presented a dilemma for the court's conservatives, who have pushed to broaden states' rights in recent years, invalidating federal laws dealing with gun possession near schools and violence against women on the grounds the activity was too local to justify federal intrusion.O'Connor said she would have opposed California's medical marijuana law if she was a voter or a legislator. But she said the court was overreaching to endorse "making it a federal crime to grow small amounts of marijuana in one's own home for one's own medicinal use.''The case concerned two seriously ill California women, Angel Raich and Diane Monson. The two had sued then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, asking for a court order letting them smoke, grow or obtain marijuana without fear of arrest, home raids or other intrusion by federal authorities.Raich, an Oakland woman suffering from ailments including scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea, fatigue and pain, smokes marijuana every few hours. She said she was partly paralyzed until she started smoking pot. Monson, an accountant who lives near Oroville, Calif., has degenerative spine disease and grows her own marijuana plants in her backyard.06/06/05 10:31 EDT#########################################NORML press release (6/6/05)Supreme Court Rules Feds Can Arrest State-Recognized Medical Cannabis PatientsState Laws Authorizing Physician-Supervised Use Of Marijuana Unaffected By RulingWashington, DC: The US Supreme Court today reversed a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which found that the federal prosecution of patients who cultivate and possess marijuana for their own medicinal use is an unconstitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority. As a result, the court struck down an injunction barring the Justice Department from arresting the respondents -- California medical cannabis patients Angel McClary Raich and Diane Monson -- for violating the federal Controlled Substances Act. Ms. Raich and Ms. Monson had filed suit in federal court in 2002 seeking to bar the US Justice Department from taking legal action against them for their state-sanctioned use of medicinal cannabis."While we are disappointed with the Court's decision, the bottom line is that state and local laws protecting medicinal cannabis patients and their physicians remain in place and are unaffected by this ruling," NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said. Eleven states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- have passed laws exempting patients who use cannabis under a physician's supervision from state criminal penalties."With this ruling, Congress and the Justice Department have a choice: They can choose to waste taxpayers' dollars and undermine states' rights by arresting and prosecuting seriously ill patients who possess and use medical cannabis in compliance with state law, or they can choose more worthwhile priorities, like protecting national security and targeting violent criminals," St. Pierre said. He added that Congress is expected to vote later this month on a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) that would prohibit the federal government from spending taxpayers' dollars to prosecute patients who comply with their state's medical marijuana laws. Also pending in Congress is House Bill HR 2087, "the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act," sponsored by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Ron Paul (R-TX), Sam Farr (D-CA), Rohrabacher, and Hinchey, along with 31 co-sponsors, which would reclassify marijuana under federal law to properly recognize its medical utility and enable physicians to legally prescribe it under controlled circumstances."The Court's decision today underscores the need for Congress to amend federal law to recognize cannabis' therapeutic utility," St. Pierre said." Throughout our history, the public has looked to state legislatures and Congress -- not the courts -- to be the architects of public policy. With 80 percent of Americans as well as numerous health organizations, including the American Nurses Association and the American Public Health Association, in favor of legalizing the physician-supervised use of medicinal cannabis, it's time for the federal government to butt out of doctors' decisions regarding which medicine is the most safe and effective for their patients."Respondents co-counsel, NORML Legal Committee member David Michael agreed. "This decision is a great leap backwards by the Supreme Court, in eroding the Rehnquist Court's Commerce Clause legacy and creating chaos by pitting the Federal Government against its own citizens and their individual states," he said. "Where the Supreme Court has failed, it is now up to Congress to protect the citizens of this country and their states from an overreaching federal government."For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano at (202) 483-5500. Respondents' co-counsel, NORML Legal Committee member David Michael is also available for comment at (415) 621-4500.
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