cannabisnews.com: State Should Push Federal Medical Marijuana Law





State Should Push Federal Medical Marijuana Law
Posted by CN Staff on June 08, 2005 at 11:08:40 PT
Editorial
Source: Oakland Tribune
USA -- If we're ever going to end the tug of war over medical marijuana, Congress may have to pass legislation making cannabis use for medicinal purposes legal across our nation. Doing so won't be easy, but the standoff between the federal government and states with medical marijuana laws was reinforced in Monday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving us with few ways to rectify two diametrically opposed positions.
Without national legislation, people in states without medical marijuana laws who might benefit from its use to treat illnesses have unequal access to cannabis. They aren't able to get it without running the risk of breaking state and federal laws. Sick people in California and nine other states can feel reasonably safe getting it through a doctor's permission and state-sanctioned facilities  when the feds are otherwise occupied. But that could change anytime because even in medical-marijuana states patients and providers can be arrested and prosecuted under federal law, which considers it an illegal substance. Even if you grow it in your yard and use it only for medical purposes approved by state law. Which brings us back to Congress. In spite of "strong arguments" that California plaintiffs Angel McClary Raich and Diane Monson would "suffer irreparable harm" if denied marijuana for medical purposes, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the court majority that Congress' control of interstate commerce to restrict "medicinal substances ... is a valid exercise of federal power." Thus, medical-marijuana advocates must turn to "the democratic process" if they're going to erase this legal dichotomy. Some go to Washington next week when the House considers the Hinchey-Rohrbacher amendment that would prevent the Justice Department from spending money to pursue medical-marijuana patients in states where it's legal. It's likely to fail but is a step in the right direction. Ask Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., about the challenge of enacting a federal statute. He has been trying to pass the States Rights to Medical Marijuana Act for 10 years. It's time that California's senators  Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer  and its members of the House move to the forefront of such efforts. The Golden State was, after all, the first state to pass a law, with 56 percent of the vote in 1996. And it's unlikely to be rescinded. Both Raich and Monson plan to continue risking arrest by using marijuana to deal with their diseases. Raich, who suffers from scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea and other maladies, said, "If I stop using cannabis ... I would die. This is the only way I have to ... deal with my illness." The ruling essentially returns things to the way they were before they took their fight to court. Whether growers, dispensers and users of medical marijuana encounter legal problems with the federal government depends on how vigorously Washington pursues such cases. Monson, who smokes marijuana to combat pain from a degenerative spine disease, says, "I'm going to have to be prepared to be arrested." That's the uncertainty such people must live with unless amendments such as Hinchey-Rohrbacher are passed annually or federal law permits the use of marijuana as medicine. California's congressional delegation should support the Hinchey-Rohrbacher amendment and head efforts to legalize medical marijuana nationally. Until Congress approves such a law, people suffering from cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, pain, nausea, AIDS and other diseases that might be helped by controlled use of medical marijuana will continue to be at risk for arrest. That is indeed cruel and unusual treatment. Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)Published: Wednesday, June 8, 2005Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc. Contact: triblet angnewspapers.com Website: http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Related Articles & Web Sites:Angel Raich v. Ashcroft Newshttp://freedomtoexhale.com/raich.htmThe Debate: Hinchey - Rohrabacher http://freedomtoexhale.com/dofcomm.htmWill Congress Have The Guts To Tackle MMJ?http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20815.shtmlCourt: Let Congress Legalize Ithttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20788.shtml Amendment Would Bar Medical-Pot Raids http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20783.shtml
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 15:24:09 PT
Toker00 
I understand.
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Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on June 08, 2005 at 15:19:45 PT
Sorry FoM,
I'm afraid we've all been too careful for too long.NO PEACE TIL CANNABIS PROHIBITION IS REPEALED!!!
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 15:15:25 PT
Toker00
Oh My! Please be careful!
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Comment #15 posted by Toker00 on June 08, 2005 at 15:13:57 PT
By the way...
I'll be passing out flyers at the KKK protest I'm attending June 11 in Tomball Texas. Racism, Fascism, and Classism suck!!!NO PEACE TILL CANNABIS PROHIBITION IS REPEALED!!!
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Comment #14 posted by Toker00 on June 08, 2005 at 15:06:45 PT
REPEAL CANNABIS PROHIBITION!!!
Expose those with vested interests in pharmapoisons, private prisons, and piss tester corporations, or any other lame excuses to keep cannabis banned. Legalize, not decriminalize, or medicalize, or any other half stepping to get cannabis on the free market. Remove cannabis from the War on Drugs whatever it takes. Keep the poison powders illegal. help prove the corporate conspiracy against cannabis. Print Anslinger and Nixons racist remarks and distrubute them everywhere! Prove the war on cannabis to be the racist fascist BS it is. And while we are raising hell in the streets, smart lawyers can gather and team up to prove the conspiracy against cannabis, and the ignorance of cannabis prohibition. I know it will take more than yelling in the streets to liberate cannabis, but if we don't yell, who is going to hear us? Not Congress, that's for sure. Force the media to cover our marches. Do whatever it takes. Get loud! Get visible! Get cannabis prohibition repealed!Keep an eye on Vancouver. See what they do that we can duplicate and expand on. Marches and civil disobedience on our part. Lawyers will figure out the details just like they did to re-legalize alcohol. Just don't sit on your ass or let sick people fight your fight. Throw these racist fascist b**tards out of Washington and the fifty states. Call 'em up, dress 'em down, vote 'em out. Get Angry! Get very Angry! Be a True AMERICAN!!! NO PEACE TILL CANNABIS PROHIBITION IS REPEALED!!!! 
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on June 08, 2005 at 15:01:58 PT
POLL
Do you think that patients who use marijuana as a prescribed medical treatment should be prosecuted?Yes: 16.8%No: 83.2%Total Votes: 738
Springfield (MO) News-Leader Poll
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 14:35:15 PT
Celaya
Thank you for the compliment. Yes, life keeps us busy but I'm glad I am busy. I don't like being idle ever. I get very tired of the spin the government throws our way but I've learned that's just the way they are and I try not to get real upset about it. 
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Comment #11 posted by Celaya on June 08, 2005 at 14:25:20 PT
FoM
Yes. It's hard to get away from the demands and goals of life. If not this year, maybe the next. Just food for thought.Thanks for your incredible, tireless (it seems 8^) efforts!We will win this war because of people like you!
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Comment #10 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2005 at 14:16:14 PT
Another smack down!
Beautiful!
RE: San Diego County grand jury findings
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 14:14:00 PT
Celaya 
It's been a long time we've been fighting this same war hasn't it? Maybe we will be able to get together in the near future. I know for me it would be hard. We are doing major work around our place this summer. Replacing some siding and at least one window plus painting the whole house. That doesn't leave much time for anything else but maybe we'll get it all done sooner then I think we will. All things are possible!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 14:08:27 PT
News Article from 10News.com
Grand Jury Urges Supervisors To Implement Marijuana ProvisionsReport Issues Recommendations For County SupervisorsJune 8, 2005SAN DIEGO -- The county grand jury Wednesday urged the Board of Supervisors to implement provisions of a state law passed by voters nine years ago that allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes. 
 The report comes just days after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of federal authorities to enforce a national law banning marijuana, even in states that have so-called "compassionate use" statutes on the books. Since California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 215, the "Compassionate Use Act of 1996," the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has "done absolutely nothing" to implement the measure, the grand jurors wrote in their report.The board has also ignored a state Senate bill passed two years ago that proposed guidelines for medical marijuana users and cultivators, the jurors wrote.There are an estimated 5,000 patients in San Diego County who would benefit from the use of marijuana, the report stated.The jury did commend the city of San Diego for creating the Medical Marijuana/Cannabis Task Force, which issued clear guidelines for enforcement by police.Among the report's recommendations for the county supervisors: Take all possible action to facilitate access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients. Meet with all local law enforcement agencies to develop uniform procedures for users. Consult with counties that have already implemented such provisions. Direct the county Health and Human Services Agency to prepare to implement the guidelines set out by the state Senate bill. Issue a clear statement of uniform procedures on medical marijuana to law enforcement, physicians and patients. Discourage local law enforcement from arresting, or confiscating marijuana from, anyone who claims protection from the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 until an investigation is completed. The recommendation assumes the person is operating within the established guidelines. Discourage local law enforcement from cooperating with federal agencies in enforcing marijuana violations, unless state law is being broken. The grand jury report begins with a disclaimer that they do not endorse or condone the illegal use of drugs or address the medical value of marijuana.The disclaimer does acknowledge that state law allows medical use of the drug.The county has three months to respond to the report. Copyright 2004 by 10News.com. http://www.10news.com/news/4585113/detail.html
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Comment #7 posted by Celaya on June 08, 2005 at 14:06:37 PT:
FoM - Great To See You're Still Going Strong!
The years are really rolling by, aren't they? Here's an interesting idea. NORML, MPP and others have their annual gatherings, but I think it would be nice to just plan a one-time reunion of EVERYONE that works in marijuana reform - maybe somewhere in the middle of the country so it wouldn't be too far for anyone. If the "leaders" can't make it, well that's okay. They've got their annual things to go to.Late June and all of July are the best times for me.Anyway, if you feel like it, drop me a line. I'd love to talk!nieblaflor hotmail.com
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on June 08, 2005 at 13:08:52 PT
Defund the ONDCP!
Re: Justice Department's decision to seek a $10 billion, 5-year quit-smoking program, far smaller than a $130 billion, 25-year program proposed last month by a government witness.What?Got PRIORITIES?!!http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/policy/budgetsum04/ In total, funding recommended for FY 2005 is an estimated $12.6 BILLION, an increase of $566.3 million (+4.7 percent) over the FY 2004 enacted amount of $12.1 BILLION (emphasis added - jm) "Justice" my brown skinned butt!
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 13:04:39 PT
Hi Celaya
First and most important it's really good to see you and thanks for the article. I'm not allowed to post this without snipping it but I posted it anyway because it's so darn important to Canada. I don't want to live in Vancouver but I challenge our country to do the same thing! http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread20820.shtml
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2005 at 12:44:16 PT
OT but this is our Fed Gov
Just in case you wondered if our Federal Government is honestly looking after her citizens interests.....once again it's about following the money.WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The judge in the racketeering case against cigarette makers on Wednesday questioned whether "additional influences" prompted the government to drastically reduce a sanction it is seeking against the industry.During a second day of closing arguments in the trial, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler speculated about the
Justice Department's decision to seek a $10 billion, 5-year quit-smoking program, far smaller than a $130 billion, 25-year program proposed last month by a government witness."Perhaps it suggests that there are some additional influences being brought to bear on the government's position in this case," Kessler said.The government's reduced request, outlined in court on Tuesday, has provoked speculation by tobacco analysts and some lawmakers that politics played a role in the decision."Big Tobacco is one of the top donors to Republicans, and it is getting what it paid for," New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg said in a statement.
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Comment #3 posted by celaya on June 08, 2005 at 12:28:12 PT
Hi FoM and all!
Let's Go To Vancouver! (excerpt)------------------------------------------------A City of Vancouver report backed by the mayor recommends Canada legalize and regulate marijuana as part of a comprehensive drug-abuse prevention strategy for everything from methamphetamine production to alcoholism among seniors. The marijuana recommendation, one of two dozen in the report being released today, would allow people trying to prevent drug abuse to talk to teenagers about it realistically, the way they do with alcohol and cigarettes, and also limit dangerous use. It's a strategy that Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell endorses wholeheartedly, saying it's preferable to decriminalization, which imposes a fine instead of a criminal charge for use, but doesn't address the issue of supply. "I think the decriminalization doesn't do anybody any good. It sends the message that it's okay, but that it's a crime to obtain it." He says if marijuana were legalized, the community could benefit by being able to tax production.... Others say that putting marijuana on the same level as alcohol and tobacco legally would allow teachers and prevention counsellors to talk about it strategically, rather than just avoiding the topic. "All that teachers can do now is say it's illegal," says the city's drug policy coordinator Don MacPherson, who wrote the 67-page report.
Vancouver Says "Legalize Marijuana!"
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2005 at 12:19:25 PT
Fed.SC judge calls cannabis=medicinal
It is very notable to see a Supreme Court Justice refer to cannabis as a medicinal substance.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 12:04:19 PT
Snipped Source: Denver Post Article
Tenth Amendment Intact After Pot RulingBy Al Knight, Denver Post Columnist  
June 8, 2005 
The Hemp Evolution website -- http://www.hempevolution.org/ -- is in red- alert mode in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday upholding the right of the federal government to prosecute users of medicinal marijuana. "The Supreme Court rules against the sick," is one of the milder headlines on just one of the Internet websites dedicated to promoting the wondrous benefits to be obtained by smoking marijuana. A close reading of some of the latest mainstream media dispatches indicates that users of medicinal marijuana, now permitted in 10 states including Colorado, don't really have much to fear from the court's decision. Authorities in all of these states have rushed to the camera to announce that they have no intention of sending out search parties to find small stashes of marijuana. Indeed, the five-justice majority opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens virtually sides with those who think state authorities should now ignore the court's ruling. Stevens writes: "This case is made difficult by respondents' strong arguments that they will suffer irreparable harm because, despite a congressional finding to the contrary, marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes. The question before us, however, is not whether it is wise to enforce the statute in these circumstances; rather it is whether Congress' power to regulate interstate markets for medicinal substances encompasses the portions of those markets that are supplied with drugs produced and consumed locally. Well-settled law controls our answer." 
 Snipped:Complete Article: http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_2789370
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