Pot Fight Far From Over

Pot Fight Far From Over
Posted by CN Staff on June 08, 2005 at 13:19:48 PT
By Daniel N. Abrahamson, Guest Columnist
Source: Los Angeles Daily News 
Washington, D.C. -- Legally speaking, the Supreme Court's decision on Monday was unsurprising and broke no new ground. The court, in Gonzales v. Raich, did what most observers predicted: It reaffirmed that federal law-enforcement officials have the power to enforce federal laws banning marijuana possession and cultivation against seriously ill patients who use physician-approved marijuana for medical purposes. In so ruling, the court maintained the legal status quo that has been in place for several decades.
The court also presented an important opportunity for Congress to take action in defense of vulnerable patients.As a practical matter, the court's decision promises to perpetuate the political standoff, brewing since the mid-1990s, between state and federal governments regarding medical marijuana. Despite the Raich ruling, states remain free to enact and enforce laws permitting sick people to use medical marijuana. Meanwhile, the federal government still has a choice: It can waste taxpayer dollars by going after sick and dying patients or pursue individuals who pose a real danger to society. In the last eight years, 10 states have enacted statutes permitting seriously ill patients to use physician-approved medical marijuana to relieve their suffering. It is conservatively estimated that at least 100,000 such patients are benefiting from these laws.The Raich case involved a valiant legal gambit by two California patients, Angel Raich and Diane Monson, to prevent federal law-enforcement officials from seizing their herbal medicine and arresting them for violating federal drug laws. Raich suffers from multiple debilitating conditions, including an inoperable brain tumor, scoliosis, endometriosis and fibromyalgia. She had tried 30 medicines, none of which helped alleviate her pain, before she turned to marijuana as a last resort, and, as her physician states, marijuana has proved to be her only effective analgesic.Nevertheless, the high court refused to rein in the power of federal police to interfere with her state-sanctioned medicine.Mounting scientific evidence from researchers around the globe about marijuana's medical efficacy, the continuous outpouring of patient and physician testimonials, and the refusal of Congress to change federal law on this issue are almost certain to energize more states to pass laws that confer state protections on persons who need medical marijuana.Indeed, even the Supreme Court acknowledged in its Raich decision that the evidence on behalf of medical marijuana should "cast serious doubt" on Congress' decision to keep it illegal under federal law. Along these lines, the U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider a bipartisan amendment authored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., which would prohibit the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Agency from spending any money on undermining state medical-marijuana laws.Last year almost 150 representatives signed on to the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, and this year it is poised to pick up more support. But whether it passes or not, the Raich decision will further motivate state and local officials to devise innovative methods and procedures to help insulate seriously ill individuals from the prying eyes and heavy-handed tactics of federal police. For example, several municipalities have already enacted or are considering ordinances that would prevent local police from sharing information or resources with federal agents about medical-marijuana patients, gardens and dispensaries.If history is any guide, it appears that federal officials lack either the will or the resources to arrest or prosecute more than a small handful of the tens of thousands of persons currently using medical marijuana around the country, perhaps because federal juries are reluctant to convict sick people for using a medicine that relieves their pain. Of course, even a single federal prosecution of a sick person for using a physician-recommended medication is one too many; but as a practical matter, the average medical-marijuana patient who complies with state law will likely have little to fear from the federal police.Although the Supreme Court in 2003 let stand a lower court ruling permitting physicians to recommend marijuana to patients under the First Amendment, the Raich decision represents the second time in recent years that the Supreme Court has denied legal relief to medical-marijuana advocates.But Raich does not spell the end of federal litigation in this area. Other cases involving medical-marijuana patients are awaiting decision in lower federal courts, raising new and important constitutional questions left open by the Raich decision. What is more, states will continue to experiment in expanding state legal protections for patients, perhaps below federal radar, as communities mobilize to reduce the pain and suffering of the seriously ill.Note: Congress, states, lower courts could heat it up again.Daniel Abrahamson is the director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. -- Los Angeles Daily News (CA)Author: Daniel N. Abrahamson, Guest ColumnistPublished: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 Copyright: 2005 Los Angeles Daily NewsWebsite: josh.kleinbaum dailynews.comRelated Articles & Web Sites:Angel Raich v. Ashcroft News Debate: Hinchey - Rohrabacher Should Push Federal Medical Marijuana Law Congress Have The Guts To Tackle MMJ? Let Congress Legalize It 
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Comment #22 posted by jose melendez on June 09, 2005 at 11:02:19 PT
We are on KCRW's to the point!
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on June 09, 2005 at 10:44:42 PT
Just My Thoughts
I remember seeing on the tv back in 96 something about a medical marijuana initiative in California and I thought when I get a computer and when we could afford to have an isp connection that I wanted to learn more about it.Here we are almost 10 years later. Ten years of research into is Cannabis ok or does it kill people. I wish we could get some stats on these last 10 years and how many people have been arrested for mariuana offenses. I also want to know how many people actually voted for State Initiatives. We don't even need to go back before prop 215 to make a case for the laws to be changed.
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Comment #20 posted by Celaya on June 09, 2005 at 09:51:26 PT
Thanks, guy. I see the Raich decision (especially Cowan's take on it) and the Vancouver plan as monumental events in marijuana reform. With the Bush cabal pressing to banish freedom with the expansion of the Patriot Act and other insidious attacks on our freedoms and rights, it seems like everything is coming to a head now. Lots of fireworks on the horizon. Hopefully, they will signal a real Independence and the return of Liberty!
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Comment #19 posted by jose melendez on June 09, 2005 at 07:13:03 PT
attorney speaks out,0,6299924.story?coll=la-news-comment-letters One perverse result of the medical marijuana case: In eviscerating any meaningful check on Congress' power to intrude on the most noncommercial and private of individual activities under the guise of "regulating interstate commerce," the court undermines the avowed principal goal of the federal drug control legislation it cites. The court says the goal of the 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, as applied to marijuana, is to prohibit and eliminate interstate commerce in marijuana. But by ruling that the act properly prohibits purely private, noncommercial cultivation and personal use of small quantities of marijuana for medical purposes, in compliance with state law and under the recommendation of a doctor, the Supreme Court in effect sends those sick patients into the illicit market. The more patients in the illicit market, the more aggregate demand, the higher the prices, the higher the profits, and the more supply is needed.By ruling in line with reason and precedent that the activities of brain tumor patient Angel Raich were indeed beyond the purview of federal commerce authority, the Supreme Court ironically could have helped reduce demand in the illicit interstate market in marijuana, thus accomplishing something that federal drug policy has yet to achieve in any meaningful way.Jeff FurchtenichtAttorney, Santa MariaBTW: Welcome back Celaya and Dan!
ACLU: For US . . . for YOU!
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Comment #18 posted by Celaya on June 09, 2005 at 02:01:26 PT
Silver Lining To Supremes Med Marijuana Decision
Things Here Not As Dark As They Seem?Richard Cowan Sees The BIG Silver Lining In The Supreme Court Medical Marijuana Decision in Pot TV's MarijuanaNews World Report Cowan's Marijuana News site now features Program Notes for each MarijuanaNews World Report (Roughly a transcript of the Pot TV program with lots of links)
MarijuanaNews World Report 
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Comment #17 posted by Celaya on June 09, 2005 at 01:16:17 PT
The Vancouver Plan 
The Vancouver Plan to Prevent Harm from Psychoactive Substance Use Is A Ground Breaking Document!They have used the Canadian Senate Report and built a drug policy on it. Not just any drug policy, like the fraud they have here and many other countries. But a complete plan based on the real improvement of the lives of drug consumers - based on humane and just principles. This document poses the greatest threat to U.S. prohibition that has come along. Especially if they can implement it.
 First they recognize the reality:"These positive trends must be viewed alongside emerging issues of concern.The pervasive and increasing use of cannabis represents another important trend. The use of illegal drugs is now, in fact, mostly limited to cannabis. Among 15 to 19 year olds in BC, occasional and regular use of cannabis is actually higher than is tobacco use. The lifetime use of cannabis in BC for those 15 and over is 52.1 per cent, the highest in Canada (CCSA, 2005)." 
Then the obstacles they face: "Yet even with the best prevention strategies anywhere in the world, we are limited in what we can do unless there are changes to the legal frameworks for psychoactive substances. The current system of prohibition for illegal drugs, this plan argues, has failed in its goal to reduce the availability of illegal substances and to prevent harm from their use. Prohibition leaves governments unable to adequately address harm by restricting their ability to intervene or regulate the production, sale or consumption of these substances. It also ensures that the production and sale of drugs will remain in the hands of organized criminals. This plan recommends that the Federal Government adopt a framework to deal with currently illegal substances based on public health principles, the relative toxicity of each substance and the drug’s potential for creating dependency." 
Then, the first step:
 "This plan recommends that regulation of currently illegal substances should be considered with the goals of increasing our ability to prevent harm to individuals and communities from substance use and of eliminating the involvement of organized crime in these drug markets. We propose that the Federal Government proceed in this direction by first tackling the regulation of cannabis, next evaluating the results and finally moving incrementally to bring more currently illegal substances into regulatory frameworks." 
It's perfect! I'm only a third of the way through, but I can already tell this is it. This is pure, logical solving of the problem.As opposed to the genocidal, money grubbing, population suppressing, monstrous fraud of a "drug policy" touted by the thugs who have commandeered our government.
The Vancouver Plan
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Comment #16 posted by b4daylight on June 08, 2005 at 23:31:13 PT
"Our national medical system relies on proven scientific research, not popular opinion," says White House drug czar John Walters. "To date, science and research have not determined that smoking a crude plant is safe or effective."Comment #6 posted by global_warming on June 08, 2005 at 15:11:43 PTReally?That is why you will not let clinical trails to be conducted on pot?That is why your favored research recalls drugs on the market?That is why you keep drugs off the market that are safe?Really well to bad we cannot take the majority of opinions and kick you out.
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Comment #15 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on June 08, 2005 at 21:37:18 PT
Go Canada !!!
I am glad Canada is getting an economic boost from hemp. I have bought a lot of hemp products made in Canada. They must be proud they have a government that can tell the difference between hemp and marijuana. If our DEA could learn to tell the difference between marijuana and hemp we could also benefit from a growing hemp industry. May we all be smarter someday.Uninsured
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Comment #14 posted by The GCW on June 08, 2005 at 21:12:24 PT
Baptize with fire daily.
So,Pepper — happens to be running for mayor of Cincinnati ???Pepper should be labeled! (call Me a pothead)Publicly, The Cannabis Exterminator.(I hope I spelled everything right)Pepper, Kubo and those guys are Cannabis Exterminators they should be controlled like… the devil.Publicly out in the open, labeling Pepper, may bring a loss, that catches the greed of other exterminators and they may have to start hiding their sick prejudices better... and shut up already.Let them hide in the closet for a while. (I'm gonna skip the parts I wrote about corks and butts)Is the Christian Right, the Christian disobedient?Matthew 3:11, "...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."      (Read it all..., I think.John the Baptist, baptized with water; that was then, cannabis is now.Receive the benefits of baptism, daily.Thank Christ God Our Father for all our blessings including cannabis.Thank Our Precious Father for Our culture.Oh and This, about baptizing with the fire, is right after We are told Jesus was given some frank incense, in Matthew 2:11 from the wise men / the Zoroastrians / Magi...The tree of life is Ours.We have overcome, and have been granted. See Rev. 2:7.And now, We will use the leaves of the tree of life to heal the nations. -See Rev. 22 THCUCannabis prohibitionists / EXTERMINATORS are the chaff; are the toil, the curse, are the disobedient...Christ is here to destroy the works of the devil.There is no more curse. We are here. Are You with Me?"Come to Me" (the subtitle) Mat. 11:25,
  “At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” the hash was given to Jesus Christ in that Matthew 2 area, even the wise men did not quite know what they were giving to the infant –Jesus.Jesus comes with cannabis; cannabis comes with Jesus the obedient Christian.Jesus comes with the tree of life; the tree of life comes with Jesus the obedient Christian.Gotta get it out.The GCW
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Comment #13 posted by The GCW on June 08, 2005 at 21:00:28 PT
Wow, is this real???; well put. Woah.
GM reported that it will cut 25,000 jobs and you thought the world was coming to an end----yet in Michigan over 50,000 paper workers have lost their jobs while Canada is growing and using Hemp. ???Is this the truth?Is it closer to the truth than what Bush says???
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Comment #12 posted by jose melendez on June 08, 2005 at 20:57:42 PT
thanks ekim
That great news!He promised he would look into it? Wow, did we wake up into a new world, or what? Usually such a question is met with highway speed backpedaling, good for Mike DeWine!Thank him here: - - -Border Guards Can't Stop Murder Suspect with Bloody Chain Saw 1 Year Prior: Border Guards Waste Man Hours Over Crumbs
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on June 08, 2005 at 20:38:57 PT
Sec of Ag
today on C-span Wash Journal the Sec of Agriculture was on taking calls one from Kal MI. The Sec Mike Dewine sorry if misspelled by the way he was Gov of NEB. 
 the question was did he see that Minnesota has just passed a law for 20% ethanol to be added to the gas and that the NREL has been making ethanol from Cellulose. The caller went on to say that yesterday GM reported that it will cut 25,000 jobs and you thought the world was coming to an end----yet in Michigan over 50,000 paper workers have lost their jobs while Canada is growing and using Hemp. The Sec was asked to use the power of the Fed Gov't and look into Hemp.the Sec replied that yes he did know that MN. has done much in the field of ethanol and thought it was good.
As to the Hemp question he said many in his home state of NB had expressed great interest in Hemp and he promised that he would look into it.
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on June 08, 2005 at 19:49:25 PT
This is interesting,,,
About #2, "ACLU and Drug Policy Action Group of Hawaii Demand Immediate Retraction from U.S. Attorney in Hawaii"Hawaii, is great.A few bad pineapples,but one great state full of activists....put Kubo in a headlock.THCUKubo is bad dope.And should be controled like a bad weed.420 to life.Cannabis does the will of Christ God Our Father;Kubo, does not.(Also, I missed that poll's time frame; and likely others... right now there could be many... it would be good to have a special place to click and have a list of those polls to click and go... when these instances arrive that produce so many. Machine gun - click, click,click,click, AIM HIGH! ...Where they are weak.)The Green Collar Worker 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 19:28:26 PT
Marijuana Policy Project Alert: Ohio
Victory in Cincinnati: Proposal To Increase Marijuana Penalties HaltedJune 8, 2005 
 FROM: Adam Horowitz, MPP legislative analyst 
 Cincinnati City Councilman David Pepper's (D) outrageous proposal to increase marijuana fines fivefold and allow responsible adults to serve jail time has been discarded. At yesterday's hearing in the Law and Public Safety Committee, Pepper — the committee chair — explained that he was tabling the "emergency" ordinance because it did not have enough votes to pass. Clearly, this victory illustrates Cincinnati's opposition to harsher marijuana laws.The Marijuana Policy Project would like to thank all of the local activists in Cincinnati who responded to our recent alert about Pepper's ordinance. Apparently, the City Council heard your voices, demonstrating the impact of grassroots action.Under current state and city law, possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana is classified as a minor misdemeanor — equivalent to a civil citation — punishable by up to a $100 fine and no possibility of jail time. But if Pepper — who happens to be running for mayor of Cincinnati — had his way, the city would have reversed this sensible marijuana policy. Pepper's ordinance would have raised marijuana possession to a third-degree misdemeanor — with fines of up to $500 and a penalty of up to 60 days in jail.Please pass this message on to your friends around Ohio. Thank you for continuing to support the Marijuana Policy Project.
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on June 08, 2005 at 19:03:59 PT
"The Business Person's Guide to the Drug Problem&q
Jun 9 05 Military Officers Wives Club 11:30 AM Marshall Frank Tampa Florida USA 
 Speaker Marshall Frank is welcomed by the Military Officers Wives Club of MacDill Air Force Base for discussion of issues related to the failure of the war on drugs. Jun 9 05 Rotary Club of Potomac 06:30 PM Eric Sterling Potomac Maryland USA 
 Members of the Rotary Club of Potomac-Bethesda welcome Eric Sterling to speak to their group. Eric will present "Does the Drug War Hurt the Local Economy?" This discussion will cover the economic ramifications of the drug war and the relationship of drug prohibition, crime and the economy. Eric will also present "The Business Person's Guide to the Drug Problem". For a detailed biography of Eric's unequalled experiences in drug prohibition issues, visit Jun 10 05 A Closer Look 10:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Denver Colorado USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge will appear on the nationally syndicated radio talk show, "A Closer Look" hosted by Libertarian, Michael Corbin. Howard will be discussing a variety of issues related to the failed war on drugs. These issues are sure to include the recent Supreme Court decision regarding medical marijuana, the relationship between prohibition and crime, as well as Howard's cross country journey to end drug prohibition. For more information on this important interview, visit and Denver listeners can tune in to radio station KHNC 1360 AM or listen over the internet (using RealPlayer) at: To follow Howard on his cross country trip, visit
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on June 08, 2005 at 18:24:18 PT
In less than ten years(Prop. 215) it has all come to a head. EVERYONE must demand that Congress represent the people! If any in congress fail to do so we must out them and end their political careers. Rufusing to support medical cannabis will be touching the new third-rail in politics. We demand representation!!!THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Pentagon Strike - A multimedia presenation: asks "What if Everything You Know about 9/11 is Wrong?" To Know - 9/11 Information Center: 'TOPOFF' 1, 2 & 3 Preliminary 'Tests' For Another Illuminati Mass Casualty Event? Of The Next Attack?
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on June 08, 2005 at 15:11:43 PT
The Cat Is Out Of The Bag,
from the June 08, 2005 edition -
---"Our national medical system relies on proven scientific research, not popular opinion," says White House drug czar John Walters. "To date, science and research have not determined that smoking a crude plant is safe or effective."John was further heard to mutter, that he would personally make sure that no liberal would be allowed to study or be allowed the research tools to study marijuana."Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation in St. Petersburg, Fla., calls it "an important victory for sound drug policy." Ms. Fay contends that many people falsely claim some medical problem in order to obtain the drug for recreational use."Good old Calvina, now that she is an executive, she can rest comfortably knowing, that, those who seek to use this plant for recreational purposes, will be locked up and she will personally throw away the key.----Fallout of marijuana verdict
This week's high-court ruling nudges legislators into the thick of medical-use debate.By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science MonitorASHLAND, ORE. - The US Supreme Court's decision this week asserting federal control over marijuana used for medical purposes would seem to bring that controversial practice to a halt. Uncle Sam - not the states - has the last word here, the court ruled.But the 6-to-3 ruling may have raised more questions than it answered - and not just in the 10 states where medical marijuana has been legally used to treat the pain and nausea of certain illnesses.For example, will the federal Controlled Substances Act now be enforced more rigorously?Advocates on both sides of the issue say they do not expect to see US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents breaking down the doors and ripping up the plants of medical-marijuana users, especially if state and local cops - not obliged to help federal agencies prosecute people following state law - don't take part. Just a tiny fraction of the 750,000 pot busts made each year in the US are by DEA agents.Will the ruling curb the number of states that allow medical marijuana? (The 10 that do are California, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Maine.)Polls show most Americans support medicinal use, including those opposed to general legalization of the drug.For example, in a poll conducted last December for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 72 percent of respondents aged 45 or older agreed that "adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician recommends it."This can be seen as part of the general public belief that individuals - not government - should be in charge of their medical care, including end-of-life care as was at issue in the Terri Schiavo case.That support is behind the push in several states to legalize the use of medical marijuana, provided a physician recommends it. The Connecticut Senate, for one, is considering a bill that would license medical doctors to certify the use of marijuana for certain debilitating conditions; patients would be allowed to grow up to four plants for personal use.This week's court decision puts added pressure on Congress to deal with the issue. In writing the court's majority opinion, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens "stressed the need for medical marijuana patients to use the democratic process, putting the ball in Congress's court," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C."This is especially important now because next week, the US House of Representatives will vote on an amendment that would prevent the federal government from spending funds to interfere with state medical-marijuana laws," says Mr. Kampia, whose organization provided major funding for the case brought by two California women.Another question raised by this week's ruling: What lies ahead for Oregon's unique physician-assisted suicide law? The US Justice Department says that law also violates the Controlled Substances Act, and the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case this fall.This week's decision also affects a broader debate on the drug. Some advocates had seen medicinal use as a vehicle for building support for marijuana legalization. The Bush administration firmly opposes such a move, and few lawmakers see political advantage in the debate.But a report out last week estimates that replacing marijuana prohibition with a taxation and regulation system - as exists for alcohol - would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year.The report, by Jeffrey Miron, visiting professor of economics at Harvard University, has been endorsed by more than 500 economists, including well-known conservative Milton Friedman of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.In an open letter to President Bush, Congress, governors, and state legislatures, the economists call for "an open and honest debate," one they believe "will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods." Such a discussion "will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition."Still, there's no doubt that this week's ruling is affecting - at least for now - existing state programs and the more than 100,000 people they serve.Oregon, for example, is temporarily halting issuance of medical-marijuana registration cards."We need to proceed cautiously until we understand the ramifications of this ruling," says state public health officer Grant Higginson, a physician who oversees the state's medical-marijuana program. "We have contacted the state attorney general to ask for a formal legal opinion."While advocates of such programs view the ruling as a temporary setback, those who oppose them are encouraged.Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation in St. Petersburg, Fla., calls it "an important victory for sound drug policy." Ms. Fay contends that many people falsely claim some medical problem in order to obtain the drug for recreational use.Several medical organizations have advocated the use of marijuana for medical purposes. But the administration remains adamantly opposed, and it recently launched a new antimarijuana publicity campaign."Our national medical system relies on proven scientific research, not popular opinion," says White House drug czar John Walters. "To date, science and research have not determined that smoking a crude plant is safe or effective."
Fallout of marijuana verdict
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Comment #5 posted by BGreen on June 08, 2005 at 15:05:04 PT
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 #4 posted by Sukoi on June 08, 2005 at 15:03:59 PT
Which cases?
"But Raich does not spell the end of federal litigation in this area. Other cases involving medical-marijuana patients are awaiting decision in lower federal courts, raising new and important constitutional questions left open by the Raich decision."Does anyone know which cases are being referred to here?Here is a really good article:Lying: The Government's Drug 
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2005 at 13:41:03 PT
Smack down!
Take that Kubo! 
That is lovely indeed.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 13:35:44 PT
ACLU Drug Policy Press Release
ACLU and Drug Policy Action Group of Hawaii Demand Immediate Retraction from U.S. Attorney in Hawaii 
 June 8, 2005
 Doctors Still Have Constitutional Right to Recommend Medical Marijuana. HONOLULU -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the Drug Policy Action Group of Hawaii (DPAG) demanded in a letter today that U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo immediately retract comments threatening to arrest doctors who recommend medical marijuana to their patients. "The U.S. Attorney got it wrong," said Lois Perrin, Legal Director of the ACLU of Hawaii. "Doctors have a clear right to continue to recommend medical marijuana, and that right is protected by the United States Constitution. If we have to, we will go to federal court next week to reaffirm doctors’ rights." Kubo made the threat based on his misguided interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on medical marijuana in Gonzales v. Raich. In their letter, the groups demand that Kubo publicly retract his statements no later than Wednesday morning, June 15. If Kubo fails to clarify that doctors continue to have the constitutional right to recommend medical marijuana, the ACLU and the DPAG said they would bring a lawsuit in federal court seeking an order to protect doctors from federal arrest or prosecution for recommending medical marijuana. The Supreme Court ruling on Monday in Gonzales v. Raich did not address any issues related to doctors’ rights to recommend medical marijuana or the First Amendment. The ruling was limited to the federal government’s power under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution to enforce federal marijuana laws against patients who possess or cultivate marijuana. The groups’ concerns arose after the Honolulu Advertiser reported yesterday that Kubo stated that Hawaii’s medical marijuana program was "essentially dead." Kubo claimed that he could now prosecute doctors who recommend medical marijuana in compliance with state law and that the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Raich was "the death knell to the medical marijuana issue." The ACLU and DPAG point out in the demand letter sent to the U.S. Attorney’s office this morning that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Walters v. Conant that doctors have a clearly defined constitutional right under the First Amendment to recommend and discuss medical marijuana with patients. The U.S. Supreme Court let stand the Ninth Circuit ruling in 2004 by denying the federal government’s request for review. The national ACLU Drug Law Reform Project litigated the Conant case on behalf of about a dozen doctors and patients in California and co-signed today’s demand letter. "Let there be no mistake. There is already case law affirming doctors’ rights to continue recommending medical marijuana in compliance with Hawaii’s medical marijuana program," said Graham Boyd, Director of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. "The Supreme Court’s ruling in Gonzales v. Raich was limited to the narrow issue of the federal government’s power under the commerce clause, not any issues related to doctors’ rights." "The U.S. Attorney must act quickly to undo the damage to doctors and medical marijuana patients," said Jeanne Ohta, Executive Director of DPAG. "He must withdraw his statements and stop spreading fear and intimidation among Hawaii doctors and the 2,600 sick and dying patients using medical marijuana legally and safely under Hawaii law." Contact: media aclu.orgFor information on the case, Walters v. Conant, see: For additional information on Gonzales v. Raich, see:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 08, 2005 at 13:21:14 PT
Contact Information for The LADN
I believe this is the form to use if you write a LTE.,1413,200%257E24636%257E,00.html
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