Law Professor Speaks About Medical Pot

Law Professor Speaks About Medical Pot
Posted by CN Staff on February 28, 2005 at 09:13:24 PT
By Malcolm Ifekauche, Senior Staff Reporter
Source: Crimson White
Law professor Randy E. Barnett talked medical marijuana and arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court at the UA School of Law Friday. Barnett, a Harvard School of Law graduate and former Chicago prosecutor, tried felony cases as a criminal prosecutor in Chicago before he began his teaching career.
Now a Boston University School of Law professor, Barnett has argued before the Supreme Court in Raich v. Ashcroft. In the case, Barnett's clients were California medical marijuana users who had their plants seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The case is still pending.Barnett said his two clients were using marijuana as prescribed by a doctor to help their illnesses. One patient suffered from more than 10 serious medical conditions, including life-threatening weight loss, he said. Barnett said he believed that the marijuana prescribed for the plaintiffs served a legitimate medical purpose. "As some of you may have heard, cannabis has been known to increase one's appetite," he said.Raich v. Ashcroft was argued under precedents of two previous Supreme Court cases, United States v. Lopez and United States v. Morrison, in which commerce was defined in relation to the federal Controlled Substances Act, Barnett said. He said he argued that the Commerce Clause could not be used in his case because his clients were growing marijuana plants for their own use, so no commerce was involved. Also, "that the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana as prescribed by a doctor under the legal authorization of California were not in violation of the Controlled Substances Act," he said.Barnett said he had an unconventional approach to one of the questions that would be asked by the Supreme Court. He had to differentiate medical marijuana use from the use of other controlled substances such as cocaine in relation to the activities' regulation under the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause."We had to avoid the slippery slope," he said. "How do we separate [medical marijuana users'] activities from other illegal activities?"Barnett said he had been dealing with this question for two years. He said he discovered his answer two weeks before his scheduled Supreme Court appearance in a mock trial at Harvard University. He argued that because his clients were growing the plants solely for their own use, and that because medical marijuana was legal under California state law, their case was the exception and benefited the broader good.Raich v. Ashcroft is not the first step towards the legalization of recreation marijuana use, Barnett said. The case is very limited, he said, because it only deals with patients using marijuana as prescribed by a doctor for personal use within a state where medicinal marijuana is legal.Barnett concluded with the story about his appearance on "The Ricki Lake Show." He said he changed the theme of the show, which centered on people who had been wrongfully convicted, when he was asked whether the justice system was working.He said he told the audience that for the justice system to work correctly, equal representation is needed on both sides of each case. In cases where defendants were wrongfully convicted, he said he told the audience that the defense attorneys were usually incompetent, which drew much applause."It doesn't matter what I've done in my career," Barnett said. "The first thing students ask me is, 'What happened to you' on 'The Ricki Lake Show?'"Note: Law prof argued for medical marijuana before Supreme Court.Source: Crimson White, The (Edu, Univ of Alabama)Author: Malcolm Ifekauche, Senior Staff ReporterPublished: February 28, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Crimson WhiteContact: cwletters Articles & Web Site:Angel Raich v. Ashcroft News I Really Consider Cannabis My Miracle in Middle of Medical Marijuana Debate
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on February 28, 2005 at 20:29:26 PT
Taylor 121 
have you been following Howards ride.
if you live on Howards ride see him and see 
if you can book a Howard near you.if you know anyone that does a cable access show have leap on no doubt have many ideas that have yet to be used please try to make a leap event happen.
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Comment #3 posted by Taylor121 on February 28, 2005 at 15:07:52 PT
Thanks for the radio program. That one guy was so out of line and just doesn't have any rational thought or understanding that the issues he brought up are byproducts of prohibition itself, not the drugs.These are the type of people that use emotion instead of logic to form their conclusions that we have to be aware of and educate as many rational minded folks to oppose them and convert them.
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Comment #2 posted by fearfull on February 28, 2005 at 13:33:24 PT
Thought some might like to listen to this:""According to Joy Cardin?s guest, after seven, there is no such thing as a drug-free America. He argues illicit drugs should be regulated, not prohibited. Guest: Howard Wooldridge (WOOL-dridge), retired police detective. Founder, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).""
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Comment #1 posted by siege on February 28, 2005 at 13:09:18 PT
Marijuana, the great survivor
Marijuana, the great 
Banda Aceh, Indonesia - Of all the tales of miraculous survival in December's tsunami disaster, one in particular has the people of Indonesia's Aceh province reaching for their cooking pots.,,2-10-1777_1668877,00.htmlHeavy Cannabis Use May Lead To Psychotic Symptoms
Tuesday, 1 March 2005, 9:09 am
Press Release: University of Otago
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