A Bad Call on Medicinal Marijuana

A Bad Call on Medicinal Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on June 09, 2005 at 21:29:42 PT
Guest Editorial
Source: Naples Daily News 
Rhode Island -- It is inhumane to deny the seriously ill use of marijuana to ease their suffering. That's why 10 states, including Maine and Vermont, have legalized medical marijuana, and Rhode Island is mulling doing so. Unfortunately, though, on Monday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that federal drug law supersedes state law, so suffering people seeking relief through marijuana may be prosecuted. A government that would prosecute ill citizens harming no one — especially when so many pressing problems need attention — is committing an injustice.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has ruled that if state drug laws superseded federal law, efforts to control drugs would become ineffective. And John Waters, director of the National Drug Control Policy, says that marijuana use has yet to be proven safe or effective. The ruling is another blow to our federal system — and the rights of states to establish criminal law through legislators chosen by local voters. "The states' core police powers," wrote dissenting Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens." She was joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas. Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said that medical-marijuana laws make it hard for the federal government to control production and use of the plant; he cited the federal authority to regulate interstate commerce. But, as Thomas noted, the seriously ill women who brought the case use marijuana that they have grown: Never having crossed state lines, it does not affect the national marijuana market. "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause," warned Thomas, "then it can regulate virtually anything — and the federal government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers." Among our system's great virtues is the states' power to act as "laboratories": testing whether various approaches to social policy work. For example, some states can see whether medical-marijuana laws pose a genuine threat to public health, while other states can hold firm against use of the plant. The Supreme Court's ruling erodes our Founders' system. Fortunately for users of medical marijuana, federal prosecution of marijuana cases is rare. Usually, the state and local police hold sway — and they follow state law. Thus, in practice, state medical-marijuana laws can still protect sick people who wish to relieve pain with marijuana — as long as the feds don't get involved. No sick person should be treated as a criminal for attempting to reduce suffering. Although it seems unlikely at the moment, we urge Congress to enact a national law letting doctors prescribe marijuana. And while we're at it, we also urge reappraisal of the endlessly expensive, in economic and social terms, "war on drugs."By The Providence Journal via SHNS.Source: Naples Daily News (FL)Published: June 10, 2005Copyright: 2005 Naples Daily NewsContact: letters naplesnews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Fight Far From Over Senate Approves Proposal To Legalize Approves Medical Marijuana Bill
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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on June 09, 2005 at 22:14:57 PT
#9, #9, #9 . . . Unenumerated Rights 
"U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that federal drug law supersedes state law"U.S. Constitution: Ninth Amendment The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. ''The language and history of the Ninth Amendment reveal that the Framers of the Constitution believed that there are additional fundamental rights, protected from governmental infringement, which exist alongside those fundamental rights specifically mentioned in the first eight constitutional amendments. . . .The Federalist No. 84 Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, no. 84, 578--7928 May 1788Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain every thing, they have no need of particular reservations."We the people of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America." Here is a better recognition of popular rights than volumes of those aphorisms which make the principal figure in several of our state bills of rights, and which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics than in a constitution of government. - - - When Profits Trumped Truth: Vegetable Oils Deemed "Injurious" over "essential growth producing and disease preventing" Whole Milk, Butter Fat UNITED STATES v. CAROLENE PRODUCTS CO.304 U.S. 144 (1938);MR. JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.  The question for decision is whether the "Filled Milk Act" of Congress of March 4, 1923 (c. 262, 42 Stat. 1486, 21 U. S. C. §§ 61-63), n1 which prohibits theshipment in  [*146]  interstate commerce of skimmed milk compounded with any fat or oil other than milk fat, so as to resemble milk or cream, transcends thepower of Congress to regulate interstate commerce or infringes the Fifth Amendment.   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  n1 The relevant portions of the statute are as follows:  "Section 61. . . . (c) The term 'filled milk' means any milk, cream, or skimmed milk, whether or not condensed, evaporated, concentrated, powdered, dried, ordesiccated, to which has been added, or which has been blended or compounded with, any fat or oil other than milk fat, so that the resulting product is in imitation orsemblance of milk, cream, or skimmed milk, whether or not condensed, evaporated, concentrated, powdered, dried, or desiccated. . . .  "Section 62. . . . It is hereby declared that filled milk, as herein defined, is an adulterated article of food, injurious to the public health, and its sale constitutes a fraudupon the public. It shall be unlawful for any person to . . . ship or deliver for shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, any filled milk."  Section 63 imposes as penalties for violations "a fine of not more than $ 1,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both . . ."   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -End Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  [***4]   Appellee was indicted in the district court for southern Illinois for violation of the Act by the shipment in interstate commerce of certain packages of "Milnut," acompound of condensed skimmed milk and coconut oil made in imitation or semblance of condensed milk or cream. The indictment states, in the words of thestatute, that Milnut "is an adulterated article of food, injurious to the public health," and that it is not a prepared food product of the type excepted from theprohibition of the Act. The trial court sustained a demurrer to the indictment on the authority of an earlier case in the same court, United States v. CaroleneProducts Co., 7 F.Supp. 500. The case was brought here on appeal under the Criminal Appeals Act of March 2, 1907, 34 Stat. 1246, 18 U. S. C. § 682. TheCourt of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has meanwhile, in another case, upheld the Filled Milk Act as an appropriate exercise of the commerce power in CaroleneProducts Co. v. Evaporated Milk Assn., 93 F.2d 202.  Appellee assails the statute as beyond the power of Congress over interstate commerce, and hence an invasion of a field of  [***5]  action said to be reserved to thestates by the Tenth Amendment. Appellee also complains that the  [*147]  statute denies to it equal  [**781]  protection of the laws and, in violation of the FifthAmendment, deprives it of its property without due process of law, particularly in that the statute purports to make binding and conclusive upon appellee thelegislative declaration that appellee's product "is an adulterated article of food injurious to the public health and its sale constitutes a fraud on the public."   First. The power to regulate commerce  [***6]  is the power "to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed," Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 196,and extends to the prohibition of shipments in such commerce. Reid v. Colorado, 187 U.S. 137; Lottery Case, 188 U.S. 321; United States v. Delaware &Hudson Co., 213 U.S. 366; Hope v. United States, 227 U.S. 308; Clark Distilling Co. v. Western Maryland R. Co., 242 U.S. 311; United States v. Hill, 248U.S. 420; McCormick & Co. v. Brown, 286 U.S. 131. The power "is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent and acknowledges no limitationsother than are prescribed by the Constitution." Gibbons v. Ogden, supra, 196. Hence Congress is free to exclude from interstate commerce articles whose use inthe states for which they are destined it may reasonably conceive to be injurious to the public health, morals or welfare, Reid v. Colorado, supra; Lottery Case,supra; Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 45;  [***7]  Hope v. United States, supra, or which contravene the policy of the state of their destination.Kentucky Whip & Collar Co. v. Illinois Central R. Co., 299 U.S. 334. Such regulation is not a forbidden invasion of state power either because its motive or itsconsequence is to restrict the use of articles of commerce within the states of destination, and is not prohibited unless by the due process clause of the FifthAmendment. And it is no objection to the exertion of the power to regulate interstate commerce that its exercise is attended by the same incidents which attend theexercise of the police power of the states. Seven Cases v. United States, 239 U.S. 510, 514; Hamilton v. Kentucky  [*148]  Distilleries & Warehouse Co.,251 U.S. 146, 156. The prohibition of the shipment of filled milk in interstate commerce is a permissible regulation of commerce, subject only to the restrictions ofthe Fifth Amendment.   [8] Second. The prohibition of shipment of appellee's product in interstate commerce does not infringe  [***8]  the Fifth Amendment. Twenty years ago this Court, inHebe Co. v. Shaw, 248 U.S. 297, held that a state law which forbids the manufacture and sale of a product assumed to be wholesome and nutritive, made ofcondensed skimmed milk, compounded with coconut oil, is not forbidden by the Fourteenth Amendment. The power of the legislature to secure a minimum ofparticular nutritive elements in a widely used article of food and to protect the public from fraudulent substitutions, was not doubted; and the Court thought that therewas ample scope for the legislative judgment that prohibition of the offending article was an appropriate means of preventing injury to the public.  We see no persuasive reason for departing from that ruling here, where the Fifth Amendment is concerned; and since none is suggested, we might rest decisionwholly on the presumption of constitutionality. But affirmative evidence also sustains the statute. In twenty years evidence has steadily accumulated of the danger tothe public health from the general consumption of foods which have been stripped of elements essential to the maintenance of health. The Filled Milk Act wasadopted by Congress  [***9]  after committee hearings, in the course of which eminent scientists and health experts testified. An extensive investigation was made ofthe commerce in milk compounds in which vegetable oils have been substituted for natural milk fat, and of the effect upon the public health of the use of suchcompounds as a food substitute for milk. The conclusions drawn from evidence presented at the hearings were embodied in reports of the  [*149]  HouseCommittee on Agriculture, H. R. No. 365, 67th Cong., 1st Sess., and the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Sen. Rep. No. 987, 67th Cong., 4thSess. Both committees concluded, as the statute itself declares, that the use of filled milk as a substitute for pure milk is generally injurious  [**782]  to health andfacilitates fraud on the public. n2   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  n2 The reports may be summarized as follows: There is an extensive commerce in milk compounds made ofcondensed milk from which the butter fat has beenextracted and an equivalent amount of vegetable oil, usually coconut oil, substituted. These compounds resemble milk in taste and appearance and are distributed inpackages resembling those in which pure condensed milk is distributed. By reason of the extraction of the natural milk fat the compounded product can bemanufactured and sold at a lower cost than pure milk. Butter fat, which constitutes an important part of the food value of pure milk, is rich in vitamins, food elementswhich are essential to proper nutrition and are wanting in vegetable oils. The use of filled milk as a dietary substitute for pure milk results, especially in the case ofchildren, in undernourishment, and induces diseases which attend malnutrition. Despite compliance with the branding and labeling requirements of the Pure Food andDrugs Act, there is widespread use of filled milk as a food substitute for pure milk. This is aided by their identical taste and appearance, by the similarity of thecontainers in which they are sold, by the practice of dealers in offering the inferior product to customers as being as good as or better than pure condensed milk soldat a higher price, by customers' ignorance of the respective food values of the two products, and in many sections of the country by their inability to read the labelsplaced on the containers. Large amounts of filled milk, much of it shipped and sold in bulk, are purchased by hotels and boarding houses, and by manufacturers offood products, such as ice cream, to whose customers labeling restrictions afford no protection.   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -End Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  [***10]   There is nothing in the Constitution which compels a legislature, either national or state, to ignore such evidence, nor need it disregard the other evidence which amplysupports the conclusions of the Congressional Committees that the danger is greatly enhanced where an inferior product, like appellee's, is indistinguishable from [*150]  a valuable food of almost universal use, thus making fraudulent distribution easy and protection of the consumer difficult. n3   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  n3 There is now an extensive literature indicating wide recognition by scientists and dietitians of the great importance to the public health of butter fat and whole milkas the prime source of vitamins, which are essential growth producing and disease preventing elements in the diet. - - -Stay tuned:
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on June 09, 2005 at 21:34:10 PT
how about some ideas for the Kubbys
How about maken the Kubby Movie if its good it should be money maker for the Libertarian war chest.
by Pete Guither is in Ny for six shows -- how about a play on the Kubbys. any Libertarians on broad way.How about Progressive Ins. kicking off a campaign for insurance for Med users. They can bank roll the movie. How about Live 8 for med patients am pretty sure Willie and many others can keep it under budget. Top Story: The Libertarian Party, Steve Kubby and The Need for Activism. 
Posted by Richard Cowan on 2005-06-09 16:20:00 
Posted June 9, 2005 
Analysis by Richard Cowan As a Libertarian I have been very gratified by the impact of libertarian ideas over the last few decades. Libertarian think-tanks like the Cato Institute are very influential in “real world” politics. One reason for this is that politicians who would never be mistaken for intellectuals tend to treat them like intellectual buffets, where they can pick the ideas they like and ignore the ones that don’t fit their preconceived notions. I hope that the Libertarian Party will not only be more forthcoming in its support for the Kubbys, but will make their case and medical cannabis a major issue for the Party and the libertarian movement. In fact, this case could be the foundation on which Libertarians could turn the Party into a true activist movement. If they do not, they risk irrelevance and may even deserve it.
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