Marijuana! Supreme Court Just Says No 

  Marijuana! Supreme Court Just Says No 

Posted by CN Staff on June 09, 2005 at 21:42:56 PT
By Daniel Henninger 
Source: Wall Street Journal  

USA -- The Supreme Court's liberal bloc--Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer--ensured Monday with the support of Justices Kennedy and Scalia that people sick from cancer treatment will have to think first about a house call from the federal drug police before using marijuana to relieve their symptoms. Even the Court's language was unfeeling: "The case comes down to the claim that a locally cultivated product that is used domestically rather than sold on the open market is not subject to federal regulation. Given the. . . undisputed magnitude of the commercial market for marijuana, Wickard and its progeny foreclose that claim."
Liberalism to cancer patients: Drop dead.Meanwhile, dissents on behalf of medical marijuana were written by Sandra Day O'Connor, a cancer survivor, and Clarence Thomas, whose nomination was fought by recreational pot users. Medical marijuana sounds simple. Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy often endure extreme nausea, and many say that smoking marijuana during chemo makes it bearable. Many of us know sober folks who have done this. So why is this a Supreme Court case? Because this is America, where nothing is so simple that it can't be turned into a federal case. If the Court's four liberals had ruled in favor of state laws allowing medical marijuana, which federal law forbids, that precedent would have helped conservative efforts to reduce federal clout in other areas, such as environmental authority in the West. Thus Justice Stevens wrote that the Controlled Substances Act, a Nixon-era law, "is a valid exercise of federal power, even as applied to the troubling facts of this case." Liberals with cancer should take solace in knowing they will be vomiting to save the snail darter. In his dissent, Justice Thomas, liberalism's archfiend, noted: "The majority prevents states like California from devising drug policies that they have concluded provide much-needed respite to the seriously ill." And: "Our federalist system, properly understood, allows California and a growing number of other states to decide for themselves how to safeguard the health and welfare of their citizens." This is an abstruse but important legal debate about the Commerce Clause and federal legal power in the 21st century. Liberals, if they wanted to, could recognize that letting the states take the lead on controversial issues involving behavior among consenting adults--both personal and commercial--might abet their beliefs in this day and age. But they won't. Thus friends sick with cancer must choke down this decision. Not all cancer patients are interested in the Hundred Years War underway between conservatives and liberals. They probably think common sense should allow Justice Thomas's "much-needed respite." The usual tangle of public policy makes that difficult. American medicine isn't adept at pain management. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Drs. Jane Ballantyne and Jianren Mao said: "The recognition that opioid therapy [such as morphine] can relieve pain and improve mood and functioning in many patients with chronic pain has led experts on pain to recommend that such patients not be denied opioids. Despite this recommendation, many physicians remain uncertain about prescribing opioids to treat chronic pain and do not prescribe them." They conclude even this article, however, by urging doctors to resist patients' pressure to greatly increase opioid dosage. Medical disagreement or confusion about pain treatment is only the start. Doctors with cancer patients also may have visited the Web site of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration--the aggressive federal cops. Beneath an image of a DEA police badge, one finds an article: "Exposing the Myth of Smoked Medical Marijuana." Studies of physician fear of prosecution have been done, which conclude that prosecutions of honest doctors prescribing such pain-killers are rare. That point was made in news articles the day after the medical marijuana decision. Late last year, I accompanied a patient with extreme spinal pain to the office of a pain specialist whose first words were that if the subject was opiate-based therapy, we should leave. End of conversation. To address this concern, Congress several years ago took up the Pain Relief Promotion Act. It collapsed amid the controversy over physician-assisted suicide. Most docs already believe that the U.S. system of justice is irrational, and if patients have to share the pain, so to speak, that's too bad. Once-in-a-lifetime users of medical marijuana are also collateral damage in the war on drugs. Writing for the majority, Justice Stevens said, with approval: "Congress was particularly concerned [in 1970] with the need to prevent the diversion of drugs from legitimate to illicit channels." Some argue, including proponents of drug legalization, that a Supreme Court imprimatur for medical marijuana would have no relevance to campaigns to legalize recreational use of this and other drugs. I don't believe that. There isn't much self-restraint in our activist politics.What now? My guess is 99.99% of medical marijuana users won't get prosecuted. Society's disapproval of marijuana stays in place, but patients get their drug. Live and let live. Benevolent hypocrisy comes in handy in a free country when public politics, as now, often makes sensible solutions impossible. A note to the 50 million or so readers who pointed out that last week's column on Michael Jackson's odd world misattributed the authorship of Bob Dylan's song "All Along the Watchtower" to Jimi Hendrix ("There's too much confusion. . ."). I don't "regret" the mistake. I'm appalled by it. I wish I could explain this sacrilegious error by saying I was heavily sedated with medical marijuana. The reality is I have listened to Hendrix about 500 times more than I've listened to Dylan; this alone may have caused a neurological deficit--and misplaced cultural allegiance. Jimi Hendrix died at 28 of overindulging in what the culture then had on offer; Mr. Dylan writes and plays on at 64, suggesting that he recognized "confusion" when he saw it in 1968. Note: Now how can you relieve pain? Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His column appears Fridays in the Journal and on Source: Wall Street Journal (US) Author: Daniel HenningerPublished: Friday, June 10, 2005Copyright: 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Contact: wsj.ltrs Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Bad Call on Medicinal Marijuana Fight Far From Over

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Comment #28 posted by FoM on June 11, 2005 at 10:40:43 PT
Good stuff you posted. I think we have Hemp Beer here too but since I don't drink I'm not sure if it still is allowed. You said: As for fear: "Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart" Amen to that afterburner!
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Comment #27 posted by afterburner on June 11, 2005 at 10:20:07 PT
kap mayan FoM brothers&sisters RE Divide&Conquer
kap, mayan, FoM, brothers & sisters RE Divide and ConquerI am Spartacus... I am Spartacus... I am Spartacus...kap, you are right 'We Are Everywhere'"you suspect revolving doors and double dipping and influence peddling to be at work here" Add to that the appropriation of State and city authority and money, which resonates with many State and city administrators and workers and businesses and citizens and residents. See mayan's link: Medical pot ruling tramples states' rights, cannabis (the hemp variety) beer is available Now in Canada. 
The Beer Guy - Value Packs - Page 2
Buzz Beer is a red lager made with the finest BC hemp, dark roasted Alberta malt
and choice German hops. It's cold filtered with no artificial additives or ...
[link to illustrative advertisement] As for fear: "Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart" and "Love is but a song we sing fear's the way we die You can make mountains ring Or make the angels cry Just one key unlocks them both It's there at your command" A Christian evangelist once said that God said "Fear not!" 365 days in the bible, one for each day of the year [unverified, how many do you count?]Greendale: "And We'll Be Watching You 
In everything you do
and you can do your part
by watching others too."In Star Trek: the Next Generation "Encounter At Farpoint" Captain Jean-Luc Picard answers first officer William Riker's question of how to live with Q watching their every move by saying, "We do exactly what we would do if this Q never existed. If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for who we really are."
-- "Encounter At Farpoint"
Encounter At Farpoint quotes and more
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 18:53:41 PT
Thank you. I'll take your advice and not be afraid. Fear cripples us and I have always been too much of a free spirit to give up and crawl in a corner now.
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Comment #25 posted by mayan on June 10, 2005 at 18:00:08 PT
They are showing the Patriot Act hearings!
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Comment #24 posted by mayan on June 10, 2005 at 17:56:05 PT
Have no fear. We are going to bring the fascists down. The Downing Street Memo proves beyond a doubt that Bush and Blair cooked the books on pre-war intelligence. If that's the case then Conyers & Co. may even look into 9/11 government complicity as 9/11 made the wars possible! Bush is in a heap of trouble.House Judiciary Democrats to hold hearings on Downing Street minutes: seems our pal Sensenbrenneer is a big baby...Outrage after GOP cuts off microphones at Patriot Act hearing:
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 15:44:56 PT
You're so very right. He is a very scary person.
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Comment #22 posted by BGreen on June 10, 2005 at 15:40:14 PT
FoM re: Impeachment
Secret prisons, enemy combatants and a president who says he can make you disappear from your family without criminal charges makes it extremely dangerous to speak out about the lies of this evil man.We are enablers. We are dupes, patsies, stooges, fools or whatever term you want to use, but it's a disgrace for the amerikan people to look even more idiotic than the bumbling clown g w bush.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 14:31:03 PT
A Question
I think I made a mistake when I said the Frank Bill and it should have been the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment.When is the Bill about rescheduling happening does anyone know?
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 14:15:42 PT
Thanks EJ
I went and looked and found this.Support for Bush’s handling of domestic issues remained in the high 30s and low 40s in the latest AP-Ipsos poll.I am very happy about the polls. I guess I don't understand why no one is even trying to Impeach him knowing how they went after Clinton for practically nothing in my opinion.
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Comment #19 posted by E_Johnson on June 10, 2005 at 14:06:19 PT
Hey everyone notice the latest news?
Since Bush won in Gonzales v. Raich, his job approval ratings dropped to their lowest ever, and Congress' approval ratings sank as well.That case was lose-lose for him. He won, but now the public sees him as a bully.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 10:40:00 PT

I know you're right. I am in one of my deep thinking moods. We have come a long way in a short time but now we do know the Feds trump states so if they want to go after someone they can. That's the fear factor that keeps society in control. Fear is often worse then an actual problem. What we do and what direction we go will depend on the whole community of reformers coming together and finding a solution.
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Comment #17 posted by GreenJoy on June 10, 2005 at 10:25:24 PT

 Justice is green. Money green. 
 Its easy to get an alcohol laden population to line up and volunteer to go fight a war.... just about any war. Not so with those who consume Cannabis. Cannabis users were persecuted and hunted down and killed thousands of years ago for this very reason and nothing has changed.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 10:23:48 PT

We can fight against the federal government but it's very hard. When our country was growing we had jobs and blue collar workers made enough money to feed their families and buy nice things and that worked but now our jobs are going away and even the few plants we have around our area are down to skeleton crews. The work is now done out of the country. Capitalism is a good thing but after it uses up the resources of the people it shakes us off and moves on to third world country just to repeat the whole process. We are disguarded when we become a liability.
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Comment #15 posted by jose melendez on June 10, 2005 at 10:22:00 PT

we've been taxed enough
Obviously our opponents are compromised, whether or not they hold the title of Your Honor.If you must, classify Cannabis is in the same category as pine trees, or better yet, hops.Thay ought to go well with these marsupial drunks.
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Comment #14 posted by kaptinemo on June 10, 2005 at 10:15:49 PT:

FoM, then maybe another tack is needed
Yes, fighting the Feds is exhausting; they use our taxpayer monies and the resources they buy with them against us at every turn. But there are always bound to be other means.I'm no lawyer, but how about this: suits against the prohibitonists who are clearly benefiting from their positions as prohibitionists while on the public's dime, and then take up positions with the companies they promoted with their pushing for things like drug testing. Back when I worked for Feds, they used to harrangue us every...*bloody*...YEAR about how we couldn't unfairly use the contacts with private industry that we had developed in public service for personal use after we left. This is what's known as influence peddling and the 'revolving door'. Seems to me there's a very clear and glaring pattern of precisely that with such as DuPont and Barthwell. They each did the same thing. DuPont started it with pushing for urine testing while a Fed and then starting a company to supply p*ss-testing kits. And we already know about Barthwell and GWP. There are so many instances of this 'tail wagging the dog' in the prohibitionist's camp that you can't help but bump into a few.They made this personal with coming after the sick and dying patients. It's long past time they got a little taste of what they've made others suffer.We've come a long ways since 1996, and we may yet go farther. If the rank-and-file cannabists really want to score some victories, hammering their elected representatives with demands for support of Hinchey/Rohrabacher and the other bills will push back the tide a good deal.But if they just want to continue toking in fear, and don't get off their duffs and pick up the phone or type an email, then they are undeserving of freedom, or of any further action from any activist. It doesn't get any simpler than that. We have ALWAYS had power through *huge* numbers...the antis' greatest success was convincing us we didn't. But the events of 10 years ago in California and Arizona proved that was a lie. And 11 States now have MMJ laws. Truly, as the bumper sticker I see from time to time goes, "We are everywhere". It's time to prove it.
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Comment #13 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on June 10, 2005 at 10:12:30 PT

Declining Support Doesn't Work
Fighting against the federal government is not impossible. The federal government is slowly loosing support from its people and the people around the world. They are ruining the word freedom in the United States, and this nation is in a huge decline, if you ask me. Being the most hated entity is not the way to survive and prosper. This government is acting like a bully and a dictator against its people. Time after time anyone can see the poor job this government is doing for its people, and it looks as though greed, from every direction, is killing this nation.Uninsured, expensive medicines, expensive healthcare, and no compassion for the poor and sick; this has become the American way.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 09:54:54 PT

One More Comment
I have gone over and over this ruling and the only solution that comes to me is this. It's time to put marijuana in the same category as alcohol. I don't like saying legalize or decriminalize and I don't like the expression tax and regulate either. I don't know what it should be called but treating cannabis like alcohol is what needs to happen. The alcohol industry shouldn't fight us because they could make a special type of drink that the main ingredient used could be cannabis. Herbs are used to make different types of alcohol and it would be a big success for that industry I think.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 09:16:20 PT

Just a Note
I can't find any news that says anything we don't know already. I guess it will be time to enjoy summer and wait for what is next. I've read where there isn't much hope for the Frank Bill to pass. One thing we know now is there is no such thing as states rights. We are one big federal country ruled by the republicans. I knew when this ruling came down we would go forward happily or realize that what we have is all we have and life will go on. Everyone that has worked for change should be proud of their efforts but fighting against this federal government is almost impossible. 
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Comment #10 posted by mayan on June 10, 2005 at 08:38:18 PT

Medical marijuana decision may not affect county:,1413,134~26762~2914295,00.htmlRaich and the Future of Medicinal Marijuana (Op-Ed) Area Researcher Breaks New Ground in Pot Study:
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 08:16:49 PT

And We'll Be Watching You
In everything you do and you can do your part by watching others too.*** Lyrics from Greendale***When I heard that song two years ago it sent a chill down my spine.
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on June 10, 2005 at 08:03:25 PT:

Mayan, it isn't unrelated
Not when the very first use of the so-called (gag, cough, choke, blauuuugh - I ran out of meds and this makes me sick every time I just *read* its' name) 'Patriot Act' was to prosecute, not beturbaned bombthrowers, but a cannabis smuggler.All of the powers granted (maybe better words are "spinelessly surrendered") in the ~~ (not going through that again!) were originally assembled, piecemeal fashion, under the aegis of the War on (Some) Drugs. So, yes, it's very germane, and keep it up. I learn something new every time you do.As to your 'divide and conquer' viewpoint, it should come as no surprise I subscribe to the same view. Any cannabist knows (simply because our 'population' crosses nearly EVERY demographic boundary) that we catch Hell from just about everybody. This affords us a (sadly) unique view largely free from hype and propaganda, because we have learned to distinguish their usages and implementation. So we see the dynamics of these processes in action. We may not always be able to articulate that fact. But we know it when we hear it, see it, and occasionally smell it. Or step in it.Our own Observer has done a masterful job of taking a previously published basic overview of those processes and created what amounts to a 'anti field guide', like a bird watcher's guide, which easily enables you to identify various species of anti and their (rather limited repertoire) of propaganda 'calls'. I highly recommend it. 
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Comment #7 posted by darwin on June 10, 2005 at 08:02:37 PT

Awesome cartoon related to the SCOTUS ruling
Mark Fiore's new cartoon
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Comment #6 posted by Dankhank on June 10, 2005 at 07:56:44 PT

Federal Case?
Used to be when someone got too irate about something a person would say ... "don't make a federal case out of it!" Guess those days are gone.
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on June 10, 2005 at 06:51:17 PT

Patriot Act
Sorry, unrelated...Patriot Act renewal urged: say no to the Patriot Act...Bill of Rights Defense Committee: Americans are finally getting wise...Bush Job Approval Dips to New Low(and Congress' is even lower!) fascists sure could use another "terror attack" before the two-party system implodes.
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on June 10, 2005 at 05:52:15 PT

Divide And Conquer
I don't believe there are any "liberals" or "conservatives" on the Supreme Court...only puppets. How could they not be puppets and botch such a no-brainer decision? If just the "conservative" members had ruled against Raich then there would be an uproar against these "conservative activist judges". The neo-cons who pull the strings behind the scenes can't afford to have these "conservatives" percieved as activist judges as it would ruin their smear campaign against the "liberal activist judges" and hence their attempt to take over this country's judicial. I often think that the Supreme Court decides (or have decided for it) which way it is going to rule on a given case and then decide which members are going to vote which way. I believe congressmen vote the same way to cover each others back in an election year so that no particular congressman becomes especially vulnerable by pissing off the people too much. That way they can maintain the public's favor and kill whatever legislation the true power brokers want killed. It's all rigged. How could it not be? How else could they kill The Constitution,quash the third-parties and keep this miraculous plant banned for decades on end?In the meantime the hidden powers can polarize the "liberals and conservatives","red-staters and blue-staters","republicans and democrats","evolutionists and creationists","gay marriage supporters and gay marriage bashers". Divide and conquer. It's a tactic that has worked for them for a long time but the Raich decision has awoken folks across the political spectrum. It's obvious now that the people are the enemy of the power. It doesn't matter what color your state is now because it's powerless just the same. We all live in slave states.Bad news for GW...
GW Pharma sinks on new cannabis drug blow: drug loses UK appeal:,,9068-1649083,00.htmlNo licence for cannabis-based drug: on the murder committed by the Supremes...Dissenting opinion on pot reveals true conservatism:' rights get burned by medical marijuana ruling: case about states’ rights: pot ruling tramples states' rights - Justices reinforce government's misguided war on marijuana:
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on June 10, 2005 at 03:44:43 PT:

An important shift has occured
I'm sure most here have seen this coming: the Feds have shifted their stance. It used to be that ALL 'marijuana' (it's 'cannabis', you iggerant idjits, 'cannabis'!) was verboten. Now, with the coming of Sativex, it's just the 'smoked medical marijuana' that's a no-no. Hmmm. I wonder if Dear Andrea had a hand in them making such a course correction.To paraphrase The Bard: "Oh, what a tangled web they weave when first they practice to deceive." They must now face questions as to why they changed their stance...and that answer includes a tacit admission that they knew cannabis had medicinal properties all along, and were stalling so they could get something like Sativex to market in hopes to counter the obvious. Which makes them LIARS!The importance of challenging the facts about cannabis in court have risen several orders of magnitude higher, because of this. They are vulnerable to charges of using taxpayer's monies in lying to the public about cannabis. We can prove this now. Just their attempt to shift this away from ALL cannabis lacking medicinal properties to only something like Sativex possessing them makes them look like the liars they are.Marinol was the first chink in the armor. Now a big chunk of plating has fallen off with the advent of Sativex, a liquid whole cannabis analog. Some of the soft spots of the beast are exposed for the first time, publicly.Point this out in your letters to your Congresscritters and Sin-a-tors and make them understand you will not look kindly upon them if this lying farce paid for by the taxpayer's isn't stopped. And that you suspect revolving doors and double dipping and influence peddling to be at work here. Red meat for any pols. Let's see if they have tough enough teeth to chew and the belly for it.
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on June 10, 2005 at 02:56:43 PT

Another Blantant Stereotype!
I get so tired of the stupidity. Everyone seems to think that if you consume cannabis that you're automatically a liberal. Even in this article from the Wall Street Journal the writer displays his erroneous bias - that conservatives would never indulge in cannabis use - and paints every cannabis user as a Liberal. The word needs to be plastered across every billboard in America - Conservatives use medical and recreational marijuana too! If the word hit's the streets that it's okay to be a conservative and partake of cannabis moderately, we may suddenly develop some powerful allies clout from a sector of our Society who so far has remained silent on the issue. 
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Comment #1 posted by WolfgangWylde on June 10, 2005 at 02:54:34 PT

"Liberalism to cancer patients: drop dead"
I'm sure the Wall Street Journal would like to believe that. However, it was a CONSERVATIVE President that pushed the case in the first place.
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