ACLU & Others Step In To Defend CA MMJ Law

ACLU & Others Step In To Defend CA MMJ Law
Posted by CN Staff on July 08, 2006 at 11:11:33 PT
For Immediate Release
Source: ACLU 
San Diego, CA -- The American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Safe Access and the Drug Policy Alliance moved today to intervene in a lawsuit brought by several California counties that seeks to overturn the state’s Compassionate Use Act, which makes medical marijuana legal for patients with a doctor’s recommendation. "These counties are putting politics over the lives of seriously ill patients," said Allen Hopper, an attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project.
 "The law is clear: federal marijuana laws do not trump California’s ability to make medical marijuana legal under state law. County officials are thumbing their noses at state law and in the process harming patients and creating unnecessary chaos and confusion."San Diego, San Bernardino and Merced counties argue in a lawsuit filed in state court that federal laws prohibiting all use of marijuana invalidate state laws that allow qualified patients to use medical marijuana. The ACLU, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the Drug Policy Alliance (the Alliance) filed legal papers today seeking to intervene in the proceedings on behalf of a number of medical marijuana patients and patients’ groups, as well as their caregivers and doctors.The lawsuit, initially brought by San Diego County and later joined by San Bernardino and Merced counties, challenges state laws that permit patients to use, and doctors to recommend, medical marijuana under the explicit protection of state law. The lawsuit further challenges the state’s Medical Marijuana Program Act, which calls for the implementation of an identification card program that would allow police and others to identify legitimate medical marijuana patients.The groups maintain that state medical marijuana laws are not preempted by the federal ban on medical marijuana. While the federal government is free to enforce its prohibition on medical marijuana, even in states, such as California, that permit its use, all states remain free to adopt and implement policies of their own design - an opinion shared by the California Attorney General’s office.Although the California Attorney General plans to defend the state’s medical marijuana statutes from the counties’ challenge, the groups are intervening in order to assure adequate representation of those most impacted: medical marijuana patients, and their caregivers and doctors."The counties’ actions seriously threaten the health, well-being and in some cases, lives of many, many Californians," said Wendy Christakes, a medical marijuana patient and ASA member represented by the groups. "The county supervisors are playing politics while we struggle to survive. They should be ashamed."In addition to Christakes, the groups represent Pamela Sakuda, William Britt and Yvonne Westbrook, Californians who use physician-recommended marijuana to treat medical conditions and their side-effects, including chronic pain and sciatica, multiple sclerosis, rectal cancer, epilepsy and post-polio syndrome. The groups also represent Sakuda’s spouse and caregiver, Norbert Litzinger, as well as Dr. Stephen O’Brien, a physician who specializes in HIV/AIDS treatment in Oakland, California, and believes that many of his seriously ill patients benefit from the medical use of marijuana.In addition to being co-counsel, ASA is also a party to the proceedings on behalf of its membership, which includes thousands of medical marijuana patients, caregivers and physicians residing in California. The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) is also represented by the groups. WAMM is a medical marijuana collective and hospice located in Santa Cruz, California, whose 250 members, the majority of whom are terminally ill, use marijuana to treat a range of conditions.In addition to entering the case, the groups are seeking a court order that would compel the counties to abide by and implement California’s medical marijuana laws. The groups are also asking the court to affirm that the state’s medical marijuana laws are not preempted by contrary federal statutes. Complete Title: ACLU and Others Step In To Defend California’s Medical Marijuana Law From Rogue Counties’ Attack Note: The Law is Clear: States Can Allow Medical Marijuana Even if the Federal Government Disagrees, Say GroupsThe groups’ legal papers are available online at: The ACLU’s January 19, 2006 letter to the San Diego Supervisors explaining why California’s medical marijuana laws are not preempted by federal law is online at: California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s opinion issued to the state’s Department of Health Services affirming the validity of the state’s medical marijuana laws is available at: background on the case can be found at: ACLU (NY)Published: July 7, 2006Copyright: 2006 ACLUContact: media Website: Articles & Web Site:ACLU Protest Marijuana Raids and Arrests Marijuana Profiteers Targeted Arrested, Marijuana Dispensaries Raided 
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Comment #3 posted by unkat27 on July 08, 2006 at 15:32:31 PT
What is their problem?
It irks me. Just exactly WHAT is the problem with these vampires and vultures that keep picking on legal medical cannabis? Is legal cannabis hurting them? How? Is it hurting their children? How? Is it hurting their businesses? How? How are legal cannabis and cannabis users hurting these people? I just do NOT understand WHAT their problem is. Can they still honestly say, in spite of all the evidence that cannabis hasn't done any damage to anyone in California, for the years it has been legal, that they really still believe it is as bad as the DEA and govt says?If so, then they are some of the most clueless morons the world has ever known.
Mad Krow's Drug War Pages
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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on July 08, 2006 at 11:17:47 PT
Proof: Tandy Lied
From: of the few bright spots for which the prohibitionists can present some supporting evidence is the decline in "alcohol-related deaths" during Prohibition. On closer examination, however, that success is an illusion. Prohibition did not improve health and hygiene in America as anticipated.Cirrhosis of the liver has been found to pose a significant health risk, particularly in women who consume more than four drinks per day.[24] However, deaths due to cirrhois and alcoholism are a small portion of the total number of deaths each year, and alcohol can be considered only a contributing cause of most of those deaths.[25] Many people who do not drink develop cirrhosis, and the vast majority of heavy drinkers never develop it.[26] Dr. Snell of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, reported in 1931 that "we know now that cirrhosis occurs in only 4 per cent of alcoholic individuals."[27]
Even in the worst pre-Prohibition year, recorded deaths due to alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver amounted to less than 1.5 percent of total deaths.An examination of death rates does reveal a dramatic drop in deaths due to alcoholism and cirrhosis, but the drop occurred during World War I, before enforcement of Prohibition.[28] The death rate from alcoholism bottomed out just before the enforcement of Prohibition and then returned to pre-World War I levels.[29] That was probably the result of increased consumption during Prohibition and the consumption of more potent and poisonous alcoholic beverages. The death rate from alcoholism and cirrhosis also declined rather dramatically in Denmark, Ireland, and Great Britain during World War I, but rates in those countries continued to fall during the 1920s (in the absence of prohibition) when rates in the United States were either rising or stable.[30]Prohibitionists such as Irving Fisher lamented that the drunkards must be forgotten in order to concentrate the benefits of Prohibition on the young. Prevent the young from drinking and let the older alcoholic generations die out. However, if that had happened, we could expect the average age of people dying from alcoholism and cirrhosis to have increased. But the average age of people dying from alcoholism fell by six months between 1916 and 1923, a period of otherwise general improvement in the health of young people.[31]
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 08, 2006 at 11:12:21 PT
Good News
We need so much help. Thank you.
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