Medicinal Pot Still in Limbo

Medicinal Pot Still in Limbo
Posted by CN Staff on March 28, 2007 at 06:10:31 PT
Source: Ventura County Star
USA -- Eleven years after California voters approved Proposition 215, allowing the medicinal use of marijuana, the federal government is still asserting its right to prosecute Californians whose doctors say they need it. It is time for Congress to settle this issue, instead of leaving sick people vulnerable to federal prosecution. 
In fact, two years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 that state medical marijuana laws do not protect people from federal prosecution, Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, said the issue belongs before Congress. He added that the court's decision was based on the technical interstate commerce aspect of the case and did not consider the medical-necessity defense. Angel Raich, who lost the 2005 case in the U.S. Supreme Court, took the judge's hint and focused on medical necessity when she renewed her case with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Earlier this month, she lost that case, too. Mrs. Raich, 41, of Oakland, is a mother of two, who suffers from numerous chronic conditions, including an inoperable brain tumor and seizure disorder. Under her doctor's supervision, she inhales marijuana every two hours to assuage her pain. In his 32-page opinion in Mrs. Raich's federal appeals case, Judge Harry Pregerson said that although Mrs. Raich could be prosecuted by the federal government for using marijuana, it is unlikely she would be convicted. However, Mrs. Raich has not had a criminal case filed against her, in which case, according to Judge C. Arlen Beam, on the appeals court, a necessity defense was premature. Thirty-seven years ago, when President Nixon declared a "national war on drugs," marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medicinal value and cannot be prescribed. Since that time, studies have demonstrated marijuana can ease wasting in people with AIDS  a disease that had not even been named in 1970. A 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine at the prestigious National Academy of Sciences concluded marijuana may indeed have practical applications for patients undergoing chemotherapy or who have AIDS, advanced cancer or muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. A total of 10 other states besides California have thus far enacted medicinal-marijuana laws  Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. However, states' rights seem to hold no sway when it comes to this issue. It shouldn't take a bevy of Supreme Court and appeals court justices to legislate common sense. Marijuana should be a Schedule II drug, which doctors prescribe, just as they do other drugs. Congress must act soon so that legitimately ill people, who abide by state medicinal marijuana laws, are not in jeopardy of being prosecuted by the federal government.Note: Congress needs to settle issue.Source: Ventura County Star (CA)Published: March 28, 2007Copyright: 2007 The E.W. Scripps Co.Contact: letters insidevc.comWebsite: http://www.venturacountystar.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on March 28, 2007 at 08:33:04 PT
"permanently legalize"
God knows, I do like the sound of that.Eleven years, Mayan. You are so right. I remember sitting on my son's deck overlooking the Cumberland River in Tennessee and praying that Prop. 215 would pass. 215 put a big obstacle in the way of the prohibition wheel....damaged it even, the darned thing just keeps rolling on mercilessly....dragging the maimed it has run over and entangled into the dark murkiness of our injustice system.And that deadly wheel...that represents doesn't roll by itself. People that seem truly fit for judgement someday are making it roll and making it destroy. It won't go, it won't hurt people...without the prohibitionists that empower it. This prohibition of cannabis is truly setting up the blind punishers for a big fall. A big case of "The wisdom of men"....actually being so foolish and wicked indeed, in comparison to God's wisdom.Oh the "tests" of our character and spirit that we must deal with everyday. People who would kill and cage others for using a plant to help them feel better.... are failing, miserably, a very important test of their true character and judgement.
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on March 28, 2007 at 08:04:01 PT
11 Wasted Years
Eleven years after California voters approved Proposition 215, allowing the medicinal use of marijuana, the federal government is still asserting its right to prosecute Californians whose doctors say they need it.Eleven years after California voters approved Prop. 215 it has become clear to even the blindest that the federal government has no regard for human life. Just look around this world a bit. The United States could and should be leading this world by example but instead it leads through intimidation,coercion and brute force. That's a piss poor way to lead for a country with everything at it's disposal. Eleven wasted years on the part of the feds. The world wants to move forward but the fascists keep going in reverse. It's time to move on. There is no longer any choice.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 28, 2007 at 07:22:25 PT
I agree.
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Comment #2 posted by potpal on March 28, 2007 at 07:04:57 PT
It is high time...
For congress to focus on the other war, the war on Americans, the failed war on drugs aka Prohibition Part 2, the convenient lie. Re-schedule now!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 28, 2007 at 06:27:24 PT
AP: Rhode Island
Senate Committee To Consider Expanding Medical Marijuana LawMarch 28, 2007 PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A Senate committee is set to consider a proposal today that would permanently legalize medical marijuana in Rhode Island. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will discuss State Senator Rhoda Perry's bill to remove a "sunset" provision in the law. Removing the provision would essentially legalize medical marijuana in the state. Rhode Island became the 11th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in January 2006. The law will be repealed on June 30th if legislators don't take action. The hearing will begin at 4:30 PM. The committee will also consider a bill to ban smoking on public beaches. Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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