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Opening Arguments

Reefer madness

The acceptance of medical marijuana is growing, and this will only accelerate the movement:

Medical necessity doesn't shield medical-marijuana users from federal prosecution, a clearly sympathetic federal appeals court ruled today in an Oakland woman's case that earlier went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Nothing in the common law or our cases suggests that the existence of a necessity defense empowers this court to enjoin the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act as to one defendant," 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson wrote.

The court also mulled whether the Constitution's guarantee of due process of law embraces a right to make a life-shaping decision, on a doctor's advice, to use medical marijuana to avoid intolerable pain and preserve life when all other prescribed medications have failed.

[. . .]

"For now, federal law is blind to the wisdom of a future day when the right to use medical marijuana to alleviate excruciating pain may be deemed fundamental," Pregerson wrote.

The most absurd aspect of this case was the earlier ruling by the Supreme Court that even marijuana grown in the back yard for personal medical use somehow affected interstate commerce. And let's not even get into federalism and states being the laboratories of democracy or any of that. This is the drug war, after all.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Thu, 03/15/2007 - 6:13am

The lie that cannabis has no medical use, that allows the feds to harass, arrest and steal the medicine of patients, is a lie that has no place in our country. This is criminal malfeasance masquerading as policy.

(I'm sorry Indiana has to be represented by the likes of Mark Souder. Glad I'm in Oregon.)

Thu, 03/15/2007 - 6:28am

So, when will marijuana cross cigarettes on the social acceptability scale?

Leo Morris
Thu, 03/15/2007 - 6:52am

I say that woman should be allowed to smoke her life-saving marijuana, but only if she stays 100 feet away from any building entrance.

Bob G.
Thu, 03/15/2007 - 7:25am

Well, I can see the crux of the matter already...it's that 9th circuit court of appeals that always causes the problems!



Thu, 03/15/2007 - 9:39am

So if a person has a legal prescription written in Nevada for medicinal MJ (its legal by their constitution)- Say a person had PTSD; or smoked it to relieve stress- stress causes heart attacks, and other ailments you know; or it relieved headaches, or just made them happy( there are plenty of really expensive "happy pills" outthere available from your friendly pharmaceutical company.

so under the full faith and credit clause of the constitution ( alos applies to interstate marriages/ gay marriages, and a host of other laws..

does that mean if I have a 'scrip' from
Doctor Gonzo on Las vegas; that I can grow my own MJ here in IN in the privacy of my own home; for my own use, becasue i have a 'scrip' from Nevada saying Its legal?

Or is it a conspiracy between the alcohol industry; the drug companies; and the government because by growing your own MJ for free; you stick it to the man; and they dont get any of your money?

how many times have you watched c-span; or the news shows with "talking heads" and said to your self, or your pal( between tokes) dude- what the heck are they smoking? and where can I get some of it? snxxxx.

lots of elected and responsible officials in washington and indy have smoked dope- more than you think- and either admitted it, or said "they didnt inhale; didnt enjoy it"( liars); or live in fear that they may be "outed" as dopers?

decriminalize MJ, and free up the prison space for baby rapers, granny muggers, and truly dangerous felons. save the tax money, so we can buy/grow our own. e pluribus cannibis.

Dave M 'Voletear'
Thu, 03/15/2007 - 11:21am

Came across a theory which could hold some promise in finally getting a rope around Prohibition's neck. At: http://www.redlichlaw.com/crim/substantive-due-process-drug-war.pdf
I didn't catch whether Souder is running or ran or what...anyone know? Souder is the McCarthy of Drug War on Americans. He is a narrow-minded hate-hog jamming his fecalphillic fingers up the starfish maw of real America's ass looking for soulmates and, finding none, becomes enraged and consumed with metastisizing loathing of the Free.

Since the early 1970s, the United States has experienced a massive increase in the
incarceration of drug offenders. This so-called War on Drugs is widely considered
a failure by critics from a variety of ideologies and backgrounds. Litigants have
challenged drug war policies from many different angles. Their efforts have been
largely unsuccessful and the drug war continues unabated. Law review articles
have been home to a decades-long discussion regarding whether substantive due
process can limit the legislative power to determine what should be a crime.
Substantive due process doctrine requires that government policy be narrowly
tailored to advance compelling governmental interests if fundamental rights are
infringed. Freedom from incarceration is a fundamental right. A factual review
shows that the drug war's goals are not being achieved. Since governmental
interests are not being advanced, the incarceration of drug offenders cannot meet
the Court's requirement of narrow tailoring. The problems caused by the drug war
amount to a genuine parade of horribles, sufficient to overcome the Supreme

Thu, 03/15/2007 - 11:23am

As soon as Philip Morris or another company can get patent rights to weed, then all of a sudden FDA approval will get fast-tracked.

If Corporate America cannot make money off of it, it will never be legalized in the US.

Thu, 03/15/2007 - 12:22pm

Guess what Dan?


"GW pharmaceuticals is developing a portfolio of cannabis medicines the first of which,

Steve Towsley
Thu, 03/15/2007 - 8:14pm

The trouble with the medicinal argument is that many of those who argue in its favor ham-handedly let slip that their support has little to do with medicine and everything to do with across-the-board legalization for recreation.

For example:

>lots of elected and responsible
>officials in washington and >indy have smoked dope- more >than you think-

What does that surreptitious abuse have to do with medicinal applications? Nothing.

I don't discount the possibility of medicinal use just as we have medicinal use of various opiates.

But don't count on pulling the wool over the government's eyes and getting approved for medicinal marijuana on falsified claims. There are too many of us around who remember that sort of cultural baloney all too clearly from the '60s forward.

So if you want a scrip, you'd better have a horrible, verifiable diagnosis from a Dr. who will know his career is on the line if he fudges. And they'll come for you next, of course.

Medicinal use won't help those who aren't genuinely diagnosed with an illness for which it is indicated. Plenty of people will see to it. Some folks will no doubt even be happy to turn in fakers.