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Supreme Court Rules Against California Marijuana Clubs;
Conflict Will Escalate As Federal Government
Faces California Juries To Enforce Decision
The US Supreme Court ruled 8-0 against the Oakland Cannabis
Buyers' Cooperative and the Cooperative's attempts to
help patients live with serious illnesses. "This decision
proves that when the federal government claims to be fighting
the drug war to protect health they are lying -- in fact denying
medicine to the seriously ill undermines health," noted
Kevin B. Zeese, President of Common Sense for Drug Policy.
The Court, in an
opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas and joined by
four other Justices, ruled: "Medical necessity is
not a defense to manufacturing and distributing marijuana."
The majority ruled that Congress had the final word on the matter
in the Controlled Substances Act. A
concurring opinion by
Justice John Paul Stephens, joined by Justices David Souter and
Ruth Ginsburg, pointed out that the decision did not eliminate
the defense for seriously ill patients who need marijuana as a
medicine, but only in cases of distribution and cultivation.
"The Court's decision will
heighten the conflict around medical
marijuana. Caregivers for the seriously ill will continue to
provide medical marijuana, thus the federal government will have
to enforce the law before juries -- where over 70 percent of the
population voted for medical marijuana," Zeese said.
"The federal government is likely to lose when they
try and enforce this decision. Only then will they respect the
will of the voters and the needs of the seriously ill."
Zeese went on to note: "An unintended consequence of this
decision is likely to be that every marijuana prosecution in
states that have voted for medical marijuana will become more
difficult. Since juries will not be told whether a defendant
is a medical marijuana caregiver or a traditional marijuana
distributor many will assume that every marijuana prosecution
is a medical prosecution in order to avoid sending a caregiver
or seriously ill patient to prison."
copyright © 2001,
Common Sense for Drug Policy,
Kevin B. Zeese, President -- Mike Gray, Chairman --
Robert E. Field, Co-Chairman
-- Melvin R. Allen, Director --
Doug McVay, Editor & Research Director
Updated: Thursday, 02-Jul-2009 06:32:13 PDT
~ Accessed: 4276 times
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