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Medical Cannabis

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM
  • 14 Replies

Government’s Crackdown On Medical Cannabis Not Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy DirectorMarch 2, 2012

    A federal judge in Sacramento this week dismissed a federallawsuit filed in November by members of the NORML Legal Committee against the US Department of Justice, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and DEA Director Michele Leonhart. The lawsuit (read it here), one of four filed simultaneously in the state’s four federal districts, argues that the Justice Department’s ongoing crackdown against medical marijuana providers and distributors in California is in violation of the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution because the use of cannabis therapeutically is a fundamental right. Petitioners also argue, using the theory of judicial estoppel, that the Justice Department had previously affirmed in public memos and in statements made in federal court that it would no longer use federal resources to prosecute cannabis patients or providers who are compliant with state law.

    On Wednesday, US District Judge Garland Burrell, Jr., rejected those arguments and and granted the respondent’s dismissal motion. He denied petitioners request for public hearings prior to making his ruling.

    Judge Burrell rejected plaintiffs’ Ninth and Tenth Amendment challenges, finding: “Since the Supreme Court has held the that CSA’s (federal Controlled Substances Act) categorical prohibition of the possession, manufacturing, and distribution of marijuana does not exceed Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause (Article I Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution), plaintiffs do not have a viable …. claim.”

    He also rejected plaintiffs’ equal protection arguments, finding that the Justice Department’s actions in California mimic efforts the federal government has taken against “similarly situated individuals” elsewhere. Judge Burrell also cited court rulings finding that defendants in previous challenges have failed to meet the “heavy burden of proving the irrationality of the schedule I classification of marijuana.”

    Finally, Judge Burrell dismissed plaintiff’s judicial estoppel clam, which argues that defendants’ “recent crackdown … against medical cannabis patients flouts the representations made on the record by the Department of Justice” in public memos and statements in court. Responding to this challenge, Judge Burrell determined, “Since judicial estoppel does not apply unless ‘a party’s later position [is] ‘clearly inconsistent with its earlier position,’ and the Ogden memo does not contain a promise not to enforce the CSA, defendants’ enforcement of the CSA is not inconsistent.”

    Commenting on the ruling, Attorney David Michael of San Francisco, who along with Matt Kumin and Alan Silber were the lead attorneys in these four challenges, said “We are disappointed, but not discouraged, that the District Courts have thus far denied us the relief we had sought. They are constrained by existing precedent, and the result was not unexpected. It is the Ninth Circuit where we hope to find a receptive audience, and, with the Lawrence v. Texas decision, we may also have a more receptive audience in the Supreme Court, should the issue go there.”

    Judges for the Ninth Circuit had previously determined in Raich v Gonzalez: “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. Although that day has not yet dawned, … (it) may be upon us sooner than expected.”


    http://blog.norml.org/2012/03/02/federal-governments-crackdown-on-medical-cannabis-not-unconstitutional-federal-judge-rules/

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sweetangie79
by Member on Mar. 5, 2012 at 3:10 AM
4 moms liked this

As usual they find yet something else to waste money on.    These people have no clue how it feels to be in so much pain that all you do is cry and nothing helps.  I do and I live it every day.  Yet again more ignorance keeps me and people like more from getting help.

pvtjokerus
by Ruby Member on Mar. 5, 2012 at 6:47 AM

And so be it.  Even the very liberal 9th District "wakes up."

MissElissa21
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2012 at 8:23 AM

There are 17 0r 18 states with legislation pending!!!

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM

What a waste of energy.

Naturewoman4
by Platinum Member on Mar. 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I live in Calif. & I believe in mj for Medical purposes. What concerns me is when ppl get prescriptions from Drs. for minor aches & pains. When ppl just want mj to smoke it to get high & not for their pain. Then what. Does Ins. Co. pays for it? So Drs. should be resricted in handing out prescriptions. Jobs have drug testing, so I dont know how ppl are able to use mj & still work & drive? Same for certain prescriptions.


Quoting sweetangie79:

As usual they find yet something else to waste money on.    These people have no clue how it feels to be in so much pain that all you do is cry and nothing helps.  I do and I live it every day.  Yet again more ignorance keeps me and people like more from getting help.


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sweetangie79
by Member on Mar. 5, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I have congenital peripheral neuropathy and I can't work.  I barely drive and most of the time walking is a huge struggle for me.  I was born with this neurological nerve disorder.  It is painful and very frustrating for me.  There is very little the doctors can do for me.

Friday
by HRH of MJ on Mar. 5, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Since they aren't shutting down everyone just those who aren't complying with state and local laws I see the point but this is just bs...

Judge Burrell also cited court rulings finding that defendants in previous challenges have failed to meet the “heavy burden of proving the irrationality of the schedule I classification of marijuana.”

There's tons of evidence scientific and anecdotal of marijuana's medical uses.

I do think the Feds have better things to be doing than messing with medical patients who use a plant. Waste of resources, we have people comitting real violent crime and terrorists, sick people should be left alone.


Friday
by HRH of MJ on Mar. 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM


Quoting sweetangie79:

As usual they find yet something else to waste money on.    These people have no clue how it feels to be in so much pain that all you do is cry and nothing helps.  I do and I live it every day.  Yet again more ignorance keeps me and people like more from getting help.

I'm sorry, that stinks. I'm a patient for chronic pain and it's not a fun way to live. Have you contacted NORML and MPP in your state? They can keep you up on legislation and have letters to send to your reps.


Friday
by HRH of MJ on Mar. 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM


Quoting Naturewoman4:

I live in Calif. & I believe in mj for Medical purposes. What concerns me is when ppl get prescriptions from Drs. for minor aches & pains. When ppl just want mj to smoke it to get high & not for their pain. Then what. Does Ins. Co. pays for it? So Drs. should be resricted in handing out prescriptions. Jobs have drug testing, so I dont know how ppl are able to use mj & still work & drive? Same for certain prescriptions.


Quoting sweetangie79:

As usual they find yet something else to waste money on.    These people have no clue how it feels to be in so much pain that all you do is cry and nothing helps.  I do and I live it every day.  Yet again more ignorance keeps me and people like more from getting help.


No, insurance doesn't cover it but they do cover the over $200 a month opiates with lots of fun side effects that I have to take when I can't afford my meds.

I don't condone anyone driving when high but most medical patients don't get high just a hit or two to relax and ease their symptoms.

If people can buy advil, aspirin or tylenol over the counter to relieve aches and pains why not cannabis? More natural and less side effects than pretty much any rx or otc med we use in this country. not to mention the many other substances we ingest regularly.

http://www.saferchoice.org/content/view/24/32/


MissElissa21
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I am totally for it being legal for medical. I have yet to see the problem with it being recreational, but for now, I focus on medical. 

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