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NEWS: Supreme Court Upholds Feds' Ability to Prosecute Medical Marijuana Users

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posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 09:28 AM
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The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling today upholding the ability of the federal government to prosecute users of medical marijuana even if they have a doctor's prescription and the state in which they reside allows its use. The Court found that the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to regulate drugs and that federal law trumps any conflicting state laws. The ruling comes as a blow to supporters of state medical marijuana supporters who were hoping to avoid any possibility of federal interference with legalized local medical marijuana use.
 



news.yahoo.com
WASHINGTON - Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.

The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug's use to treat various illnesses.

Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.

The closely watched case was an appeal by the Bush administration in a case that it lost in late 2003. At issue was whether the prosecution of medical marijuana users under the federal Controlled Substances Act was constitutional.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I think this is an unfortunate ruling that steps further upon state rights by overbroadening the commerce clause past any reasonable interpretation. I just hope that Congress itself will eventually come around and update these laws, as it seems the states no longer have any say in the matter at all.

[edit on 6/6/2005 by djohnsto77]




posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 09:44 AM
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I agree that this is wrong but it is based solidly in the US legal system.



The Supremacy Clause in the Constitution explains that federal law always trumps state law which means federal always wins if there is a conflict between the two. If there is no conflict then the state law will be used but if there is any question or conflict of the two reading as the same, then the federal rule would win.

State Law versus Federal- Which rules?
Makes you wonder if this is in the same "spirit" of the law that the founders of the Constitution had planned.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 09:47 AM
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Yes you are right about the supremacy clause, but Congress's scope of lawmaking powers was limited to regulate international and interstate commerce. These people were growing marijuana for their own medical use, so I don't see how that fits in here.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 10:07 AM
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DJ,
You are correct but as the Supremecy Clause is written, the states have to abide by the federal interpetation of any law.



This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. ]

I agree that this is overstepping by the federal goverment as per my origional post where I question if this supremecy clause is in the spirit of what the founding fathers wanted.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 10:31 AM
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kenshiro, we're kind of on the same page here...but what I'm saying is Congress has NO power to pass a law restricting what someone grows for their own use since it has nothing to do with interstate commerce.

Article I of The U.S. Constitution says



To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;


and the 10th Amendment says:



The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


I just don't see how the application of the Federal Controlled Substances Act in this situation is constitutional since it has nothing to do with commerce among the states, with Indian tribes, nor with foreign nations. It's someone growing a plant for their own use.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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Yes DJ we are on the same page on this one.
Unfortunately, as per Article VI of the constitution:


Article. VI.
Clause 1: All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


The ambiguity on how the second clause was written allows the federal goverment an open hand to how it wants to deal with any issue.
This supremecy clause has been used in the past to
shove down the throats of americans what the federal goverment wants.
Examples is the Whisky Tax back in 1794, Prohibition. as well as many many others.
Is it what Washington, Hancock et.al wanted, I sincerely do not think so as this was one of the reasons why there was a rebellion against England.
Yet today, many if not all of our goverment officials are of the legal profession and they are professional at twisting the meaning of any thing that they want in order to attain their goals.

[edited after reading since I was doing a double negative Dang it!]

[edit on 6-6-2005 by kenshiro2012]



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 11:17 AM
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It seems the important part of Article VI is "Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof" If the law is not constitutional to the situation it shouldn't be applied IMHO.

Anyway, here's the breakdown of the votes:

Concurring:
  • Stephen G. Breyer
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • David H. Souter
  • Anthony Kennedy
  • Antonin Scalia
  • John Paul Stevens

Dissenting:
  • Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist
  • Clarence Thomas
  • Sandra Day O'Connor


It just goes to show that the Court is still way too liberal with its interpretation of the Constitution. The big surprise to me is Scalia, I thought he'd be on the good side here.



[edit on 6/6/2005 by djohnsto77]



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 11:29 AM
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This highlights how critically important it is that every person Bush nominates to the Supreme Court be closely examined and picked to microscopically small pieces before confirmation. Independent judiciary? Ha!



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 11:41 AM
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"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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dubiousone, two out of three of the Justices mentioned by George W. Bush as his most admired voted against this ruling...just hope you notice that since you seem to be trying to attack him through this.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 11:49 AM
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Yeah, Bush appointees would have placed this where it should be - on the states.

This is clearly not a federal issue except that it would be assumed one would use federal reserve notes in the transactions.
This would certainly allow the feds to stop the pot-for-health stores, but this would still not have a thing to do with someone growing pot in their back yard for their own use.

DJ, several years ago, the USSC said that if a law is unconstitutional, no man has the obligation to abide by it, and no court has the obligation to enforce it. Just make sure they don't try you in an admiralty court and whip you with equity law!



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 11:59 AM
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This shouldn't come as a suprise to any of you.

Infact! have you seen the new law that is up for vote this week?

HR-1528 ... it basically makes it a crime punishable up to 2 years manadatory in federal prison camp... IF YOU DO NOT REPORT THE DRUG USERS TO THE POLICE. They want you to spy on your neihbors, friends, and family for them...and its going to pass!

here read more! take action!


www.abovetopsecret.com...'


They can't do this... but they are, because we are letting them. write you congressman/woman today! there is no time to waste!



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by Where2Hide2006
They can't do this... but they are, because we are letting them. write you congressman/woman today! there is no time to waste!

Luckily, it appears that many cannabis users in California are of the same mindset and are going to fight back on this ruling!

www.signonsandiego.com...

More power to them...



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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This issue has always confused me.................someone enlighten me to where the flaw is in my thinking..........

Here's how I see it.............

The active ingrediant in Marijuana I believe is the drug THC...........

Why can't they isolate that chemical and provide it in prescription form to the patient rather that going through the need to smoke it from the plant?

Like how morphine is chemically isolated and used...........

Am I missing something here?



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by futuretense
Why can't they isolate that chemical and provide it in prescription form to the patient rather that going through the need to smoke it from the plant?

Like how morphine is chemically isolated and used...........

Am I missing something here?

That's already out there, in use, and legal... www.marinol.com...

It's essentially a synthetic product, which is obviously the exact opposite of an organic plant - They share similar side-effects, but it's the margin of error and doubt that worries most - Why not simply stick with what you know best?

Here's a snipit from an interesting article on the subject of Marinol vs. Marijuana if you have the time to read it...


The medical marijuana versus Marinol debate rages among medical practitioners as well. After DEA Associate Chief Counsel Steven Stone suggested that only a fringe group of oncologists accepted marijuana as an antiemetic, two Harvard scholars conducted a poll to verify that statement, and discovered a vastly different reality. They sent detailed questionnaires to over 2,000 registered oncologists, and found that 44% of respondents think that marijuana is safe and efficacious, and would prescribe it regardless of legality. Nearly 90% of respondents accepted the medical use of Marinol, thereby leaving dozens of doctors who reject its use. Interestingly, respondents who graduated from medical school during the "Just Say No" Reagan era were significantly less likely to favor medical marijuana, while those who graduated in the 50s, 60s, and 70s had higher rates of approval. Based on these findings, the study’s authors concluded that smoked marijuana remains superior to oral THC because:

The bioavailability of THC absorbed through the lungs has been shown to be more reliable than that of THC absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, smoking offers patients the opportunity to self-titrate dosages to realize therapeutic levels with a minimum of side effects, and there are active agents in the crude marijuana that are absent from pure synthetic THC.

www.drugtext.org...



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:08 PM
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To be honest i prefer th supreme court to be somewhat liberal and disagree with the marijuana laws period. not only should it be legal for amedicinal use it should be legal for recreational use.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 01:13 PM
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Yes, it is confusing that Morphine can be made from Opium and prescribed for pain, but not the same for Cannabis and THC. It doesn't make sense because it isn't right or fair. The drug lobbies funded by big pharmaceuticals, as well as big oil and big textile lobbies are all against it, for the obvious reason that legal cannabis poses a threat to their stranglehold on their respective markets. We all know that.

But why are W (is for ?) and Speedy Gonzales fighting two chronicly ill ladies in CA while poppies run rampant in Afghanistan? We'll stop these two ladies from having their home grown, but we'll let the warlords supply 90%+ of the worlds illicit opium?

Examine the priorities and motivations of our national leaders through their actions (or inactions) to find the answers to these and other intriguing questions. The very people we look to for protection are selling us out.





posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by kenshiro2012
Is it what Washington, Hancock et.al wanted

They were around at the time, so apparently they agreed with it. And Washington was a Federalist no?

Anyway, it seems that DJ is saying 'sure, supremacy means fed law trumps state law, but the fed can only make laws regarding the enumerated matters (interstate and indian commerce, etc). You seem to be saying that because the supremacy clause is so vauge, it permits fed laws to be made on anything.

The big surprise to me is Scalia, I thought he'd be on the good side herep

Why, scalia's not a constituionalist no??

every person Bush nominates to the Supreme Court be closely examined

it shows that any time any administration nomiates someone that that should happen, not especially so with the bush administration, especially considering that the arch conservatives ruled agianst this law.

Thomas Crowne
This is clearly not a federal issue

You do not think that the federal government can outlaw any substances?

except that it would be assumed one would use federal reserve notes in the transactions.

Whoa, good catch, I hadn't even thought of that.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 02:44 PM
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Nygdan,
You may have missed this in my last post.


Yet today, many if not all of our goverment officials are of the legal profession and they are professional at twisting the meaning of any thing that they want in order to attain their goals.


Agreed, Washington et. al were around at that time, but I do not believe that they would have written this clause as they did if they knew it would be corrupted as is being done. As I stated before, one of the things that launched the rebellion against England.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 04:04 PM
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Wondering how the feds get control in these marijuana laws?
Because of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 passed through the Treasury Department,
effectively making the federal government the final word in all things Cannabis.

If you have not paid your $100 per ounce on Cannabis, then you are in violation of federal TAX laws, and that is their in to persecute people.

This disgusts me. That our country will, after all there research, evidence, and recommdations for legalization still choose to prosecute sick people and non-violent otherwise non-criminal citizens.

Makes all the "soldiers fighting for your freedoms" hype ring false doesn't it.
Especially when the military is being used to raid cannabis farms.

Freedom, today in America, means the freedom to pay through the nose for harmful drugs from villanious corporations.

Oh on the subject of Marinol, its is a neurotoxin used in cleaning agents, floor strippers, and insecticides. Nice huh? If you go buy a box of baby wipes or antibacterial household cleaning wipes, you might just suck on em to get a buzz. Reports from patients on this drug have been "All the paranoia, none of the pain/nausea relief"....sounds good huh?




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