Monday, June 06, 2005

Medical Marijuana Patients Still Safe from State Persecution In Friendly States



This is the best article I've seen on the High Court's ruling on medical marijuana. The bottom line is that patients are still safe from persecution from state authorities in states that have legalized medical marijuana. They just have to be on the lookout for the feds.

".. next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on an amendment that would prevent the federal government from spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws."

It's a good time to contact our Reps.


Court Ruling Preserves State Medical Marijuana Laws
06/06/05
Common Dreams
CONTACT: Marijuana Policy Project

Justice Stevens Says Congress Must Act on Federal Level to Protect Patients

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the medical marijuana case, Gonzales v. Raich, does not invalidate state medical marijuana laws and should have essentially no impact on their implementation, officials of the Marijuana Policy Project said today. The ruling allows federal authorities to enforce federal marijuana laws against patients who are protected under state medical marijuana laws -- preserving the status quo as it has existed since California passed the first effective medical marijuana law in 1996 and leaving it up to Congress to protect patients from federal attacks.

"While we're disappointed, the validity of state medical marijuana laws was never at issue in this case," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., which provided major funding for the litigation. "The medical marijuana laws of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont will continue to protect patients from arrest by state and local authorities. Because the DEA and other federal agents make only one percent of our nation's 750,000 marijuana arrests every year, patients in states with medical marijuana laws retain a high level of protection. Congress should act today to give those patients complete protection from arrest."

"In his opinion, Justice Stevens stressed the need for medical marijuana patients to use the democratic process, putting the ball in Congress' court," Kampia noted. "This is especially important now because next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on an amendment that would prevent the federal government from spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws."

"Just because the Supreme Court has said the federal government can continue to arrest medical marijuana patients doesn't mean the federal government must do so," Kampia added. "Unfortunately, because there is no indication that the DEA is going to resist the urge to arrest seriously ill patients, Congress must step in to protect patients without delay."

Legislation to protect medical marijuana patients continues to enjoy strong support from both the medical community and the general public. Organizations endorsing such protections include the American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine, and the state medical associations of New York, California, and Rhode Island.

With more than 17,000 members and 120,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States.



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