Ashcroft V. Raich (Medical Marijuana and states rights)

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Huckleburry, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Huckleburry
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    Huckleburry Member

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    Raich v. Ashcroft
    Docket Number: 03-1454
    Abstract

    Facts of the Case
    In 1996 California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, legalizing marijuana for medical use. California's law conflicted with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which banned possession of marijuana. After the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized doctor-prescribed marijuana from a patient's home, a group of medical marijuana users sued the DEA and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in federal district court.
    The medical marijuana users argued the Controlled Substances Act - which Congress passed using its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce - exceeded Congress' commerce clause power. The district court ruled against the group. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and ruled the CSA unconstitutional as it applied to intrastate (within a state) medical marijuana use. Relying on two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that narrowed Congress' commerce clause power - U.S. v. Lopez (1995) and U.S. v. Morrison (2000) - the Ninth Circuit ruled using medical marijuana did not "substantially affect" interstate commerce and therefore could not be regulated by Congress.

    Question Presented
    Does the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801) exceed Congress' power under the commerce clause as applied to the intrastate cultivation and possession of marijuana for medical use?
     
  2. Deornwulf
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    Deornwulf Member

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    Yes, it does. The CSA is an obvious example of the continued abuses suffered by the States at the hands of the Federal Government.
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Congress can certainly regulate interstate commerce, so the CSA itself is constitutional. But the intrastate commerce is an interesting take. At first glance it would seem that Congress has no power to regulate such sale. But, then again, I think marijuana should be taken off the controlled substance Schedule C (?) where I think it currently is, right alongside heroin and cocaine. I would be happy if MJ were treated like tobacco and/or alcohol; available for adults with serious consequences for driving under the influence.
     
  4. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Fighting to legalize medicinal MJ use is a big joke. Everyone knows what the real agenda is here.
     
  5. Huckleburry
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    Huckleburry Member

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    In legislating morality (and yes I view drug laws has moral legislation) the fed has clearly overstepped its bounds. Questions of this type were clearly intended to be decided by the individual states. While some may not agree with California's decision it is still the right of that states citizens to decide how best to approach the question of medical marijuana (and all drug use for that matter). In legislating moral issues on a national level the fed has crippled a most important part of the federal system; that being the ability of the states to experiment with different types of legislation. If the people of California legalize marijuana the rest of the union will be able to see first hand the effects of a more liberal drug policy. The result for other states will be a more informed approach to their own drug laws. This same logic extends to questions of abortion and gay marriage. The citizens of the individual states should be able to decide how they want to live, and be governed.
     

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