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Supreme Court outlaws use of marijuana for medical reasons

By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

Posted: Monday June 6th, 2005, 7:25 AM
Last Updated: Monday June 6th, 2005, 7:25 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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.

Under the Constitution, Congress may pass laws regulating a state's economic activity so long as it involves "interstate commerce" that crosses state borders. The California marijuana in question was homegrown, distributed to patients without charge and without crossing state lines.

Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, "but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress."

California's medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 1996, allows people to grow, smoke or obtain marijuana for medical needs with a doctor's recommendation. Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state have laws similar to California.

In those states, doctors generally can give written or oral recommendations on marijuana to patients with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses.
Ohhhhh, Pleeeessszzzzzzz

These people just do not get it do they.
The stupidity never fails to amaze me. In a society where alcohol is not only accepted but endorsed, pot is still considered some kind of terrible crime.

My partner has MS. Her medicine cabinet looks like a pharmacy ... many of the drugs having either awful side effects or are highly addictive. What works best for her muscle twitches is pot. Instead of popping narcotics and valium, she has one small toot and can sleep. To deny people like her the medicinal benefits defies my understanding.

My partner worked in ain AIDs hospice where people went to die. The one medication that actually helped was pot. It reduced the nausea so they could eat, among other benefits. These folk were on their way out anyhow so denying them the comfort is absurd.

Medicinal purposes aside, I think pot is a far, far less dangerous drug than alcohol. What's the worst action most people do under the influence of pot? Over eat Doritos and chocolate? Woo. How awful. The level of influence alcohol has on people is far more drastic.

The old argument about pot taking away a person's drive is probably true, but I suggest that is a small consequence compared to the many issues created by alcoholism. I had plenty of drive when I drank, unfortunately it was not channelled in a particularly helpful direction.

I am one of the unfortunates who cannot smoke pot. I suspect a hoot before bed would do wonders for my fibromyalgia, but I hate the way I feel so am forced to forego it.

I am continually puzzled by the attitude of the law makers. Not only would legalizing pot take a tremendous burden off our police and court system, but just think of the taxes the government could scoop up. Might make up for all you quitters who've given up cigarettes.

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