Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 Source: East Valley Tribune (AZ) Copyright: 2005 East Valley Tribune. Contact: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2708 Author: Bruce Mirken Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal) Cited: Gonzales v. Raich ( www.angeljustice.org/ ) CONGRESS CAN CHANGE MARIJUANA LAW Although some media reports have been unclear, two things stand out about Monday's Supreme Court decision on the medical marijuana case, Gonzales v. Raich: First, the court did not strike down any state medical marijuana laws or take away any of the protections these laws provide to patients. It did, however, leave those patients vulnerable to federal prosecution. Second, the court explicitly recognized that "marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes," and went out of its way to note that Congress can change federal law to address this reality. Congress will have the opportunity to do just that in a matter of days, when the appropriations bill funding the Department of Justice reaches the House floor. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, to be proposed by a bipartisan coalition, would end Drug Enforcement Administration attacks on patients in states that permit medical use of marijuana. Its passage would be a huge step forward for science, common sense and compassion. Bruce Mirken Marijuana Policy Project Washington, D.C.