Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2005
Source: East Valley Tribune (AZ)
Copyright: 2005 East Valley Tribune.
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Cited: Gonzales v. Raich ( )


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.