Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2005
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2005 The Birmingham News
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project ( )


Although some media reports have been unclear, two things stand out 
about Monday's Supreme Court decision on the medical marijuana case, 
Gonzales vs. 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 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

Director of communications

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.