Jul 182015
 July 18, 2015

congress medical marijuanaBy Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with seven other Senators, has directed a letter to the Obama administration demanding regulators answer questions specific to the facilitation of research into the medical benefits of marijuana.

Senators acknowledged the need for unbiased research. They wrote, ”While the federal government has emphasized research on the potential harms associated with the use of marijuana, there is still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana — despite the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible
by state law to use the drug for medical purposes.”

The Senators applauded a recent decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate the HHS Public Health Service review process. But they also acknowledged the drawbacks of NIDA’s monopoly on supply of marijuana for research purposes and the need for alternative providers.

Senators also questioned marijuana’s current classification as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law and its classification under international treaties and if the FDA is prepared to call for the reclassification of cannabidiol.

Addressed to the heads of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the letter signals to many that medical marijuana is becoming an even more important issue in the political sphere not only to voters but also to their elected officials.

Co-signing the letter with Senator Warren  were Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The Senators are seeking a reply to their questions from the administration by August 31.

Source: NORML - make a donation

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
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  • http://supak.com Scott Supak

    Not. One. Republican.

    • MrPC

      …politician is capable of forming a complete thought without the phrase, “will this help me get reelected?”

  • PhDScientist

    It is a MORAL IMPERATIVE that Medical Marijuana be immediately legalized in all 50 states.

    Ask any American Cancer patient who’s gone through Chemotherapy and used it. Ask the parents of any American kid with a seizure disorder who’s life its saved. Ask any Veteran who’s used it to relieve their PTSD symptoms and make life worth living again.

    We need the President to cut through the red tape and take personal action on this issue right now. We need congress to pass the CARERS act too. Americans are suffering and dying — needlessly!

    For Cancer patients, for kids suffering from Seizures, and for so many others, safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana is a matter of life and death

    Please call the whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President have Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. Call your Senators and Representative as well and ask that they pass the CARERS act immediately.

    Call every day, and ask everyone you know to call every day, and to keep calling, for however long it takes, until the President, Congress or both take action. Please do everything you can to get as many people as possible to call and keep on calling.

    Please do everything you can to help with this effort.

    With luck the effort will go viral.

    The lives of countless Americans depend on it.

  • PhDScientist

    Marijuana needs to be removed from Schedule 1 immediately. There are several extremely strong legal arguments for doing so. Americans need NORML to take the lead and file suit to make this happen now.

    • Helen

      I’m with you, but I don’t understand how NORML could file a lawsuit to reschedule or deschedule cannabis. What are the arguments to which you refer?

      • PhDScientist

        There’s an excellent case to be made that with the publication of the JAMA meta-analysis, the benefit of using Medical Marijuana for pain management is now “accepted science” and therefore, it is no longer possible to leave it on schedule 1. In that case, it must be immediately de-scheduled or rescheduled. Once it is moved to a schedule where it can be prescribed by Physicians, they would then have the same right they have with every other medication to prescribe it for off-label applications. I hope NORML or one of the other groups advocating for Medical Marijuana patient’s rights immediately files suit on that basis — it seems like an irrefutable legal argument.

        • Helen

          I was kinda hoping you would explain the “several extremely strong legal arguments” you referred to, but your reply is just a copy/paste of your first post in this thread. The JAMA paper is not a basis upon which to file a lawsuit. And no court can reschedule or deschedule cannabis. That’s why I was interested in hearing more about the legal arguments you mentioned.

          • Franklin

            I think a court can rule a law unjust. There is the argument that prohibition of marijuana is a civil rights violation, evidenced by the ratio of young black males arrested and prosecuted, when surveys show that people enjoy the plant equality among all racial groups. Schedule 1 definition is Highest potentiality or abuse, and addiction, aside from having no accepted medical benefit. There isn’t now, and there has never been any evidence presented that show marijuana was addictive. At least not physically, which is the definitions of heroin, another S1 substance with proven harm. If something like 34 states now have some sort of law that allows medical doctors to recommend the plant, there is obvious medical benefit. The S1 classification could be unconstitutional. It was created with no evidence at all as a discriminatory tool. It was added to the CSA of 1970 against the advice off Nixon’s medical advisers. Right now in Washington, no one is defending how the law came about. The language during the time was openly racist and discriminatory. Nixon wanted those hippies. Each state representative piped in with the minority they considered a threat. Judge Mueller seriously considered this argument on a criminal trafficking case in California in a case in 2014. As far as I understand the people are to be protected from unjust laws. This prohibition is unjust. The Prohibition was created on discrimination with no evidence of abuse, addiction, or medical consideration. Since that time Medical Benefit is recognized by a majority of Americans, as it was before the suffrage movement. The US Government themselves filed a patent for Marinol over 30 years ago. We can’t keep saying it has NO medical benefit and sound reasonable. How can it be patented and at the same time classified as No Medical Benefit under the CSA? It’s a non toxic plant, no one is arguing that. So how can it have the same level of harm as any other S1 substance? You have 2 million plaintiffs in the Criminal Justice system today for prohibition offenses and nothing more. This is an unjust law, therefore unconstitutional.

          • Helen

            Mueller did not seriously consider the race argument. She threw out the testimony of the defense expert – James Nolan – who testified about Nixon’s and Anslinger’s racist motivations as hearsay, and said there is no evidence that the Congress members themselves were racially motivated when they voted the way they did. She was right. We all know damn well that cannabis prohibition was largely based on racist fears, but it’s not an argument that can be sufficiently proven in court under the Federal Rules of Evidence.

            As for medical value, we all know damn well that it’s excellent medicine for many people, but constitutional law requires far more than walking into a courtroom and waving the JAMA paper in the air. If you followed the Judge Mueller case you would understand why. To declare a law like the CSA classification of cannabis unconstitutional, we would need to show that Congress could not possibly have had any imaginable rational basis for the classification. It’s an almost impossible test to pass. Mueller said because the experts on both sides were qualified, and because they disagreed, it would be rational for Congress to choose either side. And once again, she was right. Any judge considering the constitutionality of the scheduling will have to apply the rational basis test and they will have to reach the same conclusion. We are handcuffed by the Supreme Court’s “rational basis test.” And for that reason, the courts cannot help us.

            I only posted in this thread because someone said there are “extremely strong arguments” that could be the basis of a lawsuit filed by NORML, and I was interested to know what they were. But the fact that some experts – or even most experts – agree that cannabis is excellent medicine, does not get us anywhere in court.

            Only the executive and legislative branches can help us get cannabis rescheduled or descheduled.

          • Lawrence Goodwin

            Your words are wise, Helen. Thanks for sharing ideas. But it’s easy to disagree with you as we look at the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings on the Affordable Care Act and homosexual marriage. If, say, a case like Shona Banda’s were to be heard next term by the same Supreme Court, I bet they’d rule in this amazing lady’s favor. Ms. Banda is the Kansas mother who reportedly suffers from Crohn’s disease and had self-medicated with cannabis oil (in a rabidly anti-cannabis state)–that is, until her son spoke positively about the medical benefits of cannabis at school, which then moved criminal ‘authorities’ to raid the family’s home, seize his mother’s ‘illicit’ medicine, and ruin her life. This totally peaceful woman now faces 30 years in a Kansas state prison. If Shona Banda’s legal team could get this case before the U.S. Supreme Court, simply on her Eighth Amendment rights against “cruel and unusual punishment,” we’d have a huge victory–and hopefully her prompt release and reunion with her loved ones.

          • Helen

            I hope you’re right. In the meantime, it’s best for advocates to focus their resources and attention on pushing for change via the legislative and executive branches. Courts have to apply the law, and the law is not on our side. Let’s make Congress change the law.

          • PhDScientist

            Is a law enforceable when its based on false pretenses?

          • Lawrence Goodwin

            People have been trying to “make Congress change the law” at least since the 1940s, when New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia spoke out vociferously against the “marihuana” hysteria and the chief federal tyrant, Harry Anslinger, who was peddling it. The Congress has literally imposed an Anti-Drug Tyranny on our United States since passage of the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act, wasting at least $1 trillion of our national resources to eradicate PLANTS like cannabis, coca and opium poppy–all for the financial gain of synthetic pharmaceutical companies. Both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress vote, practically without debate, to authorize more of this Drug War insanity YEAR AFTER YEAR. Please explain to me why we should trust the U.S. Congress on this one, Helen? And I strongly doubt that President Barack Obama has the courage to change the status of “marihuana” in the Controlled Substances Act by executive action.

          • stellarvoyager

            The reason is that the courts have been, and continue to be, hostile to our cause, and thus going through congress and the POTUS are our only options for reform at the federal level. Here’s the latest court ruling not to go in our favor.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2015/07/13/big-court-defeat-for-marijuana-despite-record-tax-harvests/

            In fact, I can’t think of a single court ruling on cannabis law that has gone in our favor, except for the one in Alaska several years ago that affirmed that Alaskans have a constitutional right to possess and use cannabis in the privacy of their own homes. But that was only because of the Alaska constitution’s sweeping right to privacy, which is not in the US constitution. Thus, we are wasting our time and resources by trying to get favorable treatment from the courts. They have not show us any favorable treatment yet, and there is no reason to expect that they will any time soon. By contrast, the courts have ruled most favorably for gay marriage, and this is how that movement attained virtually all of their recent victories.

            We can’t trust the congress, true, but at least we can elect members who side with us, unlike federal judges, who are appointed. It takes a while to change the makeup of congress, but we are making progress. It is undeniable that congress has become far less hostile to our cause over the last decade or so. That, and hope for a favorable president in 2016. So let’s hope Christie flames out early, because he would be an unmitigated disaster for us.

            Unlike with gay marriage, we will have to do all of the heavy lifting ourselves, and not rely on the courts to do it for us.

          • PhDScientist

            Can a law be overturned when its is based on false pretenses?

          • newageblues

            There’s no possibility the JAMA paper is a statistical fluke, the numbers are too large. That leaves the possibility that there is some other explanation for the correlation between MMJ availability and reduction in opiate overdose deaths. It’s up to the people who don’t think MMJ availability is the cause of the reduction to come up with a plausible alternative explanation. .I sure haven’t heard them come up with anything. Have you?
            If no one has an alternative explanation, why can’t it be considered accepted science at this point? If the courts stop being dicks about it, they have all the evidence they need to overturn cannabis’ schedule 1 status. If clear evidence that prohibiting medicinal cannabis causes more opiate overdose deaths isn’t enough for the courts, then they just like having blood on their hands. Maybe they’re getting tired of having blood on their hands.

            This is a life and death matter, The courts really need to think hard about it. They might want to think about what future generations are going to say about them if they continue on their current bloodstained path.

          • newageblues

            “To declare a law like the CSA classification of cannabis unconstitutional, we would need to show that Congress could not possibly have had any imaginable rational basis for the classification.”
            Isn’t that a standard that the courts themselves grotesquely created? If so, they can uncreate it. Courts can reverse themselves. And clear evidence that 1000’s of lives are being lost because of MMJ prohibition should give them all the incentive they need to revise a inhuman standard that has no place in a civilized society that values human life, as our courts claim to do.

          • Franklin

            She certainly did consider the constitutionality of the law, as her office contacted the Supreme Court and Leaders in Congress. The Carers Bill surfaced during her last break before her decision which was “this is not the time or place”. She didn’t continue holding off her decisions for 8 months for no reason. The defense experts did a little more than wave a JAMA report around. You aren’t familiar with the case since you seem to believe that is what happened. Asking the Prosecution what they would lose if she did rule with the defense, hung in the air for about a month. No one expected Judge Mueller to rule in that case. It is simply the first time a Federal judge has allowed the evidence to be presented. It’s progress to a lot of people. You did ask openly for some examples and your question was answered. If you have nothing better to do but fish for a debate, be considerate enough to put that in your message so that reasonable people don’t waste time on trying to help. End of subject.

          • Helen

            Ok. I graduated from a top tier law school and have been practicing law for 12 years. I tried to help you understand what we are up against so you can be a better advocate. We need to understand the obstacles to policy reform that we are up against in order to find a way around them, but you seem unwilling to admit that some fights are not winnable. We will win in the end, but that’s because we will be smart about which battles to pick. Stop offering naive, unfounded legal advice and focus on pushing for change via Congress.

      • newageblues

        I think the key phrase “accepted science” is a reference to Gonzalez vs Raich, the Supreme Court decision that notoriously declared there is no right to medicinal cannabis, because there is no scientific proof it works (because they refused to study it, and consider people’s personal testimonies that it worked for them meaningless, no matter how many or how compelling). But it’s hard to see how they can explain away the JAMA study showing a 25% reduction in opiate overdose deaths in states that allow medicinal marijuana. The numbers involved are large, many 10,000 of deaths, there’s no chance it’s just a statistical fluke, and no one has suggested any other plausible explanation, certainly not for a reduction of this magnitude. Schedule 1 status is for substances with no accepted medical use, and to any halfway reasonable person this study demolishes that claim for cannabis (to any reasonable person of course, the claim is and has always been grotesque slander).
        The courts might agree that schedule 1 status is now untenable, with the evidence seeming to say that 1000’s of lives have been and are being saved because of MMJ substitution, in whole or part, for prescription opiates, with no other plausible explanation being offered for the reduction in deaths.

      • Lawrence Goodwin

        NORML did its part decades ago. NORML came into existence at about the same time as the Drug Enforcement Administration (early 1970s), specifically to challenge the Schedule I status of “marihuana” in the Controlled Substances Act. After enduring many years of DEA stonewalling and roadblocks, NORML’s early advocacy ultimately produced the crucial 1988 ruling of the DEA’s own administrative judge, Francis Young, who called seedless, female cannabis flowers “far safer than many foods we commonly consume” and “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man” (and woman). Find the report for yourself and read it. Mr. Young strongly recommended moving “marihuana” to Schedule II 27 F@#%ING YEARS AGO!!!!!! Also, in 2014, my home state of New York became the 23RD STATE to enact a medical cannabis law–despite this criminal deprivation of due process by the DEA and other federal agencies mentioned above. If those are not strong enough legal arguments, the republic for which we all stand is itself already DEAD.

        • marty j

          Well said!

      • Lawrence Goodwin

        Also, Ms. Helen, please consider two other concrete facts: First, cannabis plant extracts were already published in the U.S. pharmacopoeia–the official list of medications available to doctors–for almost 90 years (1850-1940s). Secondly, the United States National Institutes of Health, ever since the mid-1960s and continuing TO THIS DAY, has been funding the work in Israel of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the medical giant who first identified delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Thousands of Israeli patients are legally enrolled in that country’s broad medical cannabis program, and benefitting enormously from vaporizable THC concoctions as well as cannabidiol (CBD) treatments. Then we have Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” series on CNN, which explored the fascinating concept of the “entourage effect.” Apparently, Israeli researchers under Dr. Mechoulam have discovered that combinations of THC and CBD–and a vast array of other “cannabinoids” and compounds in cannabis plants–can be extremely effective for certain patients.

        • Helen

          See my response to Franklin’s post explaining why none of your arguments can get us anywhere in a court of law. Only the executive and legislative branches can help us. And please don’t get me wrong; I agree with everything you say except for the parts where you say those facts make strong legal arguments.

          • ihydrocarbon

            re:
            “constitutional law requires far more than walking into a courtroom and waving the JAMA paper in the air.”

            citation or precedent, please.

            Per the Controlled Substances Act, does cannabis’ current scheduling hinge on the demonstrably false claim that it has no accepted medical use in the United States?

          • Helen

            Partially.

            Cannabis scheduling hinges on the three Schedule 1 factors, one of which is accept medical use, plus the 5 additional DEA factors (e.g., does the substance have a “known and reproducible chemistry”). And it’s the DEA, not the courts, who make that decision. As the Mueller case made clear, the role of the courts is, in effect, to decide whether qualified experts disagree, because if they do, the statute passes the rational basis test; in that case, it would be “rational” for Congress to choose either side.

          • ihydrocarbon

            With respect, please provide citations or precedent that supports that.

            Where in case law is the systematic denial of a fundamental right determined to be a legitimate government interest?

          • Helen

            Please re-phrase your question. We aren’t talking about a fundamental right. The right to bear arms, for example, is a fundamental right. The right to grow/sell/use cannabis is not a fundamental right.

          • ihydrocarbon

            With respect, rights to life and liberty are infringed by a policy that was and continues to be made possible by demonstrably false claims under oath before Congress and the courts that remain a part of the public record.

            This policy that restrains trade promotes enormously profitable “legal” and contraband alternatives that kill in epidemic proportions, even as voting rights are restricted and indisputable facts that would otherwise be entered as exculpatory evidence are suppressed from court cases across the country.

            Rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and freedoms from unreasonable searches and seizures are not enough to obtain standing? By what precedent, kind madam?

          • Helen

            Your questions change constantly. Now your asking about the test for determining whether a party has standing to bring a claim. But don’t worry, because you are in luck! Here is a precedent that will answer all your questions: U.S. v. Schweder, United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

            Enjoy!

            (Technically, Judg Mueller’s order does not constitute legal precedent, but she cites all the relevant cases that you are looking for in support of her decision on the scheduling question. Go nuts.)

          • ihydrocarbon

            Much appreciated, however while the case highlights my position* it is denied on several technicalities.

            Sure, I get that courts have ruled that it’s somehow not relevant that the CSA states falsely that cannabis has no safe, accepted medical use despite the existence of medical cannabis laws in many of those United States.

            Millions are harmed, even killed because of such perjury and willful ignorance.

            In an age of Kickstarter funding, it is clearly ripe for challenge.

            *see: http://edca.typepad.com/files/schweder-order.pdf

          • ihydrocarbon

            Thanks, I thought I posted a reply to this with a link and a dismissal on a technicality.

            Not sure why it does not appear here, regardless I’m not seeing any precedent in case law that suggests that CSA scheduling of cannabis may be upheld if challenged on the facts unless the facts are suppressed.

          • Helen

            Looks like you found a loophole! Brilliant!

  • PhDScientist

    There’s an excellent case to be made that with the publication of the JAMA meta-analysis, the benefit of using Medical Marijuana for pain management is now “accepted science” and therefore, it is no longer possible to leave it on schedule 1. In that case, it must be immediately de-scheduled or rescheduled. Once it is moved to a schedule where it can be prescribed by Physicians, they would then have the same right they have with every other medication to prescribe it for off-label applications. I hope NORML or one of the other groups advocating for Medical Marijuana patient’s rights immediately files suit on that basis — it seems like an irrefutable legal argument.

    • newageblues

  • Valient

    If something is improperly classified in the law, there needs to be a way for the (qualified) public to challenge it. It’s absurd that all anyone can do is say “Well, it’s the law until they change it.” The CSA gets its “legitimacy” from potential impact on the “black market’s interstate commerce”

    I highly recommend you read Justice O’Connor’s dissent on the Gonzalez v Raich (2005) case.

    TLDR version – “The Court’s definition of economic activity is breathtaking. It … threatens to sweep all of productive human activity into federal regulatory reach….

    … It will not do to say that Congress may regulate noncommercial activity simply because it may have an effect on the demand for commercial goods, or because the noncommercial endeavor can, in some sense, substitute for commercial activity…. Home care substitutes for daycare. Charades games substitute for movie tickets. Backyard or windowsill gardening substitutes for going to the supermarket. To draw the line wherever private activity affects the demand for market goods is to draw no line at all, and to declare everything economic. We have already rejected the result that would follow—a federal police power. Lopez….”

    ———–
    Justice O’CONNOR, with whom The Chief Justice [REHNQUIST] and Justice THOMAS join as to all but Part III, dissenting.

    We enforce the “outer limits” of Congress’ Commerce Clause authority … to protect historic spheres of state sovereignty from excessive federal encroachment and thereby to maintain the distribution of power fundamental to our federalist system of government. Lopez.

    One of federalism’s chief virtues, of course, is that it promotes innovation by allowing for the possibility that “a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

    This case exemplifies the role of States as laboratories. The States’ core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. Exercising those powers, California … has come to its own conclusion about the difficult and sensitive question of whether marijuana should be available to relieve severe pain and suffering. Today the Court sanctions an application of the federal CSA that extinguishes that experiment, without any proof that the personal cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, if economic activity in the first place, has a substantial effect on interstate commerce and is therefore an appropriate subject of federal regulation…. [T]his case [is] irreconcilable with our decisions in Lopez and Morrison. Accordingly I dissent.

    … Today’s decision allows Congress to regulate intrastate activity without check, so long as there is some implication by legislative design that regulating intrastate activity is essential to the interstate regulatory scheme…. If the Court is right, then Lopez stands for nothing more than a drafting guide: Congress should have described the relevant crime as “transfer or possession of a firearm anywhere in the nation.” … Until today, such arguments have been made only in dissent. See Morrison (Breyer, J., dissenting)…. If the Court always defers to Congress as it does today, little may be left to the notion of enumerated powers….

    The Court’s definition of economic activity is breathtaking. It … threatens to sweep all of productive human activity into federal regulatory reach….

    … It will not do to say that Congress may regulate noncommercial activity simply because it may have an effect on the demand for commercial goods, or because the noncommercial endeavor can, in some sense, substitute for commercial activity…. Home care substitutes for daycare. Charades games substitute for movie tickets. Backyard or windowsill gardening substitutes for going to the supermarket. To draw the line wherever private activity affects the demand for market goods is to draw no line at all, and to declare everything economic. We have already rejected the result that would follow—a federal police power. Lopez….

    The Court suggests that Wickard, which we have identified as “perhaps the most far reaching example of Commerce Clause authority over intrastate activity,” Lopez, established federal regulatory power over any home consumption of a commodity for which a national market exists. I disagree…. In contrast to the CSA’s limitless assertion of power, Congress provided an exemption within the AAA for small producers…. Wickard … did not extend Commerce Clause authority to something as modest as the home cook’s herb garden…. [It] did not hold or imply that small-scale production of commodities is always economic, and automatically within Congress’ reach.

    Even assuming that economic activity is at issue in this case, the Government has made no showing in fact that the possession and use of homegrown marijuana for medical purposes, in California or elsewhere, has a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Similarly, the Government has not shown that regulating such activity is necessary to an interstate regulatory scheme. [A] concern for dual sovereignty requires that Congress’ excursion into the traditional domain of States be justified….

    The Court recognizes that “the record in the Wickard case itself established the causal connection between the production for local use and the national market” and argues that “we have before us findings by Congress to the same effect” (emphasis added)…. [I]f declarations like these suffice to justify federal regulation, and if the Court today is right about what passes rationality review before us, then our decision in Morrison should have come out the other way. In that case, Congress had supplied numerous findings regarding the impact gender-motivated violence had on the national economy. But, recognizing that “[w]hether particular operations affect interstate commerce sufficiently to come under the constitutional power of Congress to regulate them is ultimately a judicial rather than a legislative question,” we found Congress’ detailed findings inadequate. Id. [H]ow can it be that voluminous findings, documenting extensive hearings about the specific topic of violence against women, did not pass constitutional muster in Morrison, while the CSA’s abstract, unsubstantiated, generalized findings about controlled substances do? …

    Relying on Congress’ abstract assertions, the Court has endorsed making it a federal crime to grow small amounts of marijuana in one’s own home for one’s own medicinal use. This overreaching stifles an express choice by some States, concerned for the lives and liberties of their people, to regulate medical marijuana differently. If I were a California citizen, I would not have voted for the medical marijuana ballot initiative; if I were a California legislator I would not have supported the Compassionate Use Act. But whatever the wisdom of California’s experiment with medical marijuana, the federalism principles that have driven our Commerce Clause cases require that room for experiment be protected in this case. For these reasons I dissent.

  • newageblues

    The courts are accomplices in the deaths of many 1000’s of people who could have been helped by medicinal cannabis. The JAMA study offers them a chance to turn from the barbaric path they have been on, maybe they would seize it.
    The courts need to stop rewarding the feds for their uber sleazy trick of suppressing research into MMJ, and then claiming there’s no evidence that it is real medicine. Maybe reformers should start collecting notarized statements from all the people who have been helped by MMJ. In the real world, as opposed to the world of cannabis haters, they would provide massive evidence that cannabis is medicine, and its prohibition is causing massive suffering and death.

  • PhDScientist

    Laws are declared invalid all the time. There’s no way that Marijuana can be left on schedule.1, no way that any rational court can allow that law to stand. There’s now doubt that it has medical value — it saves the lives of Children with Dravet’s Syndrome. The psychoactive component of Marijuana, THC, is on Schedule 3, so there’s no way that Marijuana, which is less than 100% THC should be on any more restrictive schedule than that. NORML and other groups just need to put in the effort. Like segregation, denying life-saving medication to people who need it, especially Children, is morally wrong and it is a moral imperative to make sure they are able to safely and legally get their life-saving medication, just as it was a moral imperative to end segregation.

  • PhDScientist

    There needs to be a new sense of urgency about legalizing Medical Marijuana at the federal level now that we know how much of a “Wonder Drug” and a “Gift from God” it is for so many medical conditions.

  • Jeff Brown

    very simple, Congress put it in schedule I-Congress needs to take it out of schedule I
    Without a doubt cannabis has medical use and thereby doesn’t fit the definition of a schedule I drug of no medical use in the United States-some thirty states now say it does have medical use.

  • jason

    Ok so this is a published medical use, so cannabis should immediately be De-scheduled or dropped to schedule 2…where is the ACLU and NORML on this??

    https://www.aftau.org/weblog-medicine–health?=&storyid4704=2215&ncs4704=3&erid=4466619&trid=3e7d8d3b-9642-462f-8423-965217752aaa

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/marijuana-proves-useful-treating-bone-105855948.html