WASHINGTON (Nov. 29) - The Supreme Court questioned whether state medical marijuana laws might be abused by people who aren't really sick as it debated Monday whether the federal government can prosecute patients who smoke pot on doctors' orders.
The stakes are high on both the government level - 11 states have passed medical marijuana laws since 1996 - and the personal.
In the courtroom watching the argument were Angel Raich, an Oakland, Calif., mother of two who said she tried dozens of prescription medicines to ease the pain of a brain tumor before she turned to marijuana, and another ill woman, Diane Monson. They filed a lawsuit to protect their access to the drug after federal agents confiscated marijuana plants from Monson's yard.
Their attorney, Randy Barnett of Boston, told the justices his clients are law-abiding citizens who need marijuana to survive. ''When people are sick and people are suffering and people are dying, they may be willing to run the risk of these long-term harms in order to get the immediate relief, the lifesaving relief that cannabis has demonstrably been able to provide,'' he said.
The justices refused three years ago to protect distributors of medical marijuana from federal anti-drug charges. They are confronting a more personal issue this time - the power of federal agents to go after sick people who use homegrown cannabis with their doctors' permission and their states' approval.
A defeat for the two California women might undermine laws passed by California and 10 other states and discourage other states from approving their own.
A loss for the government, on the other hand, could jeopardize federal oversight of illegal drugs and raise questions in other areas such as product safety and environmental activities. A Bush administration lawyer told the justices they would be encouraging people to use potentially harmful marijuana if they were to side with the women.
''If they're right, then I think their analysis would extend to recreational use of marijuana, as well as medical use of marijuana, and would extend to every state in the nation, not just those states that made it lawful,'' said Paul Clement, acting solicitor general.
Justice David H. Souter said an estimated 10 percent of people in America use illegal drugs, and states with medical marijuana laws might not be able to stop recreational users from taking advantage.
Justice Stephen Breyer said the government makes a strong argument that as many as 100,000 sick people use marijuana in California, and ''when we see medical marijuana in California, we won't know what it is. Everybody'll say, 'Mine is medical.' Certificates will circulate on the black market. We face a mess.''
Give me a break! I can't believe these nuts want to legalize this crap. Maybe they need to fry a few more brain cells. It helps dying patients? It's weed, it'll make them feel less pain, but its not a cure or by any means a medication. If they're dying, they're still gonna die using pot. If they wanna rid the pain, get a legal/M.D. Prescribed pain killer...not roll a joint. Legalizing this stuff is crap...
Cop: "what's with the joints?"
Shitbird, I mean 'Patient': "My Doctor prescribed them to me"
Cop: "For what?"
Shitbird, I mean 'Patient': "I have a bad case of the sniffles" :shock:
Sick? You don't need a doctor or medicine, just smoke a bone! :shock: :shock: