#309 Suggested Actions In Response To The Raich Decision

Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005
Subject: #309 Suggested Actions In Response To The Raich Decision


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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #309 – Monday, 6 June 2005

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that state medical marijuana laws don’t
protect users from a federal ban on the drug – allowing federal
authorities to prosecute sick people for their use of medical
cannabis, even if on the advice of their doctors.

The decision is on line in various formats here http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZS.html
and as a 79 page .pdf file here http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/03-1454.pdf

In its majority opinion against Raich and Monson (page 6), the Supreme
Court issued a significant word of warning about the wisdom of current
federal laws:

“The case is made difficult by respondents’ strong arguments that they
will suffer irreparable harm because, despite a congressional finding
to the contrary, marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes. The
question before us, however, is not whether it is wise to enforce the
statute in these circumstances; rather, it is whether Congress’ power
to regulate interstate markets for medicinal substances encompasses
the portions of those markets that are supplied with drugs produced
and consumed locally.”


Organizations are calling for you to act and providing detailed advice
on the best ways to respond. Please see:








Here are a few points to consider:

The single most important thing to understand is that state and local
laws on the books protecting medical cannabis patients and their
doctors will continue to stand and are not at all affected by this

As you can see from this split decision, the Court has ruled on very
technical legal grounds, particularly on medical cannabis as a
commerce issue. However, we are heartened that the Court was clear in
recognizing the medical necessity for seriously ill patients like Angel.

The Attorney General and the federal government now have a choice:
They can choose to continue wasting taxpayers’ dollars raiding the
homes of sick and dying patients– suffering from diseases like
cancer, chronic pain, leukemia, multiple sclerosis and AIDS–who are
abiding by state and local laws, or they can choose more worthwhile
priorities, like national security or arresting terrorists. The
federal government should not compound the suffering of sick and dying

The federal government actually makes only 1% of all marijuana related
arrests in the country. While 99% protection from arrest isn’t
perfect, it is still substantial. It is more urgent than ever before
for states to act to protect patients from arrests and harassment.


The press will have a field day with this story – and will likely make
factual errors in their reporting which will enhance your chances of
being published if you write letters. Expect many targets for letters
to the editor in the days ahead.

Please check this link frequently, watching for news clippings with a
“Pubdate” of Mon, 06 Jun 2005 or later, to help you find targets for
your letters:



Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do


Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:


Or contact MAP Media Activism Facilitator Steve Heath for personal
tips on how to write LTEs that get printed.




Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list (sentlte@mapinc.org) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to heath@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others
can learn from your efforts.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list (sentlte@mapinc.org) will help you to
review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see


Prepared by: Stephen Heath, MAP Media Activism Facilitator =