Dear World by Valerie the Vibe Goddess
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Welcome to the new and improved website! I will be using this "Dear World" area to share journeys, thoughts, ideas, etc - Check back soon and have a great day!
Remember to never give up on your dreams!
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Medical Marijuana Victory!
The federal government's war on medical marijuana users is crumbling.
Yesterday, the largest federal appeals court in the country ruled that
federal laws against marijuana may not apply to sick people who use
medical marijuana with the approval of their physicians in states
where medical marijuana is legal. (Please see http://www.mpp.org for
MPP's news release and various news articles.)
As a result, Angel Raich and Diane Monson -- the two California
patients who originally sued the U.S. Justice Department on October 9,
2002 -- are now legally allowed to use, possess, and grow their own
marijuana. The DEA and John Ashcroft's thugs are now prohibited from
arresting or harassing Raich and Monson unless a future court ruling
overturns yesterday's court victory.
Yesterday's ruling falls on the heels of our October 14 victory with
the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided not to hear the U.S. Justice
Department's appeal to criminalize physicians who recommend the
medical use of marijuana. (See http://mpp.org/releases/nr101403.html
The MPP grants program has been the primary funder of this litigation,
but the courts are not what concern me. Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN)
has announced his intention to introduce legislation to impose
mandatory minimum prison sentences for patients who grow a few dozen
marijuana plants, and Congressman Ernest Istook (R-OK) is responsible
for legislation that will soon ban any marijuana policy advertising --
including privately funded medical marijuana ads -- on public transit
systems in most U.S. cities.
Please donate today at http://www.mpp.org/donate so that MPP can
afford to fight the monumental battle of preventing Congress from
nullifying yesterday's court victory.
Randy Barnett, the Boston University constitutional law professor who
successfully argued the case for Raich and Monson, is saying this case
sets a new precedent. "It's the first time there's been a ruling that
the application of the Controlled Substances Act to the application of
cultivation of medical cannabis is unconstitutional," he said.
The California court drew on major court decisions that in recent
years have limited the federal government's authority to control guns,
pornography, and domestic violence. As with those matters, the court
yesterday ruled that attempts to regulate purely intrastate medical
marijuana activity fall outside the federal government's reach.
The U.S. Justice Department will surely appeal yesterday's ruling.
Sometime next year, the courts will decide whether yesterday's ruling
will protect patients in all western states that have medical
marijuana laws (which would include Alaska, California, Hawaii,
Nevada, Oregon, and Washington), all medical marijuana states in the
nation (which would also include Colorado and Maine) or -- if
yesterday's decision is overturned -- no states at all.
As the end of the year approaches, please consider donating to MPP's
work at http://www.mpp.org/donate so that we will have the resources
to lobby on Capitol Hill, generate grassroots pressure on Congress,
and stimulate positive news coverage to preserve yesterday's court
In short, the court ruled that Congress likely doesn't have the
constitutional authority to ban the following activities: "The class
of activities at issue in this case can properly be defined as the
intrastate, noncommercial cultivation, possession and use of marijuana
for personal medical purposes on the advice of a physician and in
accordance with state law. This class of activities does not involve
sale, exchange, or distribution." (page 14)
Below my signature line is the court's description of Raich's and
Monson's medical conditions. When you read it, please keep in mind
that the Bush administration's Justice Department was litigating -- at
taxpayer expense -- that these two women should be prevented from
using their medicine. And, should they use their medicine, they should
be arrested and put in prison.
Marijuana Policy Project
P.S. The court wrote the following on pages 5-6 of its opinion:
"Angel McClary Raich and Diane Monson (the "patient-appellants")
are California citizens who currently use marijuana as a medical
treatment. Appellant Raich has been diagnosed with more than ten
serious medical conditions, including an inoperable brain tumor,
life-threatening weight loss, a seizure disorder, nausea, and
several chronic pain disorders. Appellant Monson suffers from
severe chronic back pain and constant, painful muscle spasms.
Her doctor states that these symptoms are caused by a
degenerative disease of the spine.
"Raich has been using marijuana as a medication for over five
years, every two waking hours of every day. Her doctor contends
that Raich has tried essentially all other legal alternatives
and all are either ineffective or result in intolerable side
effects; her doctor has provided a list of thirty-five
medications that fall into the latter category alone. Raich's
doctor states that foregoing marijuana treatment may be fatal."