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The Ninth Circuit says “don’t smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, even if it’s keeping you alive”

pot.jpgWell this ruling really isn’t very surprising. Angel Raich is a woman living in Oakland suffering from a bunch of ailments - scoliosis, a brain tumor and chronic nausea. Raich has tried various conventional drugs, and they haven’t been able to help relieve her pain or give her an appetite. So on her doctor’s advice she turned to medical marijuana, which the State of California has legalized.

But this raises a now-familiar problem out in Cali - while the state has legalized medical marijuana, federal drug laws still ban it, even if state law legalizes it. Over the years, there have been plenty of stories of FDA agents busting up Cali places selling medical marijuana because, apparently, that’s the biggest drug problem facing our country (forget about that crystal meth stuff, which is most assuredly destroying large parts of the south).

Anyway, Raich got involved in a case which went up to the California Supreme Court. The Cali Supremes said what we already know, “that medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California where medical pot is legal.”

So Raich appealed, and her argument to the Ninth Circuit was that she should be allowed to use medical marijuana, regardless of the federal laws, because it’s the only viable way for her to stay alive. The Ninth said “tough shit,” and upheld the Cali Supreme’s decision.

Now I don’t think the Ninth really got this wrong, under the letter of the law. The problem here is the federal/state battle over the issue. I’ve never seen a viable argument that has persuaded me that legalized medical weed in California, or any other state, poses a serious problem to other states that continue to ban it. And without any such interstate conflict, I’m not sure this is any of the Fed’s business, and they should keep out of the states’ decision to legalize medical marijuana.

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Comments

Maybe the Ninth is doing a whole "reverse psychology" thing, knowing that they'll get overturned by the US Supreme Court on appeal.

its on smoke breaching its effect towadrs mens health?