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Supreme Court Holds Medical Marijuana Illegal

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By initiative, California voters legalized the use of marijuana under a doctor’s supervision. California voters cannot change federal law and today, the US Supreme Court held that federal law preempts state law and users of medical marijuana can still be prosecuted under federal statutes.

The majority opinion was written by John Paul Stevens followed well-established law on the preemption clause. The federal law preempts state law where the federal government has shown an intent to occupy that area of law. The federal drug laws do that and Stevens held that the proper remedy is for Congress to change the law, not to favor state laws in a preempted area.

Sanda Day O’Connor wrote the dissent. Apparently not agreeing that the federal government had preempted the drug arena, she argued for states’ rights in setting their own criminal laws.

UPDATE: THe Modesto Bee has excerpts from the opinion. Justice Thomas also dissented.

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About Justene Adamec

  • leah

    legealize it!

  • Bob

    Actually, the Federal government is only supposed to have precidence over the state governments in area’s relating to interstate trade. However, the Federal government & courts have basically been ignoring this by saying that EVERYTHING is somehow related to interstate trade. Basically ignoring parts of the constitution they find inconvenient. This has been sort of a “gentlemans agreement” since the depression.

  • jarboy

    most memebrs of congress are loud-mouth pussies.

  • Nancy

    I doubt anyone in Congress will want to go down on record as legislating FOR marijuana, even for terminal patients’ pain control. I can just hear ol’ Tom “holier than thou” DeLay now….

  • jarboy

    i seldom agree with ol’ sandy, but in this case, you go girl.

  • The case was probably a long-shot, because the basic point that the Federal government has precedence over state law in this is probably correct Constitutionally, but it’s still disappointing in a number of ways.


  • JR

    Time to secede.