Saturday, August 30, 2008

Update-Medical Marijuana

In other Civil Liberties news, check out this excerpt from the the ACLU. Full story here.
For the first time, a court has recognized that a concerted effort by the federal government to sabotage state medical marijuana laws violates the U.S. Constitution.

While California’s landmark 1996 medical marijuana law has mostly been upheld by the state’s courts, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s unfavorable ruling in 2005 it appeared the sun may have been setting on medical marijuana reform in the federal courts.

The outlook is a whole lot brighter after last week’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, which denies a Bush administration request to dismiss a lawsuit by Santa Cruz city and county officials and the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), which was raided by federal agents in 2002.

More significantly, in a first-of-its-kind ruling, the court held that the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution bars the federal government from targeting the enforcement of federal drug laws to intentionally subvert state medical marijuana laws. The court ruled that the 10th Amendment would be violated if the ACLU can prove, as it has alleged, that a calculated pattern of selective arrests and prosecutions by the federal government has been intended to render "California’s medical marijuana laws impossible to implement and thereby forcing California and its political subdivisions to recriminalize medial marijuana."

This ruling is especially significant because it recognizes the constitutional significance of the fact that the federal government has gone out of its way to arrest and prosecute some of the most legitimate doctors, patients, caregivers and dispensary owners that are working most closely with state and local officials.

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