420 Magazine Background

Dying Woman Loses Marijuana Appeal

Cozmo

New Member
A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a California woman whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive is not immune from federal prosecution on drug charges.

The case was brought by Angel Raich, an Oakland mother of two who suffers from scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea and other ailments. On her doctor's advice, she eats or smokes marijuana every couple of hours to ease her pain and bolster a nonexistent appetite as conventional drugs did not work.

The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying 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.

Because of that ruling, the issue before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was narrowed to the so-called right to life theory: that the gravely ill have a right to marijuana to keep them alive when legal drugs fail.

Raich, 41, began sobbing when she was told of the decision and said she would continue using the drug.

"I'm sure not going to let them kill me," she said. "Oh my God."

When the case was argued before the appeals court a year ago, the government said it could not guarantee that Raich or other seriously ill patients using medical marijuana would not be prosecuted. Over the years, the government has raided dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries, mostly in California.

The case is likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but each time the high court has taken up the issue of medical marijuana it has ruled against allowing the sick and dying to use the drug to ease their symptoms and possibly prolong life.

The latest legal wrangling once again highlighted the tension between the federal government, which declares marijuana an illegal controlled substance with no medical value, and the 11 states allowing medical marijuana for patients with a doctor's recommendation.

Voters in 1996 made California the first state to authorize patients to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. At least 10 other states followed suit.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: The Associated Press
Author: DAVID KRAVETS
Copyright: 2007 The Associated Press
Website: The Associated Press | The essential global news network
 
Top Bottom