June 06, 2005

Not That There's Anything Right with That

by PG

I love the hint of the different personal opinions on whether medical marijuana should be permitted -- as opposed to the jurisprudential opinions regarding whether states ought to be able to have a policy on it that conflicts with the feds' -- in the Raich decision. Justice Stevens seems to be at pains to express sympathy for the suffering of medical pot users and the possibility that pot has been mis-classified by Congress. In contrast, O'Connor flatly declares "If I were a California citizen, I would not have voted for the medical marijuana ballot initiative; if I were a California legislator I would not have supported the Compassionate Use Act."

Should anyone be wondering why Stevens calls upon medical marijuana users and their supporters to seek change through political means --

We do note, however, the presence of another avenue of relief. As the Solicitor General confirmed during oral argument, the statute authorizes procedures for the reclassification of Schedule I drugs. But perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress
-- when he did not make a similar recommendation for sodomites, keep in mind that the Lawrence plaintiffs argued for a right of privacy, which is anti-majoritarian. Raich does not argue for a right to consume pot, only for California's ability to permit it against a Congressional ban.

(I ran a Google search on Raich just now, and "Supreme Court sides with states in medical pot case - San Francisco Chronicle" popped up, even though the story linked is correct, with the headline "Supreme Court: Feds can prosecute medical pot users." Wishful thinking by someone at the SF Chronicle's online staff, I suspect.)

June 6, 2005 01:54 PM | TrackBack
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