California voters passed Proposition in , allowing qualified patients to cultivate and use marijuana for designated medical illnesses. Gonzales v. Raich. Media. Oral Argument – November 29, ; Opinion Announcement – June 06, Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al. On June 6, , the United States Supreme Court decided Gonzales v. Raich, a case that addressed the constitutionality of the federal Controlled Substances . The dissenters attacked the Majority opinion as a complete departure from the.

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Raich and Monson then sued to enjoin enforcement of the CSA, arguing that, as applied to them, the CSA amounted to an unlawful exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, which authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

But respondents do not challenge the CSA on its face. Respondents Raich and Monson are California residents who both use doctor-recommended marijuana for serious medical conditions.

Its president, Hamid Ghodsenoted, “Cannabis is classified under international conventions as a drug with a number of personal and public health problems” and referred to the drug’s Schedule I status, under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Unlike the power to regulate activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, the power to enact laws enabling effective regulation of interstate commerce can only be exercised in conjunction with congressional regulation of an interstate market, and it extends only to opinjon measures necessary to make the interstate regulation effective.

In the dissenters view, the Majority decision represented a vast expansion of federal powers to intrude into purely state matters: Second, at the end of his term, President Johnson fundamentally reorganized the federal drug control agencies.

See postat 8 Scalia, J.

See RaichF. This overreaching stifles an express choice by some States, concerned for the honzales and liberties of their people, to regulate medical marijuana differently. While the statute provided for the periodic updating of the five schedules, Congress itself made the initial classifications.

Both Justice Scalia’s concurring opinion and Justice Thomas’s dissenting opinion focused on the scope and import of the “Necessary and Proper” clause.


In their complaint and supporting affidavits, Raich and Monson described the severity of their afflictions, their repeatedly futile attempts to obtain relief with conventional medications, and the opinions of their doctors concerning their need to use marijuana.

As an initial matter, the statutory challenges at issue in those cases were markedly different from the challenge respondents pursue in the case at hand. Here, respondents challenge the constitutionality of the CSA as applied to them and those similarly situated. The opinion began by pointing out that the respondents did not dispute that Congress had the power to control or ban marijuana for non-medical uses:. The CSA undoubtedly regulates a great deal of interstate commerce, but that is no license to regulate conduct that is neither interstate nor commercial, however minor or incidental.

General Accounting Office, Marijuana: If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States.

Gonzales V. Raich: Implications for Public Health Policy

Whitebread, The Marijuana Conviction — ; L. For now, federal law is blind to the wisdom of a future day when the right to use medical marijuana to alleviate excruciating pain may be deemed fundamental.

But the possibility that the drug may be reclassified in the future has no relevance to the question whether Congress now has the power to regulate its production and distribution. This makes a mockery of Madison’s assurance to the people of New York that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.

For example, cases such as Printz v. Those two cases, of course, are LopezU. Background The dispute in Gonzales v. But those decisions do not declare noneconomic intrastate activities to be categorically beyond the reach of the Federal Government.

The governments of CaliforniaMarylandand Washington also filed briefs supporting Raich. The Court also offers some arguments about the effect of the Compassionate Use Act on the national market.

The Commerce Clause and Medical Marijuana: Gonzales v. Raich, U.S. 1 () | Canna Law Blog™

The CSA and its implementing regulations set forth strict requirements regarding registration, labeling and packaging, production quotas, drug security, and recordkeeping.


We also will seek to provide key unpublished cannabis law decisions as well, when available. Prohibiting the intrastate possession or manufacture of an article of commerce is a rational means of regulating commerce in that product.

But that begs the question at issue: Be that as it opinlon, we have never required Congress to make particularized findings in order to legislate, see LopezU.

Until that day arrives, federal law does not recognize a fundamental right to use medical marijuana prescribed by a licensed physician to alleviate excruciating pain and human suffering. This Opinoon has carefully avoided stripping Congress of its ability to regulate inter state commerce, but it has casually allowed the Federal Government to strip States of their ability to regulate gonzzales state commerce—not to mention a host of local activities, like mere drug possession, that are not commercial.

There is simply no evidence that homegrown medicinal marijuana users constitute, in the aggregate, a sizable enough class to have a discernable, opiion alone substantial, impact on the national illicit drug market—or otherwise to threaten the CSA regime.

Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)

The exemption for cultivation by patients and caregivers can only increase the supply of marijuana in the California market.

In Wickardwe had no difficulty concluding that Congress had a rational basis for believing that, when viewed in the aggregate, leaving home-consumed wheat gonzakes the regulatory scheme would have a substantial influence on price and market conditions.

Nor could it enact an intrastate ban simply to supplement existing drug regulations. Contacting Justia or any attorney through this site, via web form, email, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship. In this regard, it is the political process itself, rather than the evidence, opiniob acts as a check on Congressional decision-making.

In Julythe Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit enjoined as unconstitutional the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act ofbecause of its failure to provide for a health exception for women. Summary In Gonzales v.