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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Background The dispute in Gonzales v. California’s Compassionate Use Act allows limited use of marijuana for medicinal gonnzales. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite…. The breadth of legislation that Congress enacts says nothing about whether the intrastate activity substantially affects interstate commerce, let alone whether it is necessary to the scheme.

Gonzales v. Raich :: U.S. 1 () :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

It believed the across-the-board ban essential to policing gonzaels drug trafficking. But that begs the question at issue: Two momentous cases involving this very principle are currently moving through the appeals process and toward the Supreme Court.

That is not enough to v.raicb federal regulation an inappropriate means. The CSA provides for the periodic updating of schedules and delegates authority to the Attorney General, after consultation gonzalex the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to add, remove, or transfer substances gonza,es, from, or between schedules. We generally assume States enforce their laws, see Riley v. The Court, in reaching its decision, specifically relied on Wickard v.

By defining the class at a high level of generality as the intrastate manufacture and possession of marijuanathe majority overlooks that individuals authorized by state law to manufacture and possess medical marijuana exert no demonstrable effect on the interstate drug market.


Unfortunately for them, their limited assault on its constitutionality left them open to the majority’s argument that prohibiting the production of marijuana for medical reasons could be a rational means of restricting access to marijuana for recreational purposes.

Gonzales V. Raich: Implications for Public Health Policy

Lopez 6 and United States v. To effectuate its objective, Congress has prohibited almost all intrastate activities related to Schedule I substances—both economic activities manufacture, distribution, possession with the intent to distribute and noneconomic activities simple possession.

Filburnwhich held that Congress could aggregate the impact of individual actors on the interstate market to find a substantial impact on interstate commerce. The exemption for physicians provides them with an economic incentive to grant their patients permission to use the drug.

In this regard, the Majority pointed out that Congress might have concluded that despite the science, the danger of abuse was so great that cannabis needed to remain a totally prohibited substance.

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Gonzales v. Raich: Congress’s Power Under the Commerce Clause to Regulate Medical Marijuana

Despite considerable efforts to reschedule marijuana, it remains a Schedule I drug. Peron59 Cal. As charted in considerable detail in Honzales States v. The second case involves the proscription of certain abortions. Her doctor declared under oath [4] that Raich’s life was at stake if she could not continue to use marijuana. Power, duty and restraint. Justice Stevens noted, The question before us, however, is not whether it is wise to enforce the statute in these circumstances; rather, it is whether Congress’ power to regulate interstate markets for medicinal substances encompasses the portions of those markets that are supplied with drugs produced and consumed locally.


The federal government has stated that it does not prioritize enforcing the CSA against such users, and it is likely that Raich could defend her use on the grounds of medical necessity, carving out an exception to the law even if it is not unconstitutional. Yet as a resident of Oakland, she is entitled to possess up to 3 pounds of processed marijuana at any given time, nearly 20 times more than she uses on a weekly basis.

Brief for Opinioj 22, The interconnectedness of economic activity is not a modern phenomenon unfamiliar to the Framers. She viewed the states as potential laboratories for experiment in areas such as legalizing marijuana, which echoes one of the main justifications for federalism.

These theories of relief were set forth in their complaint but were not reached by the Court of Appeals.

Agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration were assigned to break up California’s medical marijuana co-ops and to seize their assets. Scalia found that the link between intrastate and interstate activity was much more direct in this case than in Lopez or Morrison.

In this regard, again, this case is readily distinguishable opunion Wickard. It says that the California statute might be vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous physicians, that Compassionate Use Act patients may overproduce, and that the history of the narcotics trade shows the difficulty of cordoning off any drug use from the rest of the market.