06. June 2005 · Comments Off on Another Setback In The Evil War On Drugs · Categories: Drug Prohibition

This from Gina Holland at AP:

WASHINGTON Jun 6, 2005 Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors’ orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don’t protect users from a federal ban on the drug.

The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug’s use to treat various illnesses.

Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.

The closely watched case was an appeal by the Bush administration in a case that it lost in late 2003. At issue was whether the prosecution of medical marijuana users under the federal Controlled Substances Act was constitutional.

Under the Constitution, Congress may pass laws regulating a state’s economic activity so long as it involves “interstate commerce” that crosses state borders. The California marijuana in question was homegrown, distributed to patients without charge and without crossing state lines.

The most chilling point from the majority opinion, authored by Justice Stevens is here:

We have never required Congress to legislate with scientific exactitude.

And the fact that this decision was joined by the Supreme suposed most rigorous “original constructionist” gives lie to the entire “activist judge” argument. The fact of the matter is that “they will do what they do, and we will do what we do. Constitution be damned.” This opens the door to any sort of police-state legislation.

Hat Tip to InstaPundit, who has many more links. Of particular interest is Radley Balko:

Thomas was dead-on, and proves to be the only principled federalist with an orginalist view of the Commerce Clause.

[…]

Let it no longer be said that Thomas carries water for Scalia.

He’s easily the most principled and consistent defender of federalism on the court.

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