February 27, 2009
Medical Marijuana & States' Rights - Reversal of Policy
Recall Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005), in which the United States Supreme Court (6-3) construed the Commerce Clause to empower Congress to criminalize marijuana use regardless of state laws approving medical marijuana use.
The case involved California's law, a voter referendum, Proposition 215, passed in 1996. At present, thirteen states have laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana, according to Norml:
John Ashcroft, as the AG before Gonzales, had a fairly aggressive prosecution policy toward medical marijuana.
Now, Eric Holder, Obama's AG, has announced that medical marijuana prosecution is no longer a priority. Huffington Post has video of the news conference here. The statement occurs without much fanfare.
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