MedMj Chronicles III: Marijuana Patients and Caregivers Sue the Feds, Seek Order to Stop Raids 10/11/02

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The California medical marijuana movement opened a new legal front in its counteroffensive against the Justice Department and its DEA henchmen on Wednesday as two patients and their providers filed suit in Oakland federal court, seeking a court order to stop raids on medical marijuana operations that are legal under state law.

Patients Angel McClary Raich and Diane Monson and their two caregivers, known in court papers only as John Doe #1 and John Doe #2, will argue that the federal government has no right to interfere with activities that are lawful under state laws and do not involve interstate commerce. "For the federal government to attack patients and caregivers for activities that never cross state lines is an absolute violation of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution," said attorney Robert Raich, who married Angel McClary Raich two months ago and is representing the plaintiffs.

Monson is a 36-year-old bookkeeper from Oroville who uses marijuana to control chronic back pain. Her home was invaded by the DEA last August, and her plants cut down and seized.

Angel McClary Raich told an Oakland news conference she suffers from brain cancer and uses marijuana to relieve pain, nausea and loss of appetite. Marijuana has allowed her to function and raise her children, she said. "The government has waged a civil war against sick, disabled and dying Americans," Raich said. "If cannabis works for us, we should be able to have that medicine."

"I suspect this is our best chance for some immediate progress and relief," said California NORML's Gieringer. "We won't get it from this administration or this Congress; the federal courts are our best bet. There are real legal issues here that even Bush appointees on the bench will find difficult to ignore, questions about federalism," he told DRCNet. "This is the beginning of the counteroffensive, but there is more coming," he warned.

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Issue #258, 10/11/02 Editorial: Just Claims | Ordeal of the Pain Doctors: California Physician Still Struggling to Clear His Name, Trial Date Set for December | DRCNet Interview: Nandor Tanczos, Member of Parliament, New Zealand | California Medical Marijuana Chronicles: A Widening Conflict | MedMj Chronicles I: The Feds Are Deadly Serious: Bryan Epis Sentenced to Federal Prison | MedMj Chronicles II: San Jose Police Department Cuts Ties with DEA Task Force | MedMj Chronicles III: Marijuana Patients and Caregivers Sue the Feds, Seek Order to Stop Raids | MedMj Chronicles IV: Marijuana Rescheduling Petition Revived | FDA Approves Buphrenorphine for Home Addiction Treatment | Whose Brain on Drugs? Stanford Symposium Focuses on Addiction and Chemistry | Newsbrief: Colombian Ombudsman Petitions Government for Suspension of Herbicide Spraying | Newsbrief: RAVE Act Stalled in House, Could Be Dead for the Year | Newsbrief: Wisconsin Couple Commit Suicide After Pot and 'Shroom Bust, Forfeiture Notice | Newsbrief: Ban on Narcocorridos Spreads in Mexico | Newsbrief: School Districts Drug Testing for Tobacco, Too | Newsbrief: Leaders of Former Soviet Republics Meet to Fight Drugs and Terror, Drink Wine | Newsbrief: Canadian Researchers Seek Approval for Heroin Maintenance Study | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar

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