Case Information

Robert Raich was an attorney in both of the Supreme Court cases ever to consider medical cannabis. Links to court documents and information are below.

Gonzalez v. Raich, 554 U.S. 1 (2005):
Full court documents can be found here.
Court Opinions can be found here.

Justice Thomas’ dissent in Raich:

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers

he continues:

The majority prevents States like California from devising drug policies that they have concluded provide much-needed respite to the seriously ill. It does so without any serious inquiry into the necessity for federal regulation or the propriety of “displac[ing] state regulation in areas of traditional state concern,” id., at 583 (Kennedy, J., concurring).

United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Coop., 532 U.S. 483 (2001):
Full court documents can be found here.
Court Opinions can be found here.

Justice Stevens’ concurrance in OCBC:

The overbroad language of the Court’s opinion is especially unfortunate given the importance of showing respect for the sovereign States that comprise our Federal Union. That respect imposes a duty on federal courts, whenever possible, to avoid or minimize conflict between federal and state law, particularly in situations in which the citizens of a State have chosen to “serve as a laboratory” in the trial of “novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262, 311 (1932) (Brandeis, J., dissenting). In my view, this is such a case.3 By passing Proposition 215, California voters have decided that seriously ill patients and their primary caregivers should be exempt from prosecution under state laws for cultivating and possessing marijuana if the patient’s physician recommends using the drug for treatment.

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