Medical Marijuana Registration Law
June 07, 2005
In the decision, Gonzales v. McClary Raich, (Raich), the high court noted that the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (which is Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970) designates marijuana as "contraband for any purpose." In the process, the court also recognized that Congress rejected the idea that marijuana has any acceptable medicinal use.
In Raich, backers of
California's medical marijuana laws sought an injunction to stop
enforcement of the CSA to the extent that it prevents patients
from possessing, obtaining or manufacturing marijuana for medical
use. The backers argued that Congress had no authority to criminalize
activities that are legal by state law. The
"Alaska's medicinal use law is very similar to the law in California," said Attorney General David Márquez. "Today's decision did not strike down the California law but rather reaffirmed the authority of the federal government to regulate marijuana. The question we must analyze is whether and how state medicinal use laws can continue to operate in light of this ruling."
In Raich, the high court found that in enacting the CSA, Congress had adopted a comprehensive scheme for regulating illegal drug use, including marijuana. The availability of marijuana in states that have medicinal use laws challenges the regulatory provisions of the CSA, especially where this concerns the ability to introduce marijuana within the interstate market. Congress has broad authority to regulate these markets under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
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