California voters passed Proposition in , allowing qualified patients to cultivate and use marijuana for designated medical illnesses. Gonzales v. Raich. Media. Oral Argument – November 29, ; Opinion Announcement – June 06, Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al. On June 6, , the United States Supreme Court decided Gonzales v. Raich, a case that addressed the constitutionality of the federal Controlled Substances . The dissenters attacked the Majority opinion as a complete departure from the.

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Lopezand United States v.

Gonzales v. Raich :: U.S. 1 () :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

Nor do they contend that any provision or section of the CSA amounts to an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority. Title II of that Act, the CSA, repealed most of the earlier antidrug laws in favor of a comprehensive regime to combat the international and interstate traffic in illicit drugs. Just as state acquiescence to federal regulation cannot expand the bounds of the Commerce Clause, see, e. Our cases show that the regulation of intrastate activities may be necessary to and proper for the regulation of interstate commerce in two general circumstances.

Unlike those at issue in Lopez and Morrisonthe activities regulated by the CSA are quintessentially economic. Respondents challenge only the application of the CSA to medicinal use of marijuana.

Oral Argument – November 29, AbrahamsonU. GonzalesF. Under the Commerce Clause, Congress may regulate interstate commerce, not activities that substantially affect interstate commerce—any more than Congress may regulate activities that do not fall within, but that affect, the subjects of its other Article I powers.

Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)

Here too, Congress had a rational basis for concluding that leaving home-consumed marijuana outside federal control would similarly affect price and market conditions. In Justice O’Connor’s view, it was irrelevant that the application of the CSA to personal use for medical purposes came as part of a comprehensive and otherwise legal effort to regulate the movement of controlled substances in commerce; the overall glnzales of the statute could not save an illegal application of its provisions.


With cannabis illegal at the federal level, how can the court even acknowledge a national market exists? Two days after the ruling, the International Narcotics Control Board issued a statement indicating that the Board “welcomes the decision of the United States Supreme Court, made on 6 June, reaffirming that v.taich cultivation and use of cannabis, even if it is for ‘medical’ use, should be prohibited. The States’ core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens….

If the Court is right, then Lopez stands for nothing more than a drafting guide: Raich clarifies the extent to which Congress’ power over commerce can be used to achieve the same result.

Filburn and the later cases endorsing its reasoning foreclose that claim. MorrisonU. Commerce, or trade, stood in contrast to productive activities like manufacturing and agriculture. The majority is not v.raifh the Commerce Clause, but rewriting it.

See RaichF. Attorney General preventing the prosecution of medicinal users pursuant to the CSA. Moreover, as discussed in more detail above, Congress did make findings regarding the effects of intrastate drug activity on interstate commerce. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

Supreme Court ruling that homegrown cannabis may be criminalized even if state law allows its medicinal use. Raich of Oakland, CaliforniaMonson of Oroville, Californiaand two anonymous caregivers sued the government for injunctive and declaratory relief on October 9,to stop the government from interfering with their right to produce and use medical marijuana claiming that the CSA was not constitutional, as applied to their conduct.

Anteat 9—10, 19 majority opinion. Backyard or windowsill gardening substitutes for going to the supermarket.


Sara RosenbaumJD. See United States v.

One need not have a degree in economics to understand why a nationwide exemption for the vast quantity of marijuana or other drugs locally cultivated for personal use which presumably would include use by friends, neighbors, and family members may have a substantial impact on the interstate market for this extraordinarily popular substance.

In the CSA, Congress has undertaken to extinguish the interstate market in Schedule I controlled substances, including marijuana. StewartS.

Gonzales V. Raich: Implications for Public Health Policy

See also Garcia v. Whitebread, The Marijuana Conviction — ; L. One of federalism’s chief virtues, of course, is that it promotes innovation by gonzaless for the possibility that “a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as gonzsles laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.

Only now, a qualified patient could avoid arrest or prosecution by presenting his identification card to law enforcement officers. Of particular relevance here is Wickard v. This principle is not without limitation. This decision marks a potential return in the Commerce Clause doctrine of the Court to the expansive understanding of Congressional powers under it in the midth century. Raichthe Supreme Court was presented with a conflict between California’s state law, permitting the medicinal use of marijuana, and the federal Controlled Substances Act CSA.

It is difficult to oppinion how this vast market could be affected by diverted medical cannabis, let alone in kpinion way that makes regulating intrastate medical marijuana obviously essential to controlling the interstate drug market. Wickard stands for the proposition that Congress can rationally combine the effects that an individual producer has on an interstate market to find substantial impacts on interstate commerce.

Anteat 21—