Granny kept it for medicinal purposes only
October 15, 2003 7:03 AM   Subscribe

SCOTUS supports state medical-weed laws "The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a Justice Department effort to punish doctors in Washington and other states for recommending marijuana or even discussing the drug's benefits with their patients." (from google news)
posted by jfuller (7 comments total)
 
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a Justice Department effort to punish doctors in Washington and other states for recommending marijuana or even discussing the drug's benefits with their patients.

The justices, in declining to review an appellate decision favoring the doctors, handed a big victory to medical marijuana patients in nine states that allow the infirm to smoke or grow marijuana with a doctor's permission.


This isn't as big a victory as the article makes it out to be. The Supreme Court did not decide the case; instead, it refused to grant certiorari, i.e., it's not going to hear the case. While this does have the effect of leaving the decision of the appellate court below in place, it is certainly nothing like affirming the opinion. We should not attempt to glean too much from a grant or denial of cert, because it is rarely an indication of how the Court thinks about the issue.

There is no comparable appellate decision outside the Ninth Circuit, so it could just be that the Court is waiting to see if a split develops. The Court will be more than happy to let the decision stand if no split develops, and particularly so if other circuits actually decide cases in agreement with this decision.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:32 AM on October 15, 2003


This seems to be more about the right to free speech between doctors and patients than anything to do with drug use. Particularly since the federal government's "right" to go after growers of marijuana for medical use remains unhampered.
posted by rushmc at 7:55 AM on October 15, 2003


seems more like a justice-dept-run-amuck-while-headed-by-a-religious-totalitarian-AG
smack-down to me
posted by BentPenguin at 9:09 AM on October 15, 2003




> Particularly since the federal government's "right" to go after growers of marijuana for medical use remains unhampered.

Yep, also it would be illegal to write a prescription for anything that isn't Marinol. Say my doc wrote a prescription for me for pot and I got it filled in Canada, then he's going to federal prison. The act of writing the script may in itself be illegal.

I think rushmc is correct that this only a generic affirmation of the privledge between doctor and patient. Bush was overzealous trying to get this made illegal, but that's his style - reckless, ignorant, and incompetent.
posted by skallas at 11:37 AM on October 15, 2003


but that's his style - reckless, ignorant, and incompetent.

It is, of course, important to remember how much the china shop suffers regardless of the pedigree of the bull.
posted by rushmc at 12:09 PM on October 15, 2003


Editorial roundup.
posted by homunculus at 9:28 PM on October 16, 2003


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