Category Archives: Federal Law

Paper Magazine: How to Change Federal Law

Bill Weinberg recently wrote an article for Paper magazine (yes, it’s printed on paper!) about changing cannabis laws and quoted me about how this might happen. Here’s a link to the full article, and my quotes excerpted below in context.

Yet since 2015, various bills have been introduced in Congress to legalize cannabis at the federal level — removing it from the schedule system altogether. The most recent was just introduced in January by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) — the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, wittily numbered HR 420. (“420” has long been slang for getting high among cannabis aficionados.)

So there is some optimism in the ranks.

Chris Conrad, a longtime California cannabis advocate, actually thinks it can happen.

He forecasts: “House Democrats are already poised to pass cannabis de-scheduling legislation over to the Senate, where it either passes or gets attached to another bill and passes, then the president signs it and claims a victory in summer or winter of 2019. Unfortunately, Senator McConnell has authoritarian tendencies and could block legislation from getting a floor vote. But on the other hand, his role in de-scheduling industrial hemp suggests that he might be open to it.”

Continue reading Paper Magazine: How to Change Federal Law

Physicians’ First Amendment right to recommend cannabis

medical marijuana dispensaryConant v. Walters: Physicians have a First Amendment right to discuss cannabis with patients — not to help them obtain it.

The order enjoins the federal government from either revoking a physician’s license to prescribe controlled substances or conducting an investigation of a physician that might lead to such revocation, where the basis for the government’s action is solely the physician’s professional “recommendation” of the use of medical marijuana.  Continue reading Physicians’ First Amendment right to recommend cannabis

Shattered Lives reveals harms of US Drug War

A wake-up call to every American.

shat-cover-bigShattered Lives: Portraits From America’s Drug War

By Mikki Norris, Virginia Resner and Chris Conrad, creators of Human Rights and the Drug War and the HRDW exhibition project

A groundbreaking expose on the U.S. Drug War’s human cost. Mentioned in Newsweek, Playboy, Penthouse, C-Span Journal, and in many other prominent news media.

Continue reading Shattered Lives reveals harms of US Drug War

Court upholds cutoff of DoJ funds in medical marijuana states

U.S. vs. McIntosh

In the opinion of U.S. vs. McIntosh, written by  Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, the court held that the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, recently passed by Congress and signed by the President, prohibits  federal prosecution of conduct that is allowed by the state’s medical cannabis law.

In the August 16, 2016 opinion, Judge O’Scannlain wrote:

“We therefore conclude that, at a minimum, § 542 prohibits DOJ from spending funds from relevant appropriations acts for the prosecution of individuals who engaged in conduct permitted by the State Medical Marijuana Laws and who fully complied with such laws.”

More information at this link.

State laws do not shield patients from federal prosecution

Gonzalez v. Raich

The text of the 2005 US Supreme Court decision reversing the 2003 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution does not reach medical marijuana when it is cultivated and used within a state where it is legal and for purposes of non-commercial personal use.

More information on the Supreme Court decision Continue reading State laws do not shield patients from federal prosecution