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Angel Raich Loses At Federal Appeals Court

A Federal appeals court in San Francisco turned down an appeal by medical marijuana patient and activist Angel Raich. The New York Times on March 15, 2007 ("Dying Woman Loses Appeal On Marijuana As Medication") reported that "Federal appellate judges here ruled Wednesday that a terminally ill woman using marijuana was not immune to federal prosecution simply because of her condition, and in a separate case a federal judge dismissed most of the charges against a prominent advocate for the medicinal use of the drug. The woman, Angel McClary Raich, says she uses marijuana on doctors' recommendation to treat an inoperable brain tumor and a battery of other serious ailments. Ms. Raich, 41, asserts that the drug effectively keeps her alive, by stimulating appetite and relieving pain, in a way that prescription drugs do not."

According to the Times, "On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that while they sympathized with Ms. Raich's plight and had seen 'uncontroverted evidence' that she needed marijuana to survive, she lacked the legal grounds to exempt herself from federal law. The court 'recognizes the use of marijuana for medical purposes is gaining traction,' the decision read. 'But that legal recognition has not yet reached the point where a conclusion can be drawn that the right to use medical marijuana is 'fundamental.' '"

The Times noted that "Graham Boyd, director of the Drug Law Reform Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has an unrelated medical marijuana case pending before a federal judge in San Jose, said the decision in Ms. Raich's case was a setback for the movement but not a crippling one. 'Today is just one chapter in a story that is still not over,' Mr. Boyd said Robert Raich, Ms. Raich's husband and lawyer, said she might appeal the case to the full Ninth Circuit."

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Updated: Thursday, 16-Jul-2009 09:40:10 PDT   ~   Accessed: 4187 times
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