Monday, November 29, 2004

High Court Weighs High

The Supreme Court heard arguments on California's medical marijuana law today:

A Bush administration lawyer told the justices they would be encouraging people to use potentially harmful marijuana if they were to side with the women.

"If they're right, then I think their analysis would extend to recreational use of marijuana, as well as medical use of marijuana, and would extend to every state in the nation, not just those states that made it lawful," said Paul Clement, acting solicitor general.
Well, no, actually. No more so than the legal use of valium or vicodin encourages the recreational use of such drugs. Such abuse occurs, of course. But most medications can be abused. So it becomes a balancing test (ah, like so many legal questions) - what it's worth to those in need vs. the risk of abuse in those who don't need it. What do the supes think?

Justice Stephen Breyer said the government makes a strong argument that as many as 100,000 sick people use marijuana in California, and "when we see medical marijuana in California, we won't know what it is. Everybody'll say, `Mine is medical.' Certificates will circulate on the black market. We face a mess."
If pop cultural references are any indication, then anyone who has a) been to college or b) been a teenager, hasn't needed a black market certificate. I'm guessing they don't need to go to that much trouble. I'm in no way making light of drug abuse. My point is simply that if the government believes making pot medically available to those with valid need will have any impact on drug abuse - other than rhetorically - they are, again, doing their best to SOUND like they're waging a war on drugs without actually having to do anything.

Maybe the interstate commerce clause will save California's sovereignty. No, really . . . .

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