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Raich v. Ashcroft is coming

Via TalkLeft, the word is that the Supreme Court will release their decision on Raich v. Ashcroft either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. [Note: this is not an absolute deadline, but is based on several media alerts.]
Potentially huge.

  • Ruling for the government: The end of the commerce clause as a limitation on government (Congress will be able to define whatever it is they want to regulate at the state level), the death knell of federalism, probably an indication that Oregon’s assisted suicide law will be shot down next.
  • Ruling for Raich: A morale boost for medical marijuana, states will be able to craft medical marijuana regimes that meet federal rules, some other states will rather quickly join the medical marijuana movement. The interesting issue here will be how the Supremes define Raich’s allowable activity:
    • Will it be specifically tied to the very narrow situation that Raich represented? or
    • Will they craft a new line that separates allowable state activity based on a state sub-class or an economic enterprise or something else entirely? or
    • Will they bring federalism back and actually overturn some previous case law?
  • Technical Weasel-out Ruling This is where the Justices punt and claim that Raich should get relief through the FDA or some such nonsense. (Essentially the same as a ruling for the government).

Regardless of the ruling, medical marijuana will continue to be an issue and will continue to need our support and efforts.
Plans are already underway by some groups for demonstrations tied to the Raich ruling, in case the ruling is for the government:

“If the Supreme Court rules against medical marijuana patients, we’ll
need you to immediately swing into action to lobby Congress to end the
federal government’s attacks on medical marijuana patients and
caregivers.

To be specific, we need you to organize or attend a protest outside of
your U.S. representative’s local district office precisely two days
after the decision is announced — to urge your U.S. representative to
vote for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment to the Justice
Department’s spending bill, in order to prevent the DEA from spending
any money to arrest medical marijuana patients or providers who are
acting legally under state law.

Please visit http://www.RaichAction.org , where you can:

  • find out where your U.S. representative’s local district offices are
    located;
  • print flyers to hand out at the demonstration; and
  • print talking points about the medical marijuana amendment.

Please email if you want to organize or attend
a demonstration in your area. (Please be sure to tell us the exact
location where you will hold your demonstration, including city and
state.) We will send an alert the day of the decision notifying you
that it’s time to act, with the demonstration taking place two days
later.”

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