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March 2006
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Raich back in court

As has been reported elsewhere, Angel Raich is back in court arguing for her right to use medical marijuana. After the disappointing loss in Raich v. Ashcroft, she vowed not to give up.
Yesterday, she took a new approach to the 9th Circuit Court: The right to live. And she’s got the excellent Randy Barnett arguing for her again.

A lawyer for an ill California woman whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive asked an appeals court to prevent federal drug agents from ever arresting her.
The case, focusing on whether the gravely ill have a right to marijuana to keep them alive when legal drugs fail, is likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court soon. Yet each time the high court has ruled on medical marijuana it has come down against allowing the sick and dying to use the drug to ease their symptoms and possibly prolong life. […]
“Medical cannabis is necessary for the preservation of Angel Raich’s life,” said Randy Barnett, the Oakland woman’s lawyer. He later told the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that, “If she obeys the law, she will die.”

As kaptinemo notes in comments, the most disturbing part of this case was the following exchange yesterday:

Judge Harry Pregerson asked [US Attorney Mark] Quinlivan whether it was OK for Raich to die or succumb to “unbearable suffering.”
“So go ahead and die. That would be all right?” he asked.
“Congress has made that value judgment,” Quinlivan responded.

Congress has made that value judgment.

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