Notes on the Atrocities
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Wednesday, December 17, 2003  

Johnny Ashcroft's Bad Day
Part 1 - Moral Crusade

The leader of the US Department of Justice found himself on the wrong side of the law yesterday -- four times. (Good thing he's not subject to the three strikes law, eh?) What the news reveals is further evidence that Ashcroft's an idealogue who uses the power of office to abuse laws he doesn't like and ignore laws inconvenient to his ends. Helluva guy to have running the DOJ.

Let’s go to the big news first. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled yesterday that California's medical marijuana law is not subject to 1970's Controlled Substances Act. What's interesting is the basis for the ruling--interstate commerce:

The court on Tuesday ruled that prosecuting medicinal marijuana users under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional in states that allow such use under the advice of a doctor, if the cannabis isn't sold or transported across state lines or used for non-medicinal purposes.

"The intrastate, non-commercial cultivation, possession and use of marijuana for personal medical purposes on the advice of a physician'' is different from drug trafficking, the court wrote in its majority opinion [the ruling was 2-1]. "Moreover, this limited use is clearly distinct from the broader illicit drug market.''

This effort was Ashcroft's attempt to subvert state law (upheld by the California Supreme Court) in his continuing crusade to bend the law in order to punish those he finds immoral. He has a similar effort pending to use drug laws to punish doctors in Oregon who participate in the voter-passed and state-supreme-court-upheld Death with Dignity Act.

posted by Jeff | 9:50 AM |
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