OCTOBER 27, 1999, Associated Press
Feds Want Marijuana Ruling Reviewed
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Justice Department on Wednesday asked a federal
appeals court to reconsider a ruling that could allow seriously ill patients to
use marijuana without being prosecuted.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month told a federal judge to
rethink his order that closed down some Northern California medical marijuana
clubs, and consider an exemption for patients who face imminent harm without the
drug and have no effective legal alternative.
Federal prosecutors have repeatedly argued that Congress has declared pot to
be among the most dangerous controlled substances and without a medical purpose
- invalidating the medical-necessity argument the court said should be
In its ruling last month, the appeals court said the government has offered
nothing to contradict ``evidence that cannabis is the only effective treatment
for a large group of seriously ill individuals.''
If the ruling stands, it would affect California and four other states in
the 9th Circuit - Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Alaska - that have laws
protecting medical marijuana users against state prosecution.