Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Global and National Events Calendar

Bottoms Up: Guide to Grassroots Activism

Prisons and Poisons

November Coalition Projects

Get on the Soapbox! with Soap for Change

November Coalition: We Have Issues!

November Coalition Local Scenes

November Coalition Multimedia Archive

The Razor Wire
Bring Back Federal Parole!
November Coalition: Our House

Stories from Behind The WALL

November Coalition: Nora's Blog

June 6, 2005 - Drug Policy Alliance (US Web)

Supreme Court Rules on Medical Marijuana

Join Angel Raich for a Live Web Chat on the Decision

Take Action! Contact your Member of Congress

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

Dear Concerned Citizen,

You probably remember Angel Raich, the woman who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and uses medical cannabis to help ease her pain. You may also remember that last November, Angel took her case against Attorney General Ashcroft to the Supreme Court in a matter of what is for her a life-or-death situation, to allow patients to cultivate and use medical cannabis upon the recommendation of a doctor.

The verdict is in. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 today that Federal authorities can prosecute Angel and other patients who use medical marijuana even with their doctor's recommendation. The Court said that it's up to Congress to change federal law.

Join Angel and her husband Robert Raich, along with the Alliance's Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann for a live web chat to get Angel's firsthand reaction to the ruling.

When: Wednesday, June 8, 2005 at 5 PM EDT / 2 PM PDT
Where: Online at

Please email before June 8 to submit questions, and don't forget to bookmark the chat address!

Get Involved

It's important to note that the ruling only affects federal law. It does not overturn state medical marijuana laws which protect patients from state arrest.

"This ruling changes nothing," said Dan Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "States still have the right to pass legislation that protects the rights of patients to use this life-saving medicine. The federal government still has a choice-it can waste taxpayer dollars by going after sick and dying patients or go after individuals who pose a real danger to society."

While the ruling may be distressing news for Angel, the battle to make medical cannabis available to patients like Angel still continues. Congress now has a unique and timely opportunity to deal with the marijuana issue once and for all. Fax your congressperson to tell them that it's time they protect sick and dying patients.

Take Action Now!

Learn More About the Case

In 2002, Angel Raich and Diane Monson were launched into the national spotlight when both seriously ill medical cannabis patients -- along with two anonymous caregivers who grow and provide medical cannabis to patients free of charge -- sued Attorney General John Ashcroft and the federal government. As part of our continued effort to defend the rights of sick and dying medical marijuana patients, Drug Policy Alliance has been helping to fund the Raich v. Ashcroft case. The goal in launching Raich v. Ashcroft was to put an end to the government's cruel and illegal raids on sick people who legally use medical cannabis according to state law. Today, more than two years after filing the lawsuit, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a decision in Raich v. Ashcroft.

In their opinion, the Justices have rightly recognized that marijuana does have medical efficacy and is necessary for Angel Raich and other seriously ill patients. Read the Supreme Court opinion here, and the Alliance's brief on behalf of Raich here.

Drug Policy Alliance
70 West 36th Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10018

For the latest drug war news, visit our friends and allies below

We are careful not to duplicate the efforts of other organizations, and as a grassroots coalition of prisoners and social reformers, our resources (time and money) are limited. The vast expertise and scope of the various drug reform organizations will enable you to stay informed on the ever-changing, many-faceted aspects of the movement. Our colleagues in reform also give the latest drug war news. Please check their websites often.

The Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Reform Coordination Network
Drug Sense and The Media Awareness Project

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact