With obvious reluctance, the three-judge panel [of the 9th Circuit] said there is no right "deeply rooted in this nation's history and traditions'' to use medical marijuana to reduce pain or ward off death. California, whose voters enacted the nation's first law legalizing marijuana for medical use in 1996, has been joined by only 10 other states. The remaining states and the federal government recognize no such right, the court noted.
March 15, 2007
This was a later stage of the case in which the Supreme Court determined two years ago that Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to ban home-grown, home-consumed marijuana, even where the state had tried to set up a program regulating the medical use. A question that remained was whether some extremely ill persons could claim a constitutional right to use marijuana out of necessity in the face of great pain or death. The plaintiff in the case, Angel Raich, asserted that she needed marijuana to stay alive.