|ATTORNEY GENERAL LOCKYER ISSUES STATEMENT ON US SUPREME COURT'S MEDICAL
(SACRAMENTO) - Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the
following statement on today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in
Gonzales v. Raich, which holds that federal laws prohibiting the use of
medical marijuana remain in effect regardless of state laws that permit
"Today's ruling does not overturn California law permitting the use of
medical marijuana, but it does uphold a federal regulatory scheme that
contradicts the will of California voters and limits the right of
states to provide appropriate medical care for its citizens. Although
I am disappointed in the outcome of today's decision, legitimate
medical marijuana patients in California must know that state and
federal laws are no different today than they were yesterday.
"Californians spoke overwhelmingly in favor of medical marijuana by
passing Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Initiative, and that law
still stands in our state. Unfortunately, federal law continues to
criminalize the use of physician-recommended marijuana medicine. This
conflict between state and federal law means that seriously ill
Californians will continue to run the risk of arrest and prosecution
under federal law when grow and or they use marijuana as medicine.
"Today's ruling shows the vast philosophical difference between the
federal government and Californians on the rights of patients to have
access to the medicine they need to survive and lead healthier lives.
Taking medicine on the recommendation of a doctor for a legitimate
illness should not be a crime.
"There is something very wrong with a federal law that treats medical
marijuana the same as heroin. The United States Congress and the
President have the power to reform and modernize federal law in order
to bring relief to medical patients and still punish those who
illegally traffic in substances. Patients, physicians and the public
that support medicinal marijuana should tell their Congressional
Representatives and Senators to take a fresh look at the federal laws
that ban its use."