California voters passed Proposition in , allowing qualified patients to cultivate and use marijuana for designated medical illnesses. Gonzales v. Raich. Media. Oral Argument – November 29, ; Opinion Announcement – June 06, Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al. On June 6, , the United States Supreme Court decided Gonzales v. Raich, a case that addressed the constitutionality of the federal Controlled Substances . The dissenters attacked the Majority opinion as a complete departure from the.

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Carefully distinguishing medical from recreational uses of marijuana, the plaintiffs had not challenged the CSA with regard to its prohibition against ordinary recreational use. Unfortunately for them, their limited assault on its constitutionality left them open to the majority’s argument that prohibiting the production of marijuana for medical reasons could be a rational means of restricting access to marijuana for recreational purposes.

Stevens pointed out that both plaintiffs either had participated in the market for recreational use or were contemplating participating in it. He also cited the decision of Wickard v.

Filburn to support the theory that market demands and the flow of the interstate economy would draw marijuana grown for medicinal use into channels for recreational use. Producing marijuana only for home consumption, moreover, was similar to the farmer’s production of wheat in the Wickard case because it had an effect on the national market for the drug.

As in that case, then, it could be gonzaless by the federal government under the Commerce Clause. In the aftermath of decisions that limited the Commerce Clause power in V.raichh.

Lopez and U. MorrisonScalia felt that it was necessary to distinguish those precedents from Raich. He did not view the CSA as a law that could erase the distinctions between national and local concerns, but rather as a justifiable exercise of controlling the interstate market under the Necessary and Proper Clause.

Scalia v.raihc that the link between intrastate and interstate activity was much more direct in this case than in Lopez or Morrison.

Relying on federalism principles, O’Connor was reluctant to allow the federal government to override the decisions of certain states including many beyond California to protect the individual liberties of their citizens by growing marijuana on v.riach property for personal and medical use.

She viewed the states as potential laboratories for experiment in areas such as legalizing gonzapes, which echoes one of the main justifications for federalism. Thomas used a strict textual reading of the Commerce Clause to argue that possessing a good or engaging in opknion personal activity on one’s own property did not rise to the level of trade that the Framers would have contemplated when drafting the Constitution.

He argued that allowing Congress to regulate in this area would leave its ability to encroach on state power virtually unfettered, raising the specter of a slippery slope that had driven the reasoning of the majority in Lopez. Respondents Raich and Monson are California residents who both use doctor-recommended marijuana for serious medical conditions.

Respondents claim that enforcing the CSA against them would violate the Commerce Clause and other constitutional provisions.

The court relied heavily on United States v. To effectuate the statutory goals, Congress devised a closed regulatory system making it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess any controlled substance except as authorized by the CSA.

This classification renders the manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana a criminal offense.

United States, U. Of particular relevance here is Wickard v. FilburnU. The similarities between this case and Wickard are striking. Given fonzales enforcement difficulties that attend distinguishing ipinion marijuana cultivated locally and marijuana grown elsewhere, 21 U.

The statutory challenges at issue there were markedly different from the challenge here. Respondents ask the Court to excise individual applications of a concededly valid comprehensive statutory scheme.

See Lopez, U. In contrast, the CSA regulates quintessentially economic activities: Prohibiting the intrastate possession or manufacture of an article of commerce is a rational means of regulating commerce in that product. However, V.rauch clearly acted rationally in determining that this subdivided class of activities is an essential part of the larger regulatory scheme.


The case comes down to the claim that a locally cultivated product that is used domestically rather than sold on the open market is not subject to federal regulation. California is one of at least nine States that authorize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. California has been a pioneer in the regulation of marijuana. InCalifornia was one of the first States to prohibit the sale and possession of marijuana,[ Footnote 2 ] and at the end of the century, California became the first State to authorize v.aich use of the drug for medicinal purposes.

InCalifornia voters passed Propositionnow codified as the Compassionate Use Act of Respondents Angel Raich and Diane Monson are California residents yonzales suffer from a variety of serious medical conditions and have sought to avail themselves of medical marijuana pursuant to the terms of the Compassionate Use Act.

Respondent Monson cultivates her own marijuana, v.rach ingests the drug in a variety of ways including smoking and using a vaporizer. These caregivers also process the cannabis into hashish or keif, and Raich herself processes some of the marijuana into oils, balms, and foods for consumption. After a thorough investigation, the county officials concluded that her use of marijuana was entirely lawful as a matter of California law.

Nevertheless, after a 3-hour standoff, the federal agents seized opunion destroyed all six of her cannabis plants. In their complaint and supporting affidavits, Raich and Monson described the severity of their afflictions, their repeatedly futile attempts to obtain relief with conventional medications, and the opinions of their doctors concerning their need to use marijuana.

A divided panel of v.ralch Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and ordered the District Court gonzaless enter a preliminary injunction.

AshcroftF. The majority placed heavy reliance on our decisions in United States v. The obvious importance of the case prompted our grant of certiorari.

Well-settled law controls our answer. The CSA is a valid exercise of federal power, even as applied to the troubling facts of this case. We accordingly vacate the judgment v.raicy the Court of Appeals.

Rather, as early as Congress enacted federal legislation imposing labeling regulations gobzales medications and prohibiting the manufacture or shipment of any adulterated or misbranded drug traveling in interstate commerce. The Harrison Act sought to exert control over the possession and sale of narcotics, specifically cocaine and opiates, by requiring producers, distributors, and purchasers to opiion with the Federal Government, by assessing taxes against parties so registered, and by regulating the issuance of prescriptions.

Rather, it imposed registration and reporting requirements for all individuals importing, producing, selling, or dealing in marijuana, and required the payment of annual taxes in addition to transfer taxes whenever the drug changed hands. A number of noteworthy events precipitated this policy shift. First, in Leary v. Second, at the end of his term, V.rraich Johnson fundamentally reorganized the federal drug control agencies.

Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)

Title II of that Act, the CSA, repealed most of the earlier antidrug laws in favor of a comprehensive regime to combat the international and interstate traffic in illicit drugs.

The main objectives of the CSA were to conquer drug abuse and to control the legitimate and illegitimate traffic in controlled substances. To effectuate these goals, Congress devised a closed regulatory system making it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess any controlled substance except in a manner authorized by the CSA. The CSA categorizes all controlled substances into five schedules.

The drugs are grouped together based on their accepted medical uses, the potential for abuse, and their psychological and physical effects on the body. Each schedule is associated with a distinct set of controls regarding the manufacture, distribution, and use of the substances listed therein. The CSA and its implementing regulations set forth strict requirements regarding registration, labeling and packaging, production quotas, drug security, and recordkeeping.

These three factors, in varying gradations, are also used to categorize drugs in the other four schedules. For example, Schedule II substances also have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence, but unlike Schedule I drugs, they have a currently accepted medical use. By classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug, as opposed to listing it on a lesser schedule, the manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana became a criminal offense, with the sole exception being use of the drug as part of a Food and Drug Administration pre-approved research study.


The CSA provides for the periodic updating of schedules and delegates authority to the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to add, remove, or transfer substances to, from, or between schedules. Despite considerable efforts to reschedule marijuana, it remains a Schedule I drug.

Brief for Respondents 22, Nor do they contend that any provision or section of the CSA amounts to an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority. In assessing the validity of congressional regulation, none of our Commerce Clause cases can be viewed in isolation.

As charted in considerable detail in United States v. First, Congress can regulate the channels of interstate commerce. Second, Congress has authority to regulate and protect the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, and persons or things in interstate commerce.

Third, Congress has the power to regulate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce. Only the third category is implicated in the case at hand. We have never required Congress to legislate with scientific exactitude.

See PerezU. United StatesU. WirtzU. Our decision in Wickard, U.

Gonzales v. Raich – Wikipedia

In Wickardwe upheld the application of regulations promulgated under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of52 Stat. The regulations established an allotment of Like the farmer in Wickardrespondents are cultivating, for home consumption, a fungible commodity for which there is an ppinion, albeit illegal, interstate market. In Wickardwe had no difficulty concluding that Congress had a rational basis for believing that, when viewed in the aggregate, leaving home-consumed wheat outside the regulatory scheme would have a substantial influence on price and market conditions.

Here too, Congress had a rational basis for concluding that leaving home-consumed v.rajch outside federal control would similarly affect price and market conditions. More concretely, one concern prompting inclusion of wheat grown for home consumption in the Act was that rising market prices could draw such wheat into the interstate market, resulting in lower market prices. WickardU.

The parallel concern making it appropriate to gonsales marijuana grown for home consumption in the CSA is the likelihood that the high demand in the interstate market will draw such marijuana into that market. While the diversion of homegrown wheat opknion to frustrate the federal interest in stabilizing prices by regulating the volume of commercial transactions in the interstate market, the diversion of homegrown marijuana tends to frustrate the federal interest in eliminating commercial transactions in the interstate market in their entirety.

Nonetheless, respondents suggest that Wickard differs from this case in three respects: Moreover, even though Wickard was indeed a commercial farmer, the activity he was engaged in—the cultivation of wheat for home consumption—was not treated by the Court as part of his commercial farming operation.

Findings in the introductory sections of the CSA explain why Congress deemed it appropriate to encompass local activities within the scope of the CSA.

The Commerce Clause and Medical Marijuana: Gonzales v. Raich, U.S. 1 () | Canna Law Blog™

The submissions of the parties and the numerous amici all seem to agree that the national, and international, market for marijuana has dimensions that are fully comparable to those defining the class of activities regulated by the Secretary pursuant to the statute. Be that as it may, we have never required Congress opiinon make particularized findings in order to legislate, see LopezU. FCCU. LopezU. McClungU. That the regulation ensnares some purely intrastate activity is of no moment.

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