California Woman, Kept Alive With Marijuana, Again Declared A Potential Federal Criminal

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Angel Raich has an inoperable brain tumor, a seizure disorder, scoliosis, severe chronic pain, chronic nausea, and some other ailments that leave her unable to eat and cause her to be officially dying. You may recall that, five years ago, the 41-year-old Oakland woman sued then-U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft and the federal government over her right to use medical marijuana, which is legal in California. According to her doctors, she will die without it. According to a federal appeals court, she can drop dead.

The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such in which medical marijuana is legal. Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled that Raich and her suppliers could be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws. However, the court left open the possibility that if Raich were arrested, her attorneys may be able to mount a “medical necessity defense.”

Raich says she will continue to smoke and eat marijuana.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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