Raich and Medical Marijuana

pot.jpgFresh from the 9th Circuit presses: A three-judge panel affirmed the denial of Angel Raich ‘s (name plaintiff in Gonzales v. Raich) motion for declaratory and injunctive relief from the enforcement of the Controlled Substance Act . Opinion here.

The court argued that although Raich’s situation did seem to satisfy all prongs of a necessity defense, the necessity defense does not provide proper grounds for injunctive relief. In a footnote, however, the court noted that Raich might be more successful obtaining relief for “pre-conviction harm” on a common-law necessity claim. The court also rejected Raich’s substantive due process claim, and declined to reach her “plain reading” argument of the statute as it was not rasied below.

Unsurprisingly, the LA Times has described the decision as “Dying Woman Loses Medical Marijuana Appeal,” and quotes a tearful Raich insisting that she would “not let them kill me.” Now, I’m all for making the law as interesting and accessible as possible, but this seems a bit much. Didn’t the editors even bother to read the opinion before posting the AP report?

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4 Responses

  1. M. Hodak says:

    Did you read the same article I did? Normally, I’m ready to indict the LA Times as a third-rate rag, but in this case it seemed plain to me that the writers had reviewed and understood the relevant parts of the decision. Maybe I need to check my eyeglass prescription, but I didn’t see Raich insisting that she would “not let them kill me” anywhere in this article. What am I missing here?

  2. Laura says:

    You’re right–I checked the article again and they updated it to a more extensive discussion. Still, Racih’s NEW quote, “I feel like I’m dead man walking because I’m the first person in the country who has been told they do not have a right to life,” is also completely over the top.

  3. Vanderleun says:

    Laura is correct. I followed this from the early release of the story. The story has indeed been updated and changed. As usual it was not improved.

    You can’t find that phrase on the newswires any longer, at least Google news, but many blogs noted it and quoted it.

    The Technorati string to find them is


  4. Vanderleun says:

    Blogged with attribution here:

    Pajamas Media: Blogs, 458. LA Times, Zero: