Supreme Court’s ruling unsurprising
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on medical marijuana Monday shouldn’t leave people smoking.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously there is no exception in federal law allowing the use of marijuana to treat pain associated with serious illnesses.
Patients in states allowing the use of medical marijuana may still use the drug. The Supreme Court’s decision reaffirmed federal law banning the distribution of marijuana, making it more difficult for patients to acquire the drug.
El Dorado County Public Defender Rick Meyer said the decision should have been expected.
“Really this opinion is not earthshaking,” Meyer said. “This was a no-brainer from a legal standpoint. To interpret this ruling as being a statement that the Supreme Court is not sensitive to people who are suffering and get relief from marijuana is very unfair and and grossly mischaracterizes what happened.”
Meyer said the Supreme Court’s decision was based on the 1970 federal legislation stating marijuana has no legitimate medical benefits. The Supreme Court’s duty is to interpret he law, not write it, Meyer stressed.
“The Congress passed this act called the Controlled Substance Act, which made it illegal to manufacture (certain substances,)” Meyer said. “The courts are not there to make the laws, they are there to interpret the laws. The simple message of this case is if you want to change the laws, you have to go through the Legislature.”
South Lake Tahoe medical marijuana distributor Matt Macosko said he was was not surprised by the ruling.
Macosko is currently facing charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and driving under the influence of marijuana. He said he is not worried the Supreme Court’s decision will affect his case.
“The federal thing does not affect my case at all,” Macosko said. “I am not distributing for profit. Everyone must have their prescriptions, otherwise I tell them where to go.”
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