GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al. v. RAICH et al., 545 U.S. ---Subscribe to Cases that cite 03-1454
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GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al. v. RAICH et al.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
No. 03-1454.Argued November 29, 2004--Decided June 6, 2005
California's Compassionate Use Act authorizes limited marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Respondents Raich and Monson are California residents who both use doctor-recommended marijuana for serious medical conditions. After federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents seized and destroyed all six of Monson's cannabis plants, respondents brought this action seeking injunctive and declaratory relief prohibiting the enforcement of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to the extent it prevents them from possessing, obtaining, or manufacturing cannabis for their personal medical use. Respondents claim that enforcing the CSA against them would violate the Commerce Clause and other constitutional provisions. The District Court denied respondents' motion for a preliminary injunction, but the Ninth Circuit reversed, finding that they had demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the claim that the CSA is an unconstitutional exercise of Congress' Commerce Clause authority as applied to the intrastate, noncommercial cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal medical purposes as recommended by a patient's physician pursuant to valid California state law. The court relied heavily on United States v. Lopez, 514 U. S. 549, and United States v. Morrison, 529 U. S. 598, to hold that this separate class of purely local activities was beyond the reach of federal power.
Held: Congress' Commerce Clause authority includes the power to prohibit the local cultivation and use of marijuana in compliance with California law. Pp. 6-31.