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November 30, 2004

Prediction: 8-1 on medical marijuana

You heard it here first: the Supreme Court will vote 8-1 to reject California's effort to legalize the medical use of marijuana.  Only Justice Clarence Thomas will vote to uphold the California law.  Thomas is the only Justice to have openly advocated that the Court abandon its expansive Commerce Clause jurisprudence that has been in place since the New Deal.  In this case, he will conclude that even if those cases are not overruled (as he believes they should be), growing marijuana for personal medical use cannot be regulated by the federal government on the theory that it affects interstate commerce.  Everyone else will more or less go along with the feds' argument, despite some misgivings expressed at oral argument.

There is an excellent summary of and commentary on the oral argument here, and additional commentaries here (by the lawyer who argued for California) and here.  (Hat tip to the Volokh Conspiracy for these links.)

Posted by David at 11:55 AM in Law and Lawyers | Permalink


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