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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
Alberto R. Gonzales v. Angel McClary Raich
Citation:545 U.S. 1 (2005)
California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996 created an exemption from criminal prosecution for physicians, patients, and primary caregivers who possess or grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Act conflicted with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which banned the possession of marijuana. Plaintiffs Angel Raich and Diane Monson were both told by their physicians that marijuana was the only drug available to provide effective treatment for their conditions. Monson cultivated her own marijuana while Raich relied on two caregivers to provide her with marijuana.
Federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized and destroyed all of Monson’s cannabis plants, although county officials found them to be lawful under California law. Raich and Monson sued the Attorney General of California and the head of the DEA seeking the prohibition of the enforcement of the CSA. They argued that enforcing the CSA against them would violate the Commerce Clause, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution, and the doctrine of medical necessity.
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