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Autumn 2005
Journal of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group

An Unusual Apology

"The uncontradicted evidence in the record indicated that marijuana did provide important therapeutic benefits." --John Paul Stevens

"Apology: something said or written in defense or justification of what appears to others to be wrong."
--Webster's New international Dictionary, 2nd Edition

U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has issued an apology for the majority opinion he wrote in the Raich case. Addressing the Clark County, Nevada, Bar Association August 18. Stevens acknowledged that his votes in four cases decided last session would cause real harm to large groups of people. "In each case I was convinced that the law compelled a result that I would have opposed if I were a legislator," he revealed.

"...The fourth case in which I was unhappy about the consequences of an opinion I authored presented the question owhether the use of locally grown marijuana for medicinal purposes pursuant to the advice of a competent physician may be punished as a federal crime.

The uncontradicted evidence in the record indicated that marijuana did provide important therapeutic benefits to the two petitioners, that no other medicine was effective, and that without access to that drug one of the petitioners may not survive.

"Moreover, their cultivation and use of marijuana for health reasons was perfectly lawful as a matter of California law. I have no hesitation in telling you that I agree with the policy choice made by the millions of California voters, as well as the voters in at least nine other States (including Nevada), that such use of the drug should be permitted, and that I disagree with executive decisions to invoke criminal sanctions to punish such use.

"Moreover, as I noted in a footnote to our opinion, Judge Kozenski has chronicled medical studies that cast serious doubt on Congress' assessment that marijuana has no accepted medical uses.

"Nevertheless, those policy preferences obviously could not play any part in the analysis of the constitutional issue that the case raised. Unless we were to revert to a narrow interpretation of Congress' power to regulate commerce among States that has been consistently rejected since the Great Depression of the 1930s, in my judgement our duty to uphold the application of the federal statute was pellucidly clear."

O'Shaughnessy's is the journal of the CCRMG/SCC. Our primary goals are the same as the stated goals of any reputable scientific publication: to bring out findings that are accurate, duplicable, and useful to the community at large. But in order to do this, we have to pursue parallel goals such as removing the impediments to clinical research created by Prohibition, and educating our colleagues, co-workers and patients as we educate ourselves about the medical uses of cannabis.
The Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC) was formed in the Autumn of 2004 by the member physicians of CCRMG to aid in the promulgation of voluntary standards for clinicians engaged in the recommendation and approval of cannabis under California law (HSC §11362.5).

As the collaborative effort continues to move closer to issueing guidelines, this site serves as a public venue for airing and discussing these guidelines.

Visit the SCC Site for more information.