Medical Marijuana Use Dealt Setback

Associated Press
Thursday, March 15, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, March 14 -- A woman whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive can face federal prosecution on drug charges, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The ruling was the latest legal defeat for Angel Raich, a mother of two from Oakland suffering from scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea and other ailments who sued the government preemptively to avoid being arrested for using the drug. On her doctor's advice, Raich eats or smokes marijuana every two hours to ease her pain.

The Supreme Court ruled against Raich in June 2005, saying medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California, where medical use of the drug is legal.

When told of the decision, Raich, 41, began sobbing. "I'm sure not going to let them kill me," she said.

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