Document:California Press Release 29 August 2000 Supreme Court Medical Marijuana Decision a Death Sentence

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14547 Titus Street, Suite 214
Panorama City, CA 91402
For immediate release: August 29, 2000
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 782-8400

Libertarians: Supreme Court medical marijuana decision a "death sentence"

PANORAMA CITY -- A Supreme Court order handed down today barring the distribution of medical marijuana to sick and suffering patients in California is tantamount to a death sentence for those patients, the Libertarian Party of California charged today.

According to the Associated Press, the court voted 7-1 to grant an emergency Clinton administration request and postpone the effect of a prior federal court ruling that permitted the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative (OCBC) to distribute medical marijuana to patients.

"How many more have to die before the government opens its eyes to the suffering it is needlessly causing?" asked Libertarian state executive director Juan Ros.

"The Supreme Court has demonstrated a lack of compassion, a lack of understanding, and a lack of knowledge of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution."

On July 17, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer -- brother of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer -- reversed his own 1998 injunction and ruled that the OCBC could distribute medical marijuana to patients under Proposition 215, the landmark ballot initiative approved by voters in 1996.

The U.S. Justice Department had asked the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of Breyer's ruling. Justice John Paul Stevens was the lone dissenter on the Court. Justice Breyer disqualified himself from the case.

The result of the Supreme Court's decision is to indefinitely bar the OCBC and other medical marijuana distribution centers from providing life-saving medicine to sick patients.

"The War on Drugs continues to escalate and has evolved into a War on the Sick, a War on the Dying, and a War on the Constitution," Ros added.

The Supreme Court decision comes as the medical marijuana trial of 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby and his wife Michele opens in Auburn. The Kubbys were arrested in January 1999, following a raid of their Olympic Valley home. Both Kubbys face state marijuana charges despite being patients protected under Proposition 215.

"The death of Peter McWilliams was not enough. The continued persecution of Steve and Michele Kubby is not enough. Despite the odds, Libertarians will continue to fight for the rights of patients until this insane War on Drugs is finally laid to rest," Ros concluded.