News Extra [these Stories Appear Only On The Web]

US judges rule against medical use of marijuana

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 26 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1270
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. San Francisco

    The US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously against the medical use of marijuana, finding, by eight to nil, that because it is an illegal substance in federal law, no exceptions can be made, even for its medicinal use.

    The court rejected the arguments brought by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, which argued for compassionate exceptions in medical cases.

    Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that “the Federal Controlled Substances Act, while authorising the medical use of some drugs that generally cannot be bought and sold, makes no exception whatever for marijuana.”

    He added that marijuana had no currently accepted medical use according to the Controlled Substances Act.

    The Supreme Court's decision deals a serious blow to the medical marijuana movement and pits federal against state laws. It comes at a time when marijuana is gaining broad acceptance as a medicinal substance.

    The drive to legalise marijuana for medicinal purposes …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription