California Woman, Kept Alive With Marijuana, Again Declared A Potential Federal Criminal

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Angel Raich has an inoperable brain tumor, a seizure disorder, scoliosis, severe chronic pain, chronic nausea, and some other ailments that leave her unable to eat and cause her to be officially dying. You may recall that, five years ago, the 41-year-old Oakland woman sued then-U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft and the federal government over her right to use medical marijuana, which is legal in California. According to her doctors, she will die without it. According to a federal appeals court, she can drop dead.

The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such in which medical marijuana is legal. Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled that Raich and her suppliers could be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws. However, the court left open the possibility that if Raich were arrested, her attorneys may be able to mount a “medical necessity defense.”

Raich says she will continue to smoke and eat marijuana.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate