Medical Marijuana Activist Raich Drops Federal Lawsuit

May 09, 2007

, KTVU (San Francisco)

An Oakland mother of two who smokes or eats marijuana every few hours to ease chronic pain said Thursday she would quit her losing legal battle in federal court to legally take the drug.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in March that Angel Raich can't be shielded from federal prosecution, despite her claim that marijuana is the only viable option to treat her life-threatening maladies, which include scoliosis, a brain tumor and chronic nausea.

The U.S. Supreme Court also ruled against Raich two years ago, saying medical marijuana users and their suppliers can be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they live in states such as California where medical pot is legal.

Raich's case was still barely alive in the trial court, where her only remaining legal option was to argue that marijuana was her last resort to stay alive -- known as the "medical necessity defense."

On Thursday, Raich said she would drop her lawsuit.

"I've lost all faith in the judicial system," she said. "Right now I need to concentrate on my health."

She said once she recovers, she will renew her battle for legal medical marijuana on Capitol Hill.



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