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Community Rights Counsel
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895



CRC News Releases

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2005
CONTACT: Timothy J. Dowling, 202-296-6889

Community Rights Counsel Welcomes Ruling in Gonzales v. Raich,
Notes Favorable Implications for Environmental Safeguards

 


Today, in Gonzales v. Raich, No. 03-1454, the Supreme Court held that Congress can constitutionally regulate the intrastate cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana for personal medicinal use because Congress could reasonably conclude that this activity substantially affects interstate drug markets. The case upholds a broad reading of Congress's power under the Commerce Clause.

The ruling has important implications for challenges to federal environmental protections. For example, in GDF Realty Investments, Ltd. v. Norton, No. 03-1619, a developer is seeking Supreme Court review of a lower court ruling holding that the Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to protect endangered species found only within the borders of a single state.

Timothy J. Dowling, Chief Counsel of Community Rights Counsel, responded favorably to the Raich ruling:

"We sympathize with those who turn to marijuana for relief from serious illness, but we are pleased the court reaffirmed Congress's broad constitutional authority to protect human health, public safety, and community welfare. Today's ruling is a victory for environmental safeguards and other community protections being challenged under the same theory advanced by Mrs. Raich's attorneys."

Community Rights Counsel filed an amicus brief in the case supporting the Attorney General due to the threat an adverse ruling could have posed to federal laws protecting the environment and other vital public concerns.




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