Case Analysis


In the case Gonzales v. Raich Supreme Court. The plaintiffs in this case were Angel Raich and Diane Monson who are California residents who had been using medical marijuana as part of their doctors’ recommendations for dealing with their serious medical conditions. The defendants for this case were the attorney general of the United States and the head of the DEA. 

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The plaintiff had been growing and using medical marijuana as part of their doctors’ recommendations for dealing with their serious medical conditions. They had been doing this, full compliance of the state law. Under the Compassionate Act of 1996, voters in California had allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes to the State’s resident who were medically ill. Despite their compliance to the State’s law, the federal agents seized and destroyed their cannabis plants. The suit brought against the attorney general and head of DEA sought to acquire a restrain on the use of federal Control Substances Act (CSA) in a manner that it would prevent them from having, acquiring, or manufacturing cannabis for their personal medical use. 


The plaintiff indicated that in their case, the using the CSA was exceeding the Congressional power as was granted by the constitution granting Congress power to regulate interstate commerce. The plaintiff case was that their marijuana growing and consumption as intra-state and not of commercial use. The district court had denied the respondent’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The Courts of Appeal for the 9th circuit reversed and ordered for a preliminary injunction. The United States appealed against this position.


The plaintiffs’ position was that state-sanctioned personal cultivation of physician-recommended medical marijuana amounted to purely intra-state, legal, and non-commercial activity and that Congress lacked the power to prohibit such conduct. The issues indicated that application of CSA amounted to an unlawful exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, which authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

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