The Gonzales V. Raich

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Gonzales v. Raich was a landmark case which determined the extent that Congress could regulate marijuana usage in California. More precisely, the case involves deliberation between the constitutionality of the Compassionate Use Act, voted on by the state of California in 1996, and the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), passed by Congress in 1970. Does the CSA, a policy which permits the regulation of certain drugs and chemicals by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), exceed the regulations set under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution? Does the Compassionate Use Act, which allows for the use of medical marijuana in California, protect citizen’s rights to use and distribute marijuana for medicinal purposes? The decision made by the Supreme Court would spark debate over these questions as well as similar topics such as federal abuse of power, doctor patient confidentiality, and the decriminalization of marijuana across America. In my paper, I will cover the events and influences leading up to the Supreme Court’s official decision, the significance of the outcome, and the questions and issues brought up in the aftermath of Gonzales v. Raich.
In 1996, California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed for the cultivation and usage of marijuana for limited medical purposes. The proposition was the statewide ballot on the issue of medical marijuana which had been passed. It was enacted with 55% of the population in favor, 45% opposed, a fact which in and of itself

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