Pubdate: Fri, 22 Jul 2005
Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)
Copyright: 2005 Fairbanks Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Timothy Inklebarger, The Associated Press
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project ( )
Cited: Gonzales v. Raich ( )


JUNEAU, Alaska -- Alaska Attorney General David Marquez said Thursday 
the state will keep registering medical marijuana users.

Marquez's office said in June that Alaska may suspend medical 
marijuana registration program after a U.S. Supreme Court decision, 
Gonzales v. Raich, gave the federal government the authority to 
override state medical marijuana laws.

Alaska is one of 10 states where marijuana can be used for medicinal 
purposes with a doctor's prescription. About 200 people are 
registered medical marijuana users in Alaska.

"The Raich decision addressed the narrow constitutional question of 
whether the federal government has authority to regulate certain 
types of intrastate activity under the Commerce Clause of the United 
States Constitution," Marquez said in a statement. "Absent a clear 
statement in Raich that federal law pre-empts a state's ability to 
regulate the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes, 
Alaska's registration scheme should continue to remain in effect."

The Marijuana Policy Project, a marijuana legalization advocacy 
group, had threatened to sue if the registration program was discontinued.

Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken said the group hopes 
the announcement sends a message to other states considering 
legalizing medical marijuana that federal law prohibiting it is no 
reason to not establish their own state laws.

Mirken said other state such as California and Oregon also have said 
in recent weeks they will continue their registration programs.

"They've essentially come to the same conclusion that the Raich 
decision changes nothing on the state level," Mirken said.
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MAP posted-by: Beth