This week the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a patient-run cannabis growing collective in Santa Cruz, California, won a preliminary injunction from a federal judge barring the U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration from interfering with its operations. The group, which was raided by the DEA in 2002, is seeking a permanent injunction, relying on a decision last December by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which said the Controlled Substances Act "is likely unconstitutional" when applied to medical marijuana users in states that recognize trhe drug as a medicine.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 9th Circuit's ruling, which was based on the Court's decisions seeking to put limits on Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause. If the Court agrees to hear the case (as seems likely, given the implications for federal drug law enforcement), it will have to choose between curtailing the war on drugs and explaining why possessing pot in one's home is closer to interstate commerce than possessing a gun in a school is. At the very least, it should be entertaining.