Court Hears Medical Marijuana Arguments, 12/01/04
1. What was the topic of oral arguments heard this week in the Supreme Court regarding states and the federal government?
2. Describe the basic arguments of both sides in the case - the plaintiffs and the federal government?
3. Who is the main plaintiff in the case? What is her situation?
4. Why did the plaintiff sue the government?
5. What did the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals say about the case?
6. What is federalism? And why is it interesting in this case, according to legal experts?
7. How do some Supreme Court watchers think this issue may be decided?
1. What do you think? Should states that have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana be allowed to do so? Explain your reasoning.
2. Would you or would you want a member of your family to use medicinal marijuana if other treatments did not work well? Why or why not? What would you do if the law did not allow such use?
3. Research some historical Supreme Court cases that have dealt with the commerce clause of the Constitution including Swift v. United States (1905), Wickard v. Filburn (1942), Katzenbach v. McClung (1964) and United States v. Morrison (1995). What do these cases show about the push and pull between the power of states and the power of the federal government? Use specific examples from history.
Write a 500-800 word essay on any of these topics providing clear examples. Send your completed editorial to NewsHour Extra [email@example.com]. Exceptional essays might be published on our Web site.