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Medical Marijuana Activist Drops Lawsuit

Angel Raich, the well-known activist, who had been crusading for the right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes has dropped her lawsuit against the federal government.

"I've lost all faith in the judicial system, I don't understand how somebody can lose their constitutional right to life in this country," she said Thursday. "It's been really, really hard for me these last few months, and I wasn't happy about having to give up the case.

"But I'm really having a hard time medically speaking right now - my brain tumor has finally started causing damage and I have to start radiation treatment in a couple of weeks at Stanford," she explained, adding she's lost some sensation in the left side of her face, including problems with blinking, chewing and swallowing.

But she also insisted she was not giving up as yet and that she would now lobby with the Congress.

She said she's talking with lawyers and lawmakers about drafting "a right-to-life, medical necessity sort of bill. It's basically going to protect the sickest of the sick, and it's going to be narrow because there are other bills already out there." She's also continuing her work with medical-marijuana advocacy groups, and she'll go to Washington, D.C., later this month on her mission. Besides the brain tumor, Raich, a 41-year-old mother of two, and from Oakland, California, suffers from scoliosis, a wasting syndrome, fibromyalgia, an arthritis-related condition characterized by generalized muscular pain and fatigue and a host of other ailments.

Raich and Diane Monson of Oroville plus two unnamed providers sued the government in October 2002 to prevent any interference with their medical marijuana use.

A federal judge in San Francisco rejected their arguments in March 2003, but a 9th Circuit appeal panel later reversed that ruling, agreeing that the US Congress could regulate only interstate commerce and that Californians' medical marijua
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