Filed 2/20/01: MAPS/MPP US Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Brief
US v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative/Medical Marijuana Case

Read the MAPS/MPP Amicus Curiae Brief (in PDF)
Read the Other Briefs

MAPS and the Marijuana Policy Project worked together to prepare this Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief. Amicus Curiae briefs are filed by parties who are not directly involved in the litigation but have an interest in the outcome. The Court does not have to take these briefs into consideration but can do so if they wish. To help prepare the brief, MAPS obtained the pro-bono services of Cheryl Flax-Davidson, an attorney with extensive experience preparing Amicus Curiae briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court.

The brief is from the Marijuana Policy Project (Rob Kampia and Chuck Thomas both made major contributions to the text) and Rick Doblin, PhD. Since the issue before the court is concerning marijuana, we decided that it would be best not to list MAPS as a formal sponsor, since the word "psychedelic" would have been listed on the title page of the brief. Rather we have listed Rick Doblin personally, instead of the organization.

The brief is also signed by Dr. Ethan Russo, with whom MAPS worked for years in an unsuccessful effort to obtain permission to conduct FDA-approved research into the use of marijuana in treatment-resistant migraine patients. FDA approved Dr. Russo's protocol but NIDA refused to supply the marijuana. As a result, Dr. Russo's study never took place. We have tried to turn our frustrating experience with NIDA to the advantage of medical marijuana patients by letting the U.S. Supreme Court know that the FDA drug development process is politically obstructed. Our brief's basic point is that these obstructions create more of a need for the medical necessity defense for patients who run into conflict with the police over their use of marijuana as medicine.

We will update this page once the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court is announced.