January 15, 1997 in Nation/World

Marijuana Patients, Doctors File Suit

Los Angeles Times

A group of doctors and patients filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block the federal government from punishing physicians who recommend marijuana for sick people in their care.

The suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, is a response to Clinton administration plans to fight implementation of California’s medical marijuana initiative, approved by the voters in November.

In the class-action lawsuit unveiled Tuesday, doctors argued that discussions between doctors and patients are protected by the First Amendment.

“When a physician goes into the exam room with a patient and closes the door, the discussion they have should not be encumbered by some government drug czar sitting there and threatening punitive action,” said Dr. Marcus Conant, a well-known AIDS specialist.

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