Washington, DC (March 27, 2001) -- Nine states with more than one-fifth of the U.S. population have passed laws approving the use of medical marijuana, eight of them by initiative petition. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument on whether federal law trumps California's law, passed in 1996.
"It's a fundamental issue of individual liberty and quality of life, " said John Wesley Hall, a board member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers who co-wrote an amicus curiae brief in support of the California law on behalf of NACDL and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "Marijuana has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of patients suffering from cancer and AIDS, for whom other drugs don't work. The voters and the general public are overwhelmingly sympathetic. Without a compelling reason to do so, the federal government has no business telling patients they can't get relief."
Polls listed in an appendix to the NACDL/NORML brief, taken from 1995 to 2000 by Gallup, CBS, ABC, and CNN, among others, show public support for medical marijuana ranging from 58 percent to more than 95 percent.
Hall, a criminal defense lawyer in Little Rock, compares use of medical marijuana to the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use in its effect on the federal government's drug law enforcement. "The government's ability to prosecute those who import, grow and deal marijuana has been unimpeded by Proposition 215 [the California medical marijuana law]," Hall argues in the NACDL/NORML brief. "Marijuana arrests have risen in California since Proposition 215 and the decriminalization of possession of small amounts, while bona fide patients have gained security from the publicly regulated access to the medicine they need."
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.
NACDL Communications Department
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.