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18/15/1995 i_;89 51884£3974 AGOGINO PAGE _I/_5
Cancer patient should get marijuana,
BS,' Elaine Ported]eld
The News Tribune
A cancer patient should be ailowed to get marijuana fi_orn his doctor, a
Pierce County judge ruled FFrid&y0
The decision may be a first far the nation, according to iaws_ers toy both
Superior Court Judge Rosarme Buckner toJd the court that Ralph
Seeiey's need to use mar/juana as medicine w_s more important than
the state's interest h_ oufla_sung its prescziption.
Her rulhlg doesn't mean that _Seeley or others are h_ee to rush to their
doctors for manj _ana) because federal law still pn)hibits i t.s prescliptJ on,
mid it would take a U,S. Supreme Court decision to change that.
But proponcnts of the medicinal use of the drT_? say i t is an important
legal step _br them°
"[ think, practically speaking, the effect is to put prosecutions for
medical marijuana use on hold, "Seeley said,
MeIissa Btzrke-Cain, an assistant attorney general who argued to up
hold the state law, said, "We were surprised by the ruling. I expect we
Seeley. a Tacoma lawyer, has suffered from a rare fon_ of bone cancer
for the past rune years. He said B_zckner's i_aiing in his civil law,suit
shcr_ed "inteli ect_aal and political courage."
Laws, mr Jeffrcy Steinbom of Seattle, who has represented a number of
clients in medical rnarijuaaa cases, called the _ling significant.
"1 think it's going to open the door to a new wave of attempts to make .>-.--,..
this a legntimate medicine," said Stembom, _o Js a friend of Seeley's.
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