LOS ANGELES – Diane Monson and Angel Raich grow and smoke their own marijuana (search). Yet because they get high on the recommendation of their doctors, the state of California considers them law-abiding citizens.
But the federal government still calls them criminals.
In 2002, the federal government, under order from Attorney General John Ashcroft (search), raided Mondon and Raich's pot gardens and cut down their plants.
"I resent the federal government trying to turn me into a criminal on this issue, I am not a criminal," Monson said.
The two filed a lawsuit and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (search) ruled in their favor. Now, supporters are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court (search) will uphold that ruling. The court is expected to take up the issue on Monday.
The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to send a clear message to the 11 states where medical marijuana is legal: federal drug laws trump state powers. But medicinal marijuana advocates say so long as the pot does not cross state lines, the government should stay out of it.
A similar case went before the Supreme Court in 2001 when the Oakland Canabis Club argued that medical necessity exempted them from federal drug laws. The court unanimously rejected that claim.
Anti-drug activists say medical marijuana hasn't been proven effective and is no more than a back door to legalizing pot.
"When you look at who the forces are that are really behind this movement, they're people who've been advocating for legalization of marijuana without reference to the medical component," said Joe Russenello, a former U.S. attorney in San Francisco.
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Trace Gallagher.