This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Nov. 29, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, 39-year-old Angel Raich (search), she was married and is the mother of two teenagers, has pain every day of her life. Ms. Raich is suffering from scoliosis, brain tumors and near constant nausea, among other things. She says smoking marijuana relieves her pain. And now the Supreme Court is hearing her case, trying to decide whether California's law allowing medical marijuana is constitutional because federal law forbids it.
Joining us now from Washington, where she has been following the situation closely in the Supreme Court chambers, is Ms. Raich.
All right, you smoke marijuana. How much? I mean how much do you use the drug?
ANGEL RAICH, MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENT: I use it every two hours. I use approximately three ounces a week and between eight and nine pounds of cannabis every year.
O'REILLY: OK, so you -- that's a lot of pot that you're smoking. Now does it -- what does it do that say prescription medicine couldn't do?
RAICH: Well, when I was taking prescription drugs, unfortunately, I was having severe side effect, and multiple allergic reactions to it. So the prescription drugs were actually making me vomit. Whereas cannabis not only helps alleviates symptoms, but it also allows me to gain my appetite so that I can take in 2,500 calories a day. It helps me with my pain. It has actually stabilized my brain tumor. So it really is doing a wonderful job of combatting all of my conditions.
And the side effect that I do have from cannabis is that it makes me hungry. And that's the side effects my doctors do want.
O'REILLY: OK. How long have you been doing this regimen every two hours? How long has this been going on?
RAICH: I've been using cannabis since 1997, late 1997. And since probably about 1999, I've been using approximately that much.
O'REILLY: Do you grow your own?
RAICH: I actually have two "John Does" that grow all my cannabis specifically for me in my hometown of Oakland, California.
O'REILLY: Does your doctor write you a prescription every six months? Or how does that work?
RAICH: I get one every year from him.
O'REILLY: Every year?
RAICH: Every year. I see him regularly along with all of my other specialists. So there is quite a communication between my primary care physician, who does recommend cannabis, along with all my other specialists.
O'REILLY: Why did the federal government get involved with your case?
RAICH: Well, I actually sued them because of the fact that when I came to the Supreme Court last time with the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative (search), who was trying to dispense to me, the federal government basically came in and started raiding people in the state of California. And because I have a medical necessity and because I could die without it, I would never have the opportunity to put on a defense. So I went on the offensive.
O'REILLY: All right, so this was a symbolic lawsuit. They weren't coming after you, Ms. Raich. They weren't surrounding your house and demanding that you hand over your pot.
RAICH: No, they have never raided me. However, they have raided one of my co-plaintiffs.
O'REILLY: OK. Now I got a call from a guy in Bakersfield, California on the "Radio Factor" today. And I believe this guy. And he said you know what they're doing in Bakersfield? They've got a clinic. And there's inside the clinic, there's a doctor. And you go in there. And he gives you a prescription much like the one that you have for $150. He just writes it out. You say, doctor, I have a headache or I have this or I have that. He doesn't give you an exam. Just writes the prescription. OK?
And then right next door to this office is a place where you go and they have pot for you. It's like, you know, $150 per pop. And anybody can walk in and do it. That's the problem here, that people like you, who need it, and it helps, are exploited by people who just want to get high in a back door legalization way are using the medical marijuana situation.
RAICH: Yes. That's actually a very good question. I can tell you that I personally haven't heard of any of those types of cases, but I can tell you that if that person was obtaining a recommendation without proper documentation, the doctor would probably be sanctioned by the medical board.
O'REILLY: I don't know. It's a "Dr. Feelgood" type situation. You know how some doctors are -- they'll give you a prescription for anything. You walk in and say, hey I got a crick in my neck and you got Xanax (search).
That's what's going on. And I believe it is going on. And there lies the problem is that the federal government is afraid, hey, you open this door and you're going to get these things all over the place, unscrupulous doctors for $150 a pop, who will be writing these things out.
You saw what the Supreme Court heard today. You want to make a prediction on it?
RAICH: You know, I think it's going to be very interesting. I feel confident that the justices did a very good job of taking the case under consideration. I also feel that it was very clear that the justices also looked at people with life-threatening conditions, as myself.
RAICH: And I think that there's a good possibility that they may craft a narrow decision for us.
O'REILLY: Yes, I do, too. And we hope you get better. And thank you, Ms. Raich, for coming on and talking to us.
RAICH: Thank you so very much for having me on your show. Thank you.
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