Prosecutors Defend Constitutionality of Federal Drug Law

By: AP
By: AP

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Prosecutors are defending federal drug laws used to charge a Kansas physician with illegally prescribing narcotic painkillers linked to 56 overdose deaths.

In court documents filed Wednesday, prosecutors spurn defense arguments seeking dismissal of charges against Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, on the basis that federal drug laws don't meet constitutional muster.

Defense attorneys are challenging the Controlled Substances Act as unconstitutionally vague. They say it fails to tell physicians what conduct is illegal and it criminalizes medical decisions.

But prosecutors cited previous court rulings supporting their contention that the CSA allows Congress to regulate medical practice by barring doctors from writing prescriptions as a way to engage in illicit drug dealing.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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