256 U.S. 41 (1921), 224, Minnesota ex Rel. Whipple v. Martinson

Docket Nº:No. 224
Citation:256 U.S. 41, 41 S.Ct. 425, 65 L.Ed. 819
Party Name:Minnesota ex Rel. Whipple v. Martinson
Case Date:April 11, 1921
Court:United States Supreme Court

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256 U.S. 41 (1921)

41 S.Ct. 425, 65 L.Ed. 819

Minnesota ex Rel. Whipple



No. 224

United States Supreme Court

April 11, 1921

Argued March 17, 1921




1. Minnesota Laws, 1915, c. 260, regulating the administration, sale and possession of morphine and other narcotic drugs, held consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 45.

2. The presence in the law of a provision interpreted by the state courts as forbidding physicians to furnish these drugs to drug addicts otherwise than through prescriptions does not bring it into

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conflict with the federal "Anti-Narcotic" Revenue Act, not containing such restriction, since it does not prevent enforcement of the federal act. P. 45.

144 Minn. 20 affirmed.

Writ of error to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Minnesota which affirmed an order of a trial court of the state discharging a writ of habeas corpus sued out by the relator, Whipple, for the purpose of testing the validity of his sentence for violation of the state law concerning hypnotic drugs. The facts are stated in the opinion.

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DAY, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the opinion of the Court.

The relator was convicted of a violation of a statute of the State of Minnesota providing against the evils resulting from traffic in certain habit-forming narcotic drugs, and regulating the administration, sale, and possession thereof. Laws Minn.1915, c. 260.

The Minnesota statute, in § 1, forbids the sale of morphine and certain other narcotic drugs, with the provision that licensed pharmacists may fill orders for the same to a consumer pursuant to the written prescription of a physician, which must be dated on the day on which it is signed, and bear the signature and address of the physician and the name of the person for whose use it is intended. It must be serially numbered, dated, and filed in the prescription file of the compounder, and retained there for two years, open for inspection by the authorities. Prescriptions may be filled but once, and no copy may be given, except to an officer of the law, and the drug must be delivered in a container labeled with the serial number of

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the prescription, with the date when filled and the name of the person for whose use the medicine is intended, the name of the...

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