U.S. v. Harper, No. 75--2993

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CHAMBERS and WRIGHT; PER CURIAM
Citation530 F.2d 828
Decision Date09 February 1976
Docket NumberNo. 75--2993
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Ronald Lee HARPER, Defendant-Appellant.

Page 828

530 F.2d 828
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Ronald Lee HARPER, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 75--2993.
United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.
Feb. 9, 1976.
Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc
Denied March 25, 1976.

Michael Pancer (argued), San Diego, Cal., for defendant-appellant.

Bruce R. Castetter, Asst. U.S. Atty. (argued), San Diego, Cal., for plaintiff-appellee.

OPINION

Before CHAMBERS and WRIGHT, Circuit Judges, and EAST, * Senior District Judge.

PER CURIAM.

We affirm the conviction of petitioner Ronald Lee Harper for possession and dispensing of cocaine, rejecting his sole contention on appeal that the classification of cocaine as a Schedule II narcotic drug under 21 U.S.C. § 812(c) is arbitrary and irrational.

Numerous district courts have recently dealt with this argument. United States v. Amidzich, 396 F.Supp. 1140, 1147 (E.D.Wis.1975); United States v. Hobbs, 392 F.Supp. 444, 446 (D.Mass.1975); United States v. DiLaura, 394 F.Supp. 770, 773 (D.Mass.1974); United States v. Brookins, 383 F.Supp. 1212, 1217 (D.N.J.1974). In all cases, the courts expressed the opinion that Congress had acted upon a constitutionally 'rational basis' according to the test of United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144, 153--4, 58 S.Ct. 778, 784, 82 L.Ed. 1234, 1242 (1938), in so classifying cocaine for the purpose of imposing penalties. See also United States v. Smaldone, 484 F.2d 311, 319--20 (10th Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 915, 94 S.Ct. 1411, 39 L.Ed.2d 469 (1974) and United States v. Miller, 387 F.Supp. 1097, 1098 (D.Conn.1975), where slightly different reasoning nonetheless led the courts to the same conclusion that Congress had not acted arbitrarily.

Petitioner's reliance upon the district court's decision in United States v. Castro, 401 F.Supp. 120 (N.D.Ill.1975), is misplaced. The court found no fundamental right of defendant involved 1 and therefore reasoned that the 'rational basis' test of Carolene, supra, must be applied. The court then cited the language of Brookins, supra, observing that continuing medical debate, potential for societal harm, and general uncertainty as to whether Congress classified cocaine on more of a penal or medical basis, were grounds that could constitute the required rational basis for sustaining the statute. Although sympathetic to the argument that cocaine was misclassified as a narcotic, the court concluded that the consideration of any unresolved questions was...

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23 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Whitley, Nos. 83-5428
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • May 2, 1984
    ...States v. Lustig, 555 F.2d 737, 750 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 926, 98 S.Ct. 408, 54 L.Ed.2d 285 (1977); United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 820, 97 S.Ct. 66, 50 L.Ed.2d 80 In the instant case, the government established by expert testimony that ......
  • Wolkind v. Selph, Civ. A. No. 79-0311-R.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • July 2, 1980
    ...1045, 98 S.Ct. 889, 54 L.Ed.2d 796 (1978); United States v. Marshall, 532 F.2d 1279, 1278-88 (9th Cir. 1976); United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir.), cert. denied 429 U.S. 820, 97 S.Ct. 66, 50 L.Ed.2d 80 (1976); United States v. Foss, 501 F.2d 522, 530 (1st Cir. 1974); United Stat......
  • U.S. v. Davis, No. 76-3720
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 11, 1977
    ...v. Piatti, supra, 416 F.Supp. at 1205-1206, to be convincing and consistent with our conclusion herein. Cf. United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir. Appellant's second argument is that he cannot be charged with distributing a controlled substance under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) for two reas......
  • U.S. v. Marshall, No. 74-3038
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • March 24, 1976
    ...and not (to) the courts." United States v. Rodriguez-Camacho, 468 F.2d 1220, 1222 (9th Cir. 1972); United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir. XIII. Conclusion. Having considered the issues raised by Marshall on appeal and finding no merit in them, the judgment of the district cour......
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23 cases
  • U.S. v. Whitley, Nos. 83-5428
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • May 2, 1984
    ...States v. Lustig, 555 F.2d 737, 750 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 926, 98 S.Ct. 408, 54 L.Ed.2d 285 (1977); United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 820, 97 S.Ct. 66, 50 L.Ed.2d 80 In the instant case, the government established by expert testimony that ......
  • Wolkind v. Selph, Civ. A. No. 79-0311-R.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • July 2, 1980
    ...1045, 98 S.Ct. 889, 54 L.Ed.2d 796 (1978); United States v. Marshall, 532 F.2d 1279, 1278-88 (9th Cir. 1976); United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir.), cert. denied 429 U.S. 820, 97 S.Ct. 66, 50 L.Ed.2d 80 (1976); United States v. Foss, 501 F.2d 522, 530 (1st Cir. 1974); United Stat......
  • U.S. v. Davis, No. 76-3720
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 11, 1977
    ...v. Piatti, supra, 416 F.Supp. at 1205-1206, to be convincing and consistent with our conclusion herein. Cf. United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir. Appellant's second argument is that he cannot be charged with distributing a controlled substance under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) for two reas......
  • U.S. v. Marshall, No. 74-3038
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • March 24, 1976
    ...and not (to) the courts." United States v. Rodriguez-Camacho, 468 F.2d 1220, 1222 (9th Cir. 1972); United States v. Harper, 530 F.2d 828 (9th Cir. XIII. Conclusion. Having considered the issues raised by Marshall on appeal and finding no merit in them, the judgment of the district cour......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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