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Appeals Court Ruling: DOJ Can't Prosecute Medical Marijuana Cases

Image: Appeals Court Ruling: DOJ Can't Prosecute Medical Marijuana Cases

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By    |   Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016 02:27 PM

The Ninth Circuit's U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that the Department of Justice could not prosecute medical marijuana suppliers in states where it's legal, as long as no laws were otherwise broken.

ABC News reported that the department has been ordered to show that 10 pending cases in California and Washington state broke laws in those states.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law — the court of appeals rejected the Justice Department's idea applied only to states, not individuals who provide medical marijuana to patients.

The appeals court disagreed, saying that all federal marijuana defendants can have hearings where they can try to prove that their actions were legal according to state law, according to Reason.com

Marijuana activists and lawyers that represent medical marijuana suppliers said the ruling adds to what they say is a growing call to legalize the drug. Marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in 25 states and the District of Columbia, and is on the ballot in ten states for the November election.

The Obama administration announced that marijuana will stay on the list of dangerous drugs, but the administration will allow more research into the drug's medical applications.

The Drug Enforcement Agency said marijuana stays on the list and will remain illegal because it has a "high potential for abuse."

Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer said that the Justice Department has not been quick to notice that lawmakers want prosecutors to pursue organized drug rings, not medicinal marijuana sellers.

"Congress is increasingly united in the recognition that we should not interfere with what states are doing with medical marijuana," Blumenauer said.

In July, Republican delegates chose not to support medical marijuana in the party's official platform, according to The Huffington Post

Earlier, the Democratic Party endorsed a "pathway" that would eventually lead to legalization for the drug, according to The Washington Post

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The Ninth Circuit's U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that the Department of Justice could not prosecute medical marijuana suppliers in states where it's legal, as long as no laws were otherwise broken.
marijuana, pot, department of justice, states, federal
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2016-27-17
Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016 02:27 PM
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