Federal Court Rules Department of Justice Must Respect State Medical Cannabis Laws

By RetuersDepartment of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice cannot spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants comply with state guidelines that permit the drug’s sale for medical purposes, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, comes as voters in nine more states will consider allowing the recreational use of marijuana this November.

Twenty-five U.S. states currently allow for medical marijuana. While the sale of the drug is still illegal under federal law, Congress in 2014 passed a budget rule which prohibits the DOJ from using federal funds to interfere in the implementation of state marijuana regulations.

Read moreFederal Court Rules Department of Justice Must Respect State Medical Cannabis Laws

U.S. Justice Department Says It Will Ignore Congress and Prosecute People for Medical Cannabis

By Drug Policy Alliance

Congress Passed One-Year Amendment in December Prohibiting Justice Department from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws; Members of both Parties Sought to Stop Prosecutions and Let States Set Their Own Medical Marijuana Policies

Adoj spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) told the Los Angeles Times that a bi-partisan amendment passed by Congress last year prohibiting DOJ from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws doesn’t prevent it from prosecuting people for medical marijuana or seizing their property. The statement comes as the agency continues to target people who are complying with their state medical marijuana law. This insubordination is occurring despite the fact that members of Congress in both parties were clear that their intent with the amendment was to protect medical marijuana patients and providers from federal prosecution and forfeiture.

Read moreU.S. Justice Department Says It Will Ignore Congress and Prosecute People for Medical Cannabis