Federal court clears DEA confusion on medical marijuana laws

Capelli D'Angelo

English: DEA raid on a medical marijuana dispe...
English: DEA raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in Hollywood, California. Description is from the Flickr photo set. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Business owners in the medical marijuana industry are feeling relief this week after Judge Charles Breyer clarified the meaning of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment.

This amendment bans the Justice Department from using federal funding to prevent dispensaries and grow operations, that are in authorized states, from selling or producing their inventory.


Members of the DEA in California have been interpreting this law a different way. Officers claim the bill only allows the state to participate in the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana; not the customers. According to an article published in the Washington Post, individuals have been issued citations, and one case appealed to the U.S. District Court in California.

“It’s great to see the judicial branch finally starting to hold the Justice Department accountable for its willful violation of Congress’s intent to end federal interference with state medical marijuana laws,” said Tom Angell, a member of Marijuana Majority.

Judge Breyer determined it was unnecessary to reconsider this sort of case, and followed precedent. Courts rarely revisit similar cases, they develop common law over time and follow rulings of the past, known as precedent.

To read more about this court ruling, read the full article.