Published May 18, 2009
The Supreme Court announced Monday it will not get involved in a dispute over California's medical marijuana law.
The case presented a direct conflict to the justices of California's Compassionate Use Act which its detractors say contravenes federal laws prohibiting drug use. A California appeals court ruled last summer that the state's medical marijuana law does not preempt a federal drug ban. Monday's decision by the high court effectively affirms that ruling.
Thirteen states have laws allowing for the limited use of marijuana. California's law allows for individuals and their caregivers to "possess, cultivate and transport" marijuana as long as it used for medical purposes. Local officials in San Diego objected and filed a lawsuit saying the state law violates the federal Controlled Substances Act.
In its argument to the Court, the local officials said the California law is contrary to federal efforts to limit drug use. They argued "it is inevitable that marijuana originally grown for medicinal use will fall into the hands of recreational drug users."
California joined a handful of pro-Marijuana groups in asking the Court to not take the case. They argued the specifics of this case made it a "poor vehicle" for the high court to use in deciding such a controversial issue.