LOS ANGELES – The Supreme Court's May ruling allowing authorities to bring federal drug charges against medical marijuana sellers and users has no impact on the laws of eight states where it's legal.
So smokers and cannabis club owners in states like California are left wondering whether they will be busted by the Feds, or be left alone by the local authorities.
"It's quite confusing," said Doug Owsley of the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.
"The letter of the law is of course you cannot possess marijuana, period. The spirit of the law at least throughout California, is they believe there is a medical purpose."
It will be up to the federal authorities, not state prosecutors, to enforce the decision. So far, they have not said how they will proceed, or whom they may target.
"It's the federal government that's out of touch with people here," said Rob Raich of the Oakland Cannibas Club.
"Patients need access to this medicine and if they don't get it then they'll go into the streets, back alleys and parks to obtain it."
Two cannabis clubs out of a dozen in California have closed since May. Medical marijuana users are waiting to see how the Supreme Court's ruling with further affect them, if at all.
"I think they're starting to realize we're not talking about medicine, we're talking about the legalization of an addictive mind altering drug," said Calvina Fay of the Drug Free America Foundation.
"We were pleased with the ruling."