U.S. prosecutors dealt setback in medical marijuana cases
(This August 16 story has been corrected to say that the upcoming ballot measures are for medical use of marijuana, in paragraphs 2 and 7)
By Dan Levine
(Reuters) – 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 or medical 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.
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