JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Federal court rules Montana medical marijuana law does not shield providers from federal prosecution
Katherine Getty at 10:26 AM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] A federal judge in the US District Court for the District of Montana [official website] on Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] that the state's medical marijuana [JURIST archive] law does not protect providers of the drug from federal prosecution. Judge Donald Molloy [official profile] dismissed a civil lawsuit [AP report] brought by 14 medical marijuana providers who had all been raided by federal authorities in the last year. The plaintiffs argued that the federal raids violated their protection under the state law. Molloy, however, found that providers could be prosecuted under federal law, following the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Raich [opinion] in 2005. In that case, the Court held that the Supremacy Clause applies to medical marijuana laws. The Montana law [SB 423, text], which was enacted in 2011, allowed for the cultivation and production of the drug as long as a registration card was obtained. Molloy held that the Supremacy Clause allowed federal law to trump the state law.

Federal courts have been cracking down on state medical marijuana laws recently. Earlier this month the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] was granted a motion to dismiss [JURIST report] a lawsuit brought by the Arizona Governor. The Governor believed an Arizona medical marijuana law placed lawmakers at risk of federal prosecution for implementing the law. In October, medical marijuana advocates filed suit [JURIST report] in a California federal court seeking relief against the federal government for its crackdown on marijuana dispensaries in the state. In June, a judge in Ontario stayed a ruling [JURIST report] finding that the country's marijuana laws were unconstitutional. In January 2010, the California Supreme Court [official website] overturned [JURIST report] a 2003 law limiting the amount of marijuana that may be possessed under the state's Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) [materials].

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 Illinois governor signs bill expanding medical marijuana for seizures
2:31 PM ET, July 21

 Dutch prosecutors open war crimes probe into Malaysia Airlines crash
12:42 PM ET, July 21

 Bahrain files suit to suspend main opposition group
11:30 AM ET, July 21

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org