Federal Appeals Court Backs Medicinal Marijuana Use
February 15 2004 1:00 AM ET
A three-judge panel of the ninth U.S. circuit court of appeals, in San Francisco, ruled 2-1 in December that the federal ban on medicinal marijuana use in states with laws permitting its use falls outside the government's jurisdiction. The ruling says the ban cannot be applied to people who use the drug under a physician's advice to treat symptoms of AIDS and other ailments as long as the marijuana is not sold, transported across state lines, or used for nonmedicinal purposes.
The court's ruling affects six other states under its jurisdiction'Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Alaska, and Hawaii'all of which also have medicinal marijuana laws. The case is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in May 2001 ruled that there is no exemption in federal controlled substances laws for the cultivation, possession, or use of medicinal marijuana.