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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

US Supreme Court Denies Argument Against Medical Marijuana

May 19, 2009

The US Supreme Court on Monday announced it would refuse to hear any further challenges to California’s Compassionate Use Act, which allows patients to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes based on a doctor’s recommendation.

Both San Diego and San Bernardino counties had argued that federal law banning the use of marijuana should have precedence over the California state law that permits its use and cultivation. Both counties have refused to issue cards that allow patients to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The act was introduced and passed as a California ballot proposition on the November 5, 1996 ballot.

Twelve other states have laws with similar provisions.

Critics of the act say the drug has no medical value and should be illegal for use and cultivation. Meanwhile, backers of the provision argue that marijuana can help patients with chronic illnesses seek pain relief.

According to the Associated Press: “A state appeals court ruled that ID card laws “Ëœdo not pose a significant impediment’ to the federal Controlled Substances Act because that law is designed to “Ëœcombat recreational drug use, not to regulate a state’s medical practices.’”

“It is inevitable that marijuana originally grown for medicinal use will fall into the hands of recreational drug users,” the two counties argued, adding that the state’s decision to allow the use of marijuana was a contradiction of the ban put in place by Congress in 1970.

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