State Pot Laws Not Pre-Empted By Federal Laws

     (CN) – California’s medical marijuana laws are not pre-empted by the federal Controlled Substances Act, a California appeals court ruled.

     The city of Anaheim had passed an ordinance outlawing medical marijuana dispensaries. Lance Mowdy and Qualified Patients Association challenged the ordinance, claiming that it violated the Medical Marijuana Program Act and Compassionate Use Act.
     The trial court dismissed the case, citing the prevalence of the federal Controlled Substances Act. However, Justice Richard Aronson of the Santa Ana-based Fourth District California Court of Appeals disagreed.
     “Just as the federal government may not commandeer state officials for federal purposes, a city may not stand in for the federal government and rely on purported federal preemption to implement federal legislative policy that differs from corresponding, express state legislation concerning medical marijuana,” Aronson wrote.
     Plaintiffs can continue their battle to overturn the city ordinance in the trial court.

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