HUGE VICTORY! Federal Court Bans Govt from Prosecuting Medical Marijuana Users and Growers

federal-courtBy Matt Agorist

Last week, the tyrannical DEA doubled down on their asinine and immoral decision to classify marijuana as having no medical value — promising to continue to kidnap, cage, and kill people for possessing it. However, in a major victory, and a well-deserved slap to the face of the DEA, a federal appeals court just ruled that prosecuting medical marijuana users and growers is now banned.

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel has ruled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) cannot spend budget money to prosecute people who grow, sell or use medical marijuana — if they comply with state law.

The 25 states who’ve found themselves subject to continuous raids — in spite of medical pot being legal — will now have solace in the fact that the DOJ can no longer throw money at the futile and immoral practice of arresting people for a plant.

“If the federal government prosecutes such individuals, it has prevented the state from giving practical effect to its law,” Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the court.

The ruling stems from a 2014 congressional budget rule saying that the DOJ cannot use funds to prevent US states “from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Even more encouraging than halting future prosecutions, is the fact that this will help those who’ve already been locked up or charged for having marijuana. By upholding this ruling, those who have been prosecuted can now invoke it to challenge their prosecutions.

The Ninth Circuit held (in United States v. McIntosh) that federal judges should enforce this law by stopping prosecutions for conduct that is authorized by state medical marijuana laws:

Appellants complain that DOJ is spending funds that have not been appropriated by Congress in violation of the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution. See U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 7 (“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law ….”)…. [I]f DOJ were spending money in violation of [§ 542], it would be drawing funds from the Treasury without authorization by statute and thus violating the Appropriations Clause. That Clause constitutes a separation-of-powers limitation that Appellants can invoke to challenge their prosecutions….

Marc Zilversmit, a San Francisco lawyer representing Steve McIntosh of Los Angeles, said, “This could be the beginning of the end of the federal war on medical marijuana.”

According to KRON, McIntosh is one of five people being prosecuted in federal court in San Francisco for allegedly operating four Southern California marijuana stores and five indoor marijuana grows in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.

These five people are now demanding that their sentences be overturned and their federal charges dismissed.

However, Judge O’Scannlain specifically stressed that the court’s unanimous ruling should not be seen as immunity by medical marijuana purveyors, according to Reuters.

“Congress could restore funding tomorrow, a year from now, or four years from now,” he wrote, “and the government could then prosecute individuals who committed offenses while the government lacked funding.”

As if to downplay this huge victory, the panel also warned that “individuals who do not strictly comply with all state-law conditions” can be prosecuted.

Every time the State rolls back insane laws that persecute individuals for attempting to medicate themselves using a plant, humanity takes a giant leap forward.

While this ruling is certainly encouraging, this is only the beginning. The State’s war on marijuana is crumbling on every front. Twenty-five US states currently allow for medical marijuana while another four states Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia, allow marijuana for recreational use. This November, voters in nine more states, including California, are set to decide on whether recreational use of marijuana should be made legal there as well.

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.

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7 Comments on "HUGE VICTORY! Federal Court Bans Govt from Prosecuting Medical Marijuana Users and Growers"

  1. I’m all for the decriminalization of drugs…and fairly open access to most prescription meds, for that matter, but why are TPTB going big time Gestapo on us with just about everything else but this? Gotta wonder if they want as many people as possible in a stupor when the hammers begin falling. There’s also the tax windfall aspect, esp. in a cashless economy. Assuming there is a sinister agenda, I hope it massively backfires.

    • My best guess is that the sinister agenda comes from Big Pharma. For five decades they have been indoctrinating the public to hate cannabis. Then information started to leak out in alternative sources that it might actually have important medical benefits the pharmaceutical nazis had heretofore tried to keep under wraps. Meanwhile they obtained a patent for a synthetic GMO version. Then they realized they were now victims of their prior PR hate campaign and had to turn that around, which they did using medical marijuana as a way to soften the public’s hard stance so they would be more amendable to the synthetic form. This why legalization ballots started popping up. Washington has had close to $2 billion in sales since they opened for business last year, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Side note: cannabis is a valuable prophylactic modality that prevents many conditions in addition to curing existing ones. This is what they really want to keep under wraps and will not be able to once time has passed in the states where recreational is legal and these benefits become well known. And almost everyone still believes that true medical cannabis gets you high, which it does not. It relieves chronic pain and it does it better and safer than any other drug on the market without side effects. There is still much truth to be revealed and this is a fine example of how misinformed people really are about something as simple as a healing plant.

      • I completely agree, OS, that the healing powers are amazing just from what little is now being revealed in medical science and anecdotally. Yep, profit is always a motive but as we reach the final stretch control is much more important. You have to imagine the system they are putting together to get on a visceral level how money and profit no longer become a tool when strict rationing enters the picture and what remains of free market capitalism is dismantled. That’s why Obamacare is deliberately strangling the health care insurance industry. Money is access to resources, right? Therefore the final deep capture of all resources under a global totalitarian system to be meted out however the system dictates is their wet dream.

        As for the stupor aspect or “soma” (MKUltra Huxley’s Brave New World) I believe that is a strong motivator for the elites. I’m sure you know TPTB/CIA launched the psychedelic movement. I didn’t realize how big of an operation this was until I read the research released by Jan Irvin and his cohorts at Gnostic Media. Living in CO, I see the double edged sword of legalization. Pain relief and remarkable healing properties contrasted with lots of recreational use creating tons of people even more out of touch. There are way too many incredibly dumbed down people, traumatized and brainwashed, such that recreational use stunts their minds even more. TPTB know our vulnerabilities and exploit that knowledge to the max! Which you well know, though, it does apply here too. But as I said above, my greatest hope is it all backfires. There are some people on Zen in past years who’ve said there are gentle heirloom strains that generate clarity, esp. in those who have balanced healthy minds to begin with, but the newer more popular and powerful strains are not like that. Thanks for your insight.

  2. The judiciary is completely corrupted just like he rest of the circus so don’t be jumping for joy over this small victory. The courts aren’t going to save this nation, that is up to us, and right now we’re getting a failing grade.

  3. Just Medical use, that’s disappointing.
    Move to Colorado and imbibe for the health of it or any reason you might conjure.

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