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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 16, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A U.S. federal appeals court ruled Tuesday against the government's efforts to curb the use of medical marijuana through interstate commerce regulations.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said using marijuana on the recommendation of a physician, and neither selling it for a profit nor shipping it across state lines, is a fundamentally different activity than drug trafficking.
The ruling came in a California case challenging the Justice Department's effort to halt the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The government insists marijuana serves no legitimate medical purpose and should be treated as any other illegal drug.
California has a state law allowing the use of the illegal weed to relieve symptoms of illnesses that can't be cured by mainstream medicine.
The decision returns the case to the district court that denied a request for an injunction against federal raids on an Oakland cannabis buyer's club.
Copyright 2003 by United Press International.