One California attorney specializing in health care might be onto something important. Toke of the Town talked to Matthew Pappas, J.D. of Pappas Law Group in Long Beach, California about how a Washington D.C. ruling can effect the entire country's access to medical marijuana.
The key event was in 2009, when Congress, which has ultimate authority over the District of Columbia, allowed for Washington D.C. citizens to vote on the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Act - which they approved and implemented, with the expressed approval of Congress. Because of this, argues Pappas, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution should free states with medical marijuana programs from federal interference.
"Through Congress's duty to equally protect everyone under the law, all patients in states with medical marijuana laws operating in full compliance with those laws should not, from now forward, be subject to previous long standing federal marijuana prohibitions," Pappas told Toke of the Town.
This would make prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act not possible. "In our country, when one group of voters has been given the right to vote on something, other voters, likewise, have the right to do so," Pappas continued, noting that in this case, what one group of voters had been given the right to do was "approve medical marijuana."