Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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Attorney General Announces Medical Marijuana May Violate Federal Controlled Substances Act

May 14, 2001

Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on United States versus Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative does not directly affect Oregon law, but that the possession, manufacture and distribution of marijuana, even for purposes of medical treatment, may violate the federal Controlled Substances Act.

"Today's ruling does not invalidate Oregon's law, but may make actions permitted by state law illegal under federal law," Myers said. "Because the ruling does not apply directly to state law, we believe enforcement responsibility under the federal law lies exclusively with federal law enforcement agencies, not state or local authorities," Myers said.

The Supreme Court held that there is no "medical necessity" exception to the Controlled Substances Act and therefore, actions regarding medicinal marijuana use that are permitted by state law may violate federal law.

"To the extent that manufacture and distribution of marijuana are prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act, under this ruling, "medical necessity" is no longer a defense," Myers said. "Oregonians engaged in the manufacture and distribution or who are in possession of medical marijuana may be subject to federal criminal prosecution, or federal injunction against violation of the Controlled Substances Act, or both."

Oregon's law, passed by initiative in 1998 (Measure 67), was approved by 55 percent of the voters.


Contact: Kristen Grainger or Kevin Neely, (503) 378-6002 |
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