Key medical marijuana Supreme Court cases, and states that allow its use

March 26, 2006

, Associated Press

Key developments in medical marijuana litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court:

--May 14, 2001: Supreme Court said it was illegal to distribute medical marijuana to sick and dying patients.

--Oct. 14, 2003: Supreme Court let stand a lower court decision saying doctors have a First Amendment right to discuss or recommend marijuana to their patients without the threat or fear of federal sanctions.

--June 6, 2005: Supreme Court ruled that patients in states that permit medical cannabis use are not immune from federal prosecution because marijuana is an illegal narcotic under federal law.

-- Jan. 3, 2006: Rhode Island becomes the 11th state to legalize medical marijuana.


States that permit the medical use of marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

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