Faulting himself and fellow trial judges for treating defendants on supervised released with a heavy hand for smoking marijuana, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York said he would eschew sending violators to jail solely for using the substance.

Listen to experts discuss the vast differences and patchwork regulation state-to-state as cannabis legalization continues to grow across the U.S. Listen Now.

In a 42-page ruling to end supervised release for a defendant who is a habitual marijuana smoker and who was out on supervised release for a drug distribution charge, Weinstein said that, despite widespread acceptance and changing societal and legal attitudes toward marijuana, it remains illegal at the federal level for all uses.

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