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Medical-Marijuana Medical marijuana

The long-standing preemption doctrine allows Congress to preempt, or usurp, state law by means of a federal statute. With 33 states and the District of Columbia having enacted medical marijuana laws, which permit individuals with serious health conditions to legally use marijuana, courts in recent years have repeatedly been called on to determine whether these state statutes are preempted by the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. ¶ 801 et seq., or CSA. The CSA, enacted 50 years ago, makes possession or sale of marijuana illegal, and at first blush would appear to preempt state laws permitting its use. Whether this is the case, however, is far from certain.

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