Court: Feds can target California pot clinics

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Updated: 1/15/2014 6:11 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that California medical marijuana dispensaries have no protection under state law from federal drug prosecutions.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that California's law allowing marijuana use with a doctor's recommendation doesn't shield dispensaries, their landlords and customers from criminal charges and government lawsuits. All uses of marijuana are illegal under federal law, even in states that have legalized pot.

The ruling upholds three lower court rulings and follows previous decisions by federal appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court conceded that medical marijuana use is more accepted now than in 2007 when it made a similar ruling. But it said that the new legal challenges didn't raise any new arguments that would trump federal law.

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