An appellate court on Wednesday upheld three lower court decisions rejecting a challenge by medical marijuana dispensaries, their landlords and customers to enforcement of the federal government's zero tolerance of marijuana.
Dispensaries sought injunctions to prevent authorities from enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act against dispensaries and collectives operating under the terms of California's Compassionate Use Act, which allows marijuana to be used as medicine in accord with a physician's recommendation.
In an unpublished order, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that those parts of the U.S. Constitution cited by the dispensaries do not apply in a matter such as this, and cited a 2007 9th Circuit opinion as precedent.
An injunction "would compromise a governmental interest in enforcing the law" and would therefore be inappropriate, the panel's memorandum concluded.
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.