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House bill introduced would legalize state medical marijuana

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of 19 House of Representative members introduced the "Truth in Trials Act" (H.R. 6134).  It appears that this bill would essentially make state law on medical marijuana prevail within federal court trials.  A defendant could offer as their defense that the marijuana-related activity, including property use, was within State law.  Should the court concur, then the defense wins.

The implications of this act would be to allow states complete freedom to craft any law regarding medical marijuana, even if it conflicts with federal law.  It is unclear at this point what chance it has of passing either in the House or later in the Senate.  It is worth watching though.  Given the current Federal crack down on California dispensaries, the implications of such a change would probably be felt most immediately in our state.

The bill does not appear to affect the Drug Free Schools and Community Act.  Thus schools would likely be required to continue their policies of not allowing medical marijuana.  Since the Bill only speaks of criminal trials, withholding federal funds for non-compliance with the DFSCA is still a threat.  Nor does it seem that schools would be required to allow for a medical defense within student conduct judicial actions.  But perhaps if this bill moves forward, legal experts will weigh in and provide a more authoritative opinion.