9th Circuit Rules Doctor's Recommendation for Marijuana No Defense
Roshaja Harvey was found to have violated the terms of his supervised release for using marijuana. Harvey appealed, contending that because he had a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana in California pursuant to the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, he did not violate the possession prohibition of the Federal Controlled Substances Act. He also argued a doctor's "order" was different than a "prescription."
The 9th Circuit has rejected his defense, affirmed the trial court's order, and added:
Whatever else “order” might mean under § 844(a) of the Controlled Substances Act, it does not include a mere recommendation from a physician pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act.
The issue: "Whether a practitioner may order or prescribe the use of marijuana under section 844(a), which does not explicitly differentiate among drug schedules."
The judge in Harvey relied on earlier Supreme Court cases holding that "Congress' express determination that marijuana had no accepted medical use foreclosed any argument about statutory coverage of drugs available by a doctor's prescription.
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