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Kentucky court dismisses suit challenging medical marijuana prohibition

[JURIST] The Kentucky Circuit Court [official website] on Wednesday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a lawsuit challenging the state's criminal ban on medical marijuana.

The three plaintiffs who originally filed the lawsuit [JURIST report] in June of this year argued that the ban on medical marijuana was an unconstitutional violation of Section II of the Kentucky Constitution [text, PDF], which states that, "absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty, and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority." The plaintiff's reasoned that denying the plaintiffs the "liberty to possess and use marijuana as their property even where a medical professional ... recommends or prescribes its use" was an exercise of such "absolute and arbitrary power."

In reaching its conclusion, the court cited a 2000 opinion [text] of the Kentucky Supreme Court [official website] wherein the Supreme Court held that the authority to regulate marijuana lay solely with the legislature. The court stated that bound by this precedent, it could not interfere. The court also added that the plaintiffs did not have a constitutional right to disobey a criminal statute outlawing the use of marijuana.

Currently, eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes [Governing materials] and another 19 states have legalized it for medical purposes.

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