The Supreme Court on Monday handed down its first ruling on medical marijuana in more than two decades.
The 5-4 decision, which was expected, came in response to a request by the state of Colorado, which had requested the Supreme to overturn a federal court decision that upheld the state’s medical marijuana law.
The court has been hearing cases in Colorado since 2013.
The court decided that medical marijuana, which has been legal in some states since 1996, is not a “drug” under the Controlled Substances Act, which defines the term.
It also found that the state constitution doesn’t define medical marijuana as a substance “capable of abuse” that is subject to federal law.
The ruling also applies to a separate case, which centers on whether Colorado can force dispensaries to obtain a state license that would allow them to sell medical marijuana.
That case was brought by a coalition of dispensaries in which medical marijuana patients are also the caregivers.
In the new case, the court rejected the coalition’s argument that medical cannabis dispensaries have a First Amendment right to grow and sell their products.