AUSTIN — A federal judge in Texas is asking the state’s attorney general to clarify whether the state has the authority to ban people from possessing and using marijuana for medicinal purposes, including for treating cancer, chronic pain or AIDS.
In an order issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Terrence O’Neill said that if Texas does not follow its legal obligation to enact legislation, the federal government has the legal authority to stop Texas from enforcing a 2015 federal law that prohibits states from enacting marijuana laws that conflict with federal law.
The federal law, which goes into effect July 1, prohibits state governments from enact[ing] any laws that:1.
Impose any financial, administrative or legislative restrictions on the possession, distribution or cultivation of marijuana for any purpose.2.
Establish, maintain or enforce any licensing, regulation, taxation or other governmental regulation of marijuana, including the taxation, taxation and regulation of medical marijuana, for the use of persons with cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, HIV/AIDS, ALS or other debilitating illnesses or other conditions, or to treat, prevent or treat, diagnose or cure any disease, physical or mental condition, or condition affecting the person’s ability to work, study or engage in any of the activities protected by the act.3.
Regulate, restrict or prohibit the manufacture, distribution, possession, cultivation, use or sale of marijuana in any manner, in or affecting any place, or in any context, and for any purposes whatsoever, or for any term or period.4.
Establishes or maintains a system for collecting, using or managing information on the status of marijuana use and possession in Texas, including information on arrests and convictions related to the possession or cultivation.5.
Provides for the establishment of an office to assist in the enforcement of the act and to provide assistance to local law enforcement and other federal and state law enforcement agencies to investigate, enforce and collect any fines, penalties, penalties imposed and the amounts paid under the act relating to marijuana use, possession or possession of marijuana.
O’Neill’s order was a ruling that the federal law has no legal force and is not enforceable by Texas.
He issued the order without the state filing any response, which would have been required if the state wanted to challenge the ruling.
The Texas law, signed by Gov.
Greg Abbott in 2015, makes it a federal crime for anyone under the age of 21 to possess, distribute or cultivate marijuana.
Under federal law the drug is illegal and has no medical use, except for therapeutic purposes and for research.
The U.C.L.A. study said it could not determine whether marijuana is a safe drug for medicinal use.
A federal judge blocked the state from enforcing the federal act in 2015.
The Justice Department said in a statement Monday that the judge was incorrect about whether the federal prohibition on marijuana is the same as the state prohibition, and the federal ban on marijuana use has no connection to the federal marijuana law.