Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas thinks federal laws against the use or cultivation of marijuana may no longer make sense because of how hodgepodge the rules have become.
"A prohibition on interstate use or cultivation of marijuana may no longer be necessary or proper to support the federal government's piecemeal approach," Justice Thomas wrote as part of an order denying to hear an appeal stemming from a case involving a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado.
Thomas referred back to a case in 2005, when the Supreme Court upheld federal laws making marijuana possession illegal.
However, in those 16 years, Thomas notes there have been a lot of developments: “36 States allow medicinal marijuana use and 18 of those States also allow recreational use.”
However, under IRS rules, marijuana-related businesses are treated like other companies that deal in controlled substances.
“The Federal Government’s current approach is a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana,” Thomas wrote.
The Supreme Court will not hear the appeal, and the ruling of the Tenth Circuit court against the dispensary will stand.
“Petitioners have found that the Government’s willingness to often look the other way on marijuana is more episodic than coherent.”