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  • Catia L. Kossovsky, Esq.

SCOTUS issues a huge WIN for State legalized marijuana. 8 PA medical schools permitted to conduct c

The highest court in the US (SCOTUS), issued a ruling today in Murphy v. NCAA. Formerly entitled Christie v. NCAA, the case was brought before the US Supreme Court in October 2016. The case involves collegiate sports gambling and has nothing to do with cannabis law on its face.

However, the question raised by the Murphy case was whether a State can be forced to keep laws on its books that match federal prohibitions, even if that State has decided to repeal those State laws?

In reviewing this question, SCOTUS looked back at a case it had decided back in 1992. In New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), the Court ruled that the Constitution does not permit Congress to "directly...compel the States to require or prohibit [certain] acts/" Id. at 166.

The decision in NY v. US, ultimately states that federal government can set federal prohibitions but cannot force States to set the same prohibitions. Murphy reinforced that ruling. In reading the Murphy decision quoted below, by substituting references therein to "sports gambling" with "marijuana" it is easy to see the parallels in this case leading up to a big win for state legalized marijuana.

"The legalization of sports gambling is a controversial subject. Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the States and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations, which are often run by organized crime. Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports.

The legalization of sports gambling requires an im­ portant policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not. PASPA “regulate[s] state governments’ regulation” of their citizens, New York, 505 U. S., at 166. The Constitu­tion gives Congress no such power."


The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) announced today the 8 approved Certified Academic Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) that will work with 8 yet to be approved clinical registrants in conducting medical research on medical marijuana.

The 8 ACRCs are:

  • Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia;

  • Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia;

  • Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey;

  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia;

  • Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia;

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh;

  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Erie; and

  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia.

If you have any questions about this post contact Kossovsky Law PLLC

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