2003Study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes there are “no major short-term harmful effects, and possibly some beneficial effects” from using marijuana medically in HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors
2003In the Netherlands pharmacies become legally obligated to stock and dispense medical marijuana. They are also required to advise users of the benefits of cannabis tea.
2003US Government patent the therapeutic use of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
2003California: S.B. 420 signed into law, which will create an ID card for medical marijuana users to show law enforcement officers.
2003 US Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal in the case of Conant v. Walters, thus turning down “the Bush administration’s request to consider whether the federal government can punish doctors for recommending or perhaps even talking about the benefits of the drug [medical marijuana] to sick patients.”
2003Of the Deans who responded to a confidential poll, over 60% believed that ‘physicians should have the legal right to recommend or prescribe marijuana to receive symptoms of medical complaints.
2003In the case of Ashcroft v Raich, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2:1 that people who use marijuana for medical purposes cannot be prosecuted by the federal government so long as they grow their own or obtain it from other growers without charge.
2004Marijuana reclassified in the UK from a Class B drug to a Class C. Penalty for cannabis possession reduced from 5 year maximum prison sentence to 2 year maximum sentence.
2004Vermont becomes the 10th state to decriminalize medical marijuana.
2004 Limited use of medical marijuana becomes legal in Montana.
2005In the case of Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution allowed the federal government to ban the use of cannabis, including medical use. The court found the federal law valid, although the cannabis in question had been grown and consumed within a single state, and had never entered interstate commerce.
2005The Supreme Court rules that, “Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors’ orders,” concluding that state medical marijuana laws don’t protect users from a federal ban on the drug. One week later, the House voted down an amendment that would have stopped the Justice Department from bringing such case.

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