Skip to content
Name: U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative
Case #: 00-151
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 05/14/2001
Subsequent History: None

There is no medical necessity exception to the federal Controlled Substances Act’s prohibition (21 U.S.C. § 801, et seq.) against the manufacture and distribution of marijuana. The defense cannot succeed where the legislature has made a determination of values, and here Congress has determined that marijuana has no medical benefits worthy of an exception (other than a Government approved research project not involved here). Alternatively, the lower court’s broad equitable discretion did not provide a basis for affirming. Equity courts cannot ignore Congress’ judgment clearly expressed in the legislation. Because the statute covers even those who have what could be termed a medical necessity, it precludes a consideration of the evidence below that some people have a serious medical condition which is alleviated by marijuana use.