Court finds Maine marijuana growers can be prosecuted despite congressional limits

Two alleged Maine marijuana traffickers can be prosecuted on drug charges, an appeals court ruled on Thursday in a crucial test of a congressional act seeking to prevent many federal drug enforcement actions in states with medical marijuana laws.

The case came out of a 2018 raid on 20 properties in the Lewiston-Auburn area in which law enforcement seized more than 600 pounds of marijuana and a number of cars, including a $190,000 Lamborghini. More than a dozen were charged as part of an alleged trafficking ring operating under the guise of Maine’s medical marijuana laws that sold marijuana out of state.

Two of them, amateur golfer Brian Bilodeau of Auburn and Tyler Poland of Greene, challenged their prosecutions under protections passed by Congress in 2014 barring the federal government from spending money in a way that prevents states from regulating medical marijuana. Maine is one of 36 states allowing it and has since legalized marijuana for adult use, while marijuana remains fully illegal at the federal level.

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