Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, people apparently can still get medical marijuana with a doctor's order in ten states. And nobody in law enforcement appears eager to make headlines by arresting ailing patients.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer says that "people shouldn't panic."
The nation's highest court ruled 6-3 that people who smoke marijuana because their doctors recommend it to ease pain can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws.
The ruling does not strike down medical marijuana laws in California, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont or Washington state. In many places over the past years, local authorities have shown no interest in arresting people who smoke pot for medical reasons.
It remains to be seen whether the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is planning a crackdown. The Justice Department isn't commenting.