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Temporary ban prevents arrest of doctors who recommend pot


April 11, 1997
Web posted at: 11:14 p.m. EDT (0314 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- A federal judge has temporarily barred the prosecution of California doctors for discussing or recommending the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

U.S. District Judge Fern Smith issued a temporary restraining order Friday, saying the U.S. government's policy prohibiting doctors from recommending the use of medical marijuana is too ambiguous.

Smith said doctors should not have to be overly careful or be forced to modify what they say to patients for fear of breaking a law. She was also concerned that the federal policy would violate the doctor-patient relationship.

Smith ordered a mandatory settlement conference April 17. The temporary injunction will remain in effect until after that occurs.


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