A federal appropriations law prohibits the government from using certain funds to prosecute individuals who fully comply with state medical marijuana laws, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Aug. 16 (United States v. McIntosh, 9th Cir., 15-10117, 8/16/16).

But this prohibition might be fleeting, the court warned.

“DOJ is currently prohibited from spending funds from specific appropriations acts for prosecutions of those who complied with state law. But Congress could appropriate funds for such prosecutions tomorrow,” Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain wrote for the court.

Here, individuals in different cases were charged with violations of...