Congress told the Justice Department to stop fighting medical marijuana. It didn't work.

Charles Lynch was running a legal medical marijuana dispensary in California — but that didn't stop the feds from raiding his store in 2007, throwing him in jail, and later placing him on home arrest, rendering him unable to find work and, as a result, leading to the loss of his home.

"I have no work and no money," Lynch, 52, told the New York Times's Erik Eckholm, "and I'm depending on others to survive."

Lynch, who's out on bond as he appeals several federal convictions for marijuana trafficking, is one of hundreds of people caught in the middle of a conflict between state laws that allow medical pot, like California's, and federal laws that prohibit it. Since the 1990s, federal agencies have been raiding and prosecuting medical pot businesses even if they're legal under state law — but now Congress is trying to put an end to...

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