Federal prosecutors cannot punish two Northern California marijuana growers for violating U.S. drug laws because Congress has protected pot suppliers who follow the state’s medical marijuana law, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a federal judge’s decision that two men whose property in Humboldt County was raided by federal drug agents in 2012 had complied with California’s medical marijuana law and could not be sentenced as drug dealers under federal law.

Both men had pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2014, a year before Congress barred the Justice Department from spending money to interfere with a state’s medical marijuana law. California voters approved the nation’s first such law in 1996, and 20 years later approved another law legalizing possession, use and cultivation for personal use of marijuana by adults over 21. Read the full story HERE