A federal appeals court is expected to issue a ruling soon that could pave the way to end or overturn at least six federal marijuana criminal prosecutions and convictions in California and Washington, and limit future prosecutions of medical marijuana users and dispensaries in eight Western states that allow them.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Rolland Gregg and his family have fought federal marijuana charges for more than three years, arguing that the roughly 70 marijuana plants investigators found on their Washington property were for their own medicinal use and fully complied with state law.

A federal jury last year convicted Gregg, his mother and his then-wife of growing 50 to 100 marijuana plants - amounts their attorney said are in compliance with state medical marijuana law.

With prison sentences looming, they have now turned to a recent act of Congress that they say should have stopped the U.S. Department of Justice from prosecuting them because they were doing what their state allowed.

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Sudhin Thanawala ~ Associated Press ~

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