Medical Marijuana Advocates Take Aim at Goliath Department of Justice in Court
In the David versus Goliath of weed, five plaintiffs are taking on the federal government’s archaic stance on cannabis, claiming they have “suffered harm, and … are continually threatened with additional harm” as a result of marijuana’s Schedule I classification under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.
Arguments recently began in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York for the lawsuit filed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and its director Chuck Rosenberg, and, to top it off, the United States of America.
Plaintiffs include a military veteran who uses cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder, a former pro football player with a business that sells hemp-based products, representatives for two young children, each of whom suffer from severe medical issues, and Cannabis Cultural Association, a non-profit organization meant to help minorities benefit from the cannabis industry, according to an article from Associated Press. The lawsuit also outlines that, while not a class action, it would benefit tens of millions of Americans who depend on marijuana’s medical properties.The military veteran, who also operates a program with a goal of ending veteran suicide, said one of the biggest challenges is not being able to travel across state lines with medical marijuana, even if you’re going to a state where it is also legal.
The lawsuit says the Controlled Substance Act has “wrongfully and unconstitutionally criminalized” cannabis. Our experienced Orange County medical marijuana lawyers know that at the heart of this matter is the blatant fact that marijuana simply does not fit the criteria used to determine if a drug should be classified as Schedule I.
Here’s a rundown. According to DEA, Schedule I drugs are drugs with: a) no currently accepted medical use, and b) high potential for abuse. Our attorneys, as well as millions of Americans, know neither of these statements are true of marijuana. In addition, marijuana can be consumed and tested safely, another factor used to determine a drug’s standing. It’s laughable to think cannabis would have anything in common with other Schedule I drugs, like LSD or heroin. Worse yet, for years spineless government officials have hidden behind a lack of research as their excuse for the classification, even though the classification is the very thing that has prevented federally sanctioned research in the first place.
This same backward cyclical thinking continues with the current administration as Sessions insists he must enforce the law because it exists, refusing to look at modern research or the upswell of support throughout the country to consider whether the law should exist at all. Like a child with his fingers stuffed in his ears, Sessions can’t bear to hear the facts on marijuana and continues to sing the same old song about its so-called dangers, like something right out of Reefer Madness.
Our attorneys hope this case will challenge the status quo and get the ball rolling toward declassification of marijuana. While state laws and several patches at the federal level have allowed patients, recreational consumers, and businesses enjoy some freedoms, it is high time cannabis lose its Schedule I status so we can all move forward.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
Washington et al v. Sessions et al, July 24, 2017, U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
More Blog Entries:
Science Does Not Support Jeff Sessions’ War on Marijuana, July 5, 2017, Medical Marijuana Lawyers Blog