Jeff Sessions Named In Federal Lawsuit Challenging Marijuana’s Schedule I Status

medicalmarijuana July 26, 2017 Comments Off on Jeff Sessions Named In Federal Lawsuit Challenging Marijuana’s Schedule I Status
Jeff Sessions Named In Federal Lawsuit Challenging Marijuana’s Schedule I Status

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency Charles Rosenberg have both been named in a new federal lawsuit challenging marijuana’s Schedule I status as unconstitutional.

The 89-page lawsuit was filed Monday in the Southern District of New York by attorney Michael Hiller on behalf of a former NFL player, two children who regularly use medical marijuana, an Iraq War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a nonprofit called the Cannabis Cultural Association.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the Controlled Substance Act, which designates marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance. Other drugs included in that classification include heroin and LSD, and Hiller argues on behalf of the plaintiffs the classifcation is so “irrational” it violates the U.S. Constitution.

“The record makes clear that the CSA doesn’t make any rational sense, and the federal government knows it,” Hiller said in a statement, adding, “if the federal government doesn’t believe in the rationality of its own statute, it’s unconstitutional to enforce it.”

Hiller doubts that the government has actually believed marijuana has ever met the three requirements for Schedule 1: (i) must have a high potential for abuse; (ii) must have absolutely no medical use in treatment; and (iii) cannot be used or tested safely, even under strict medical supervision.

“[T]he federal government has admitted repeatedly in writing and implemented national policy reflecting that cannabis does in fact, have medical uses and can be used and tested safely under medical supervision,” the complaint reads. “On that basis, the federal government has exploited cannabis economically for more than a decade by securing a medical cannabis patent and entering into license agreements with medical licensees.”

The Justice Department and DEA as a whole are also listed as defendants in the case.

Sessions has multiple times criticized marijuana, once calling it “only slightly less awful” than heroin.

Marijuana activists have been waiting for the attorney general to act on a Justice Department policy — the Cole memo — that allows states to set their own rules and regulations for the drug.

Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia allow recreational sales of marijuana, as well as medical. An additional 24 allow only medical marijuana use.

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