Cannabis proponents and opponents have now lost all patience with the United States federal government not removing cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. Representative Harris of Maryland is a strict opponent of the recreational use or the medical use of marijuana. He wants scientists to research cannabis thoroughly so that he can prove his theory, but the strict scheduling of cannabis does not permit scientists to comfortably research marijuana. Advocates of medical marijuana will attest to the medical benefits of cannabis and want to be able to cross state line and travel on airlines with their medicine.
There is a long list of reasons as to why marijuana should not be a Schedule 1 drug and this group of advocates are putting the pressure on the government now to prove to a court its justification for maintaining cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. Whether you are an opponent or a proponent of legalized marijuana, can you find any justification for marijuana to continue to be listed as a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroine and LSD?
A diverse cadre of cannabis advocates filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as it pertains to marijuana.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Drug Enforcement Agency acting administrator Charles Rosenberg were named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by a former NFL player, two children using medical marijuana, an Iraq War vet with post-traumatic stress disorder and a social justice nonprofit organization.
The CSA’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance — a designation reserved for the most dangerous substances including heroin, LSD and mescaline — is so “irrational” that it violates the U.S. Constitution, plaintiffs claim.
The 89-page complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York by attorney Michael S. Hiller, further claims that the federal government does not believe and never has believed that cannabis meets or ever met the three Schedule I requirements: high potential for abuse, no medical use in treatment, and no ability to be used or tested safely, even under medical supervision.
“Indeed, the 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 states. “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.”
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The lawsuit goes on to state that the 1970 CSA as it pertains to cannabis was enacted and subsequently implemented not to stop the spread of a dangerous drug, but instead to suppress the rights of African Americans and Vietnam War protesters.
“The Nixon Administration ushered the CSA through Congress and insisted that cannabis be included on Schedule I so that African Americans and war protesters could be raided, prosecuted and incarcerated without identifying the actual and unconstitutional basis for the government’s actions,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the CSA is unconstitutional; a ruling in the plaintiff’s favor would not nullify the law, but instead put a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law as it pertains to marijuana.