Less than two weeks after hearing oral arguments in the case of Washington v. Sessions, which challenged the federal government’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, a federal judge on Monday dismissed the lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge, Alvin Hellerstein, stated that the case turned not on the merits of the medical efficacy of cannabis but rather on procedural issues. “This decision,” he asserted, “should not be understood as a factual finding that marijuana lacks any medical use in the United States.” As a point of law, Hellerstein determined that medical cannabis patients would have to petition the government before
taking their claims to federal court.
The plaintiffs, including an Iraq War veteran, a child with a seizure disorder and an ex-NFL player, claimed that 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 and plan to file an appeal.
The plaintiffs’ attorney Michael S. Hiller announced in a statement, “This case will continue to move forward. Notwithstanding the outcome today, we remain confident that the final disposition of this case will include a finding that the classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional.” With more to come, be sure to stay tuned to Cash Crop Today for updates on this potentially decisive legal battle.