Cannabis legalization plaintiffs make case, await judge’s ruling

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After a roughly three-hour-long hearing in New York on Valentine’s Day, the plaintiffs in a lawsuit attempting to legalize marijuana on a national scale in the United States will have to be patient as they wait to hear if their case will move forward.

U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether to grant a motion by the U.S. government to dismiss the case.

The suit argues that the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 is unconstitutional and asks that marijuana be removed from the schedule of controlled narcotics.

The lawsuit was filed in July by a collection of plaintiffs who range from a retired NFL player to a young epileptic girl.

The judge “said on the record that he has a difficult decision to make, but we’re optimistic,” noted Lauren Rudick, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Rudick attributed her optimism, in part, to the fact the judge “made a finding of fact that there really can be no legitimate debate with respect to the medical efficacy of cannabis” when it comes to several of the plaintiffs.

“This is a judge that recognizes that cannabis is medicine, and that was really important,” Rudick said.

“I’m not sure if that’s ever happened in a federal court.”

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily