Coalition sues US government with aim of legalizing cannabis

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A group of five diverse plaintiffs have filed suit against the federal government and two Trump administration officials, claiming that marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 narcotic is unconstitutional and should be changed.

The 89-page lawsuit, filed in New York District Court, asks that the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 be declared unconstitutional and that the Department of Justice be barred from enforcing it as it relates to marijuana.

The plaintiffs range from a retired NFL player who wants to enter the medical marijuana business to an 11-year-old girl who moved from Texas to Colorado to treat her epilepsy with cannabis.

The defendants include Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the DOJ, Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Director Chuck Rosenberg, the DEA and the U.S. government.

“The record makes clear that the CSA doesn’t make any rational sense, and the federal government knows it,” Michael Hiller, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a news release.

If the suit prevails, it could result in a permanent injunction that prohibits the federal government from using the CSA against cannabis consumers and businesses.

The practical effect would essentially be legalization of marijuana on a national basis, with responsibility for cannabis oversight left to the states.

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote in an email that they’re hoping for a judgment within 18 months.