Marijuana legalization brings together a diverse group of supporters. Advocates can range anywhere from right-wing libertarians to left-wing socialists. Well today we can add a new group of people to that group: NFL football players.
Yesterday several cannabis advocates filed a lawsuit against the United States government over the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act regarding marijuana. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Drug Enforcement Agency acting administrator Charles Rosenberg were specifically named as defendants in the lawsuit. Former New York Jets defensive end Marvin Washington is one of the plaintiffs in the case, along with two children using medicinal marijuana, an Iraq war veteran and a nonprofit organization.
The lawsuit specifically challenges the government’s classification that cannabis is a Schedule I substance, meaning it’s considered equally dangerous as heroin. To put that in perspective, meth and cocaine are both considered Schedule II drugs, meaning they are both considered safer and having more medical use than marijuana. The lawsuit says this designation is “so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution.”
Here is a chart showing how the DEA classifies drugs:
The lawsuit challenges the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug because it does not fit the requirements for it, which are high potential for abuse, no medical use in treatment and no ability to be used or tested safely under medical supervision.
“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 lawsuit 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.”
Washington is part of the lawsuit since the Controlled Substance Act prevents him from receiving grants as part of the Federal Minority Business Enterprise to start a medical marijuana business. Another plaintiff in the case is 11-year-old Alexis Bortell who uses uses medical cannabis to treat her epilepsy. Her family moved from Texas to Colorado, and she’s gone over 800 days without a seizure since beginning treatment with medical marijuana.
If the plaintiffs win the case, the Controlled Substance Act would not be nullified, but there would be a permanent injunction against enforcing the law in regards to marijuana.
Now that would be a touchdown for marijuana advocates everywhere.