Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Federal Cannabis Prohibition

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Federal Cannabis Prohibition

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A United States District Judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to overturn federal cannabis prohibition. According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein dismissed the lawsuit because the plaintiffs failed to use the administrative procedures within the Drug Enforcement Administration to challenge the policy.

The suit sought to challenge the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to federal cannabis prohibition, claiming that it violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, several protections under the First Amendment and the fundamental right to travel.

The lawsuit included several high profile figures, including former Denver Broncos player and Super Bowl champion, Marvin Washington, as well as Alexis Bortell, an 11-year-old girl from Rowlett, Texas, who suffers from intractable epilepsy.

Noting that the court did not have the authority to make a decision over the case, Hellerstein acknowledged that his decision was not a reflection of the medical efficacy of cannabis; however, even if the court did have the authority, Hellerstein explained that he still would have ruled against the case as he believes there is no fundamental right to use cannabis.

Speaking with Reuters, Michael Hiller, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, condemned the ruling and said that they plan to appeal the case.

“Resigning the plaintiffs to the petitioning administrative process is tantamount to a death sentence for those patients who need cannabis to live,” Hiller said.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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