Petitions to de- or reschedule cannabis at the federal level have been getting denied since 1972 and appeals haven’t helped as of yet either, but a new lawsuit is coming to New York City has immense promise. It will get the current administration’s attention at the very least.
There are five named plaintiffs, mostly with conditions that brought them to medical cannabis. At its heart is Alexis Bortell, a 12-year-old girl battling epilepsy. She uses medical marijuana to quell debilitating seizures.
And though the suit got a little attention from lawmakers, the story was catapulted into national attention after Attorney General Jeff Sessions came down with some harsh rhetoric around cannabis and the rescindment of the Obama-era Cole Memo, which protected legal cannabis from federal prosecution.
The 98-page complaint covers many constitutional arguments, and delves into the 10,000-year history of the plant with a focus on US policy in the last 100 or so years. It points out the racist issues of the current law and how it was meant to stigmatize outsiders of all kinds.
This is a dance that has been taking place for decades. This time around, however, 30 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized marijuana in some form, more Americans than ever approve of the plant, and the substance and quality of this new case could all work together and result in an unprecedented ruling.
Who are we to deny a natural substance, especially when it’s safer than aspirin, peanuts or even going on a road trip? And aside from being safer, it’s a saver. For patients nationwide suffering from seizures, crippling PTSD, cancer related side effects, chronic pain and more. Cannabis fights the opioid epidemic and keeps patients off of addictive benzos.
The Wednesday hearing will mostly be listening to arguments to have the case dropped, with the added drama of cannabis activists descending upon the courtroom. And though court hearings and petitions have previously fallen on deaf ears, this may very well be the right time to have a contentious court case like this win.