Statement: Landmark Lawsuit Against Jeff Sessions on Constitutionality of Cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act

We’ve seen civil rights trampled on before, but we have also seen everyday Americans and leaders rise to the occasion and have our judicial branch recognize when an interpretation of the law is obviously tragically flawed and wrong.

Statement: Landmark Lawsuit Against Jeff Sessions on Constitutionality of Cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act

U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions

NEW YORK - On Valentine’s Day, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York heard oral arguments on the motion to dismiss Washington, et.al v. Sessions, et.al, a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Schedule I classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. The federal government argued to have the case dismissed. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York reserved the decision.

The plaintiffs in the case include: Denver Broncos Super Bowl Champion, Marvin Washington; 12-year old girl, Alexis Bortell; seven-year old Jagger Cotte of Georgia who suffers from Leigh’s Disease; disabled military combat veteran Jose Belen; and the Cannabis Cultural Association, who were represented by Hiller, PC lead counsel’s, Attorneys Michael S. Hiller and Lauren A. Rudick and co-counsels Joseph Bondy and David Holland.

Hiller, PC’s Michael S. Hiller issued the following statement regarding Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York reserving the decision:

First, we would like to thank Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein for taking the time to hear the important oral argument made today. We appreciate the time he took to hear from the plaintiffs we represent -- all whom have heartbreaking stories about how their everyday lives continue to be negatively impacted by the prohibition of cannabis.

Protecting our American values, way of life and civil and constitutional rights are who we are as Americans. To many, it is obvious, we are living in an era where we must remain vigilant and ask hard questions. If we look back at our collective history, this is not the first time we have seen some in the US government shamefully argue out-dated ideologies under a legal mask that is inevitably on the wrong side of history. We saw this with slavery, segregation, women’s right to vote, the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, gay marriage, and sadly, countless other times.

We’ve seen civil rights trampled on before, but we have also seen everyday Americans and leaders rise to the occasion and have our judicial branch recognize when an interpretation of the law is obviously tragically flawed and wrong.

The stated basis for the Controlled Substances Act was to help Americans’ lives. However, today, the federal government came to court to preserve the right to put Americans in jail, who use cannabis -- even when it used as an alternative medicinal treatment to addictive opioids and powerful prescription drugs. Tragically, what the federal government has done is taken the Controlled Substances Act and turned it on its head. Sadly, the government is now using the ‘Act’ to hurt and oppress US citizens, rather to liberate, deliberate and help them treat their illnesses and diseases.

We firmly believe the federal government is prostituting and perverting the Controlled Substances Act as well as blatantly criminalizing behavior that they themselves are inducing. We look forward to standing on the right side of history and ensuring that cannabis is descheduled once and for all as well as to receiving Judge Hellerstein’s decision, and moving the case forward.