Last week, a judge in Nevada ruled that the classification of cannabis as Schedule I substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act went against Nevada’s constitution. This ruling comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the federal government’s decision to classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug wasn’t unconstitutional, despite being irrational. The case’s defendants argued that cannabis’ scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act had no rational basis because the plant didn’t meet the criteria for inclusion under its current schedule.
The Controlled Substances Act was approved by the 91st United States Congress in 1970 and signed into law by former President Richard Nixon. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, together with drugs such as peyote, ecstasy, LSD, heroin and methaqualone.
This new ruling is based on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada against the Board of Pharmacy. In their argument, the plaintiffs stated that the Schedule I classification was usually reserved for substances that had a high potential for abuse, could not be safely distributed and had no currently accepted medical use.
The plaintiffs also explained that this wasn’t consistent with what Nevada voters chose more than two decades ago when they legalized the medical use of marijuana and again when they voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2017.
The judge seems to agree with them, based on this ruling.
Christopher Peterson, legal director of Nevada’s American Civil Liberties Union, stated that the agency’s objective was to have cannabis consistently recognized throughout state law and treated appropriately. He explained that when voters legalized the medical use of marijuana, this resolved inconsistency under state law, because there was a shift in how individuals viewed the plant, especially because they recognized its medical value even before the law recognized it.
Peterson added that their lawsuit was also launched to help the courts recognize this, noting that the court was still considering whether to remove the ability to regulate cannabis and marijuana completely from the Board of Pharmacy. He argued that the agency wanted the ruling mainly because it already had a number of executive agencies that had been tasked with marijuana regulation, giving the example of the Cannabis Compliance Board.
The court is expected to issue a formal order about the change in marijuana’s categorization within the state’s Controlled Substances Act in the next few weeks. The Board of Pharmacy is yet to respond for comment.
The plaintiffs in this Nevada case concerned themselves with the contradiction between the state constitution and the marijuana legalization law, and marijuana industry players such as Prime Harvest Inc. often find themselves staring major regulatory contradictions in the face, such as the disconnect between state-level marijuana laws and federal drug policies.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Prime Harvest Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PRIME
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