Lawsuit Challenging Federal Marijuana Laws Thrown Out by Judge


Judge Hellerstein stated that the plaintiffs should first exhaust “administrative remedies” because whether marijuana is medicinal is something that the Attorney General should decide and not the federal court. His opinion is quite similar to another comment made in an earlier hearing: “There are a lot of things district judges have to do. When agencies are set up to do the very kind of thing that you want me to do, I think the right thing is to defer to the agency.”

Hellerstein’s Opinion: Plaintiff’s Fail to Prove Schedule I Placement Discriminatory

While Judge Hellerstein’s opinion is clear that he isn’t dismissing the lawsuit based on whether the plaintiffs’ can prove that their marijuana use improved their individual quality of life, he did state that the plaintiffs failed to prove another key claim of their lawsuit: that the federal government placed marijuana as a Schedule I drug “in order to intentionally discriminate against African Americans.”

The plaintiffs plan to continue the fight. Jose Belen stated, “We are on the right side of history, and we will take this fight to the Supreme Court if necessary.”