For Immediate Release
In a groundbreaking decision, the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the first Court to refuse to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act. Quoting language from the historic Brown v. Board of Education case, the Court in Washington v. Barr ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is required, with all “deliberate speed,” to consider a petition by Plaintiffs to de-schedule Cannabis, which could legalize it nationwide (at least under Federal law).
The Washington v. Barr case, filed in July 2017, has attracted national attention, as advocates have lined up behind the Plaintiffs who have argued that the classification of Cannabis as a Schedule I substance is unconstitutionally irrational, and violates the Equal Protection Clause, the Commerce Clause, Substantive Due Process, the Right to Preserve One’s Health and Life, and the Rights to Free Speech and Travel.
Michael Hiller, a Manhattan-based attorney whose firm, Hiller, PC, has been representing the Plaintiffs pro bono since the case started, was elated at the news of the Court’s decision, saying, “For decades, people have been observing ‘4/20 Day’ on April 20th to celebrate the possibilities of legalized cannabis. Now, we can also celebrate ‘5/30 Day’ as the moment the Courts began to use the power of the judiciary to require the federal government to reconsider legalization and to do so ‘promptly.’” Hiller went on to say that, “with 33 State-legal medical programs around the Country, it is only a matter of time before the federal government acknowledges what the rest of us have known for decades — that Cannabis is a harmless plant that provides exceptional wellness benefits, and that laws criminalizing it violate the U.S. Constitution.”
Joseph Bondy, pro-bono co-counsel on the case, stated that “today’s decision confirms that the fight goes on, and Plaintiffs and their lawyers won’t stop until Cannabis is de-scheduled.” The legal team expects the DEA petition to be filed within the next 30-60 days.
Contact: Michael S. Hiller (212) 319-4000 or Joseph A. Bondy (646) 335-3988