Attorneys at Law600 Madison Avenue New York. NY 10022
For Immediate Release: Feb. 26, 2018
Statement from Hiller, PC on Landmark Lawsuit A2ainst Jeff Sessions As It Pertains to Constitutionality of Cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act: Pfllintiffs Vow to Af)peal, As Judf!e Dismisses Federal Cannabis Lawsuit
NEW YORK – Today, Judge Alvin K. Hellcrstcin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern DistrictofNewYorkdismissedWashington,ct.alv.Sessions,ct.al, lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Schedule I classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act.
The plaintiffs, along with Miller, PC lead counsel Attorneys Michael S. Miller and co-counsels Lauren
A. Rudick and Joseph Bondy, vowed to appeal the lawsuit. The plaintiffs in Washington, ct.al v. Sessions, et.al include: Denver Broncos Super Bowl Champion, Marvin Washington; 12-ycar old girl, Alexis Bartell; seven-year old Jagger Cotte of Georgia, who suffers from Leigh’s Disease; disabled military combat veteran, Jose Belen; and the Cannabis Cultural Association, Inc.
A New York federal district court judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by Marvin Washington, Alexis
Bortcll and an assortment of other plaintiffs seeking a ruling that the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional.
In dismissing the case, Judge Alvin Hellcrstein took pains to “emphasize that this decision is not on the merits of plaintiffs’ claim[s].” Instead, Judge Hellerstein decided that the plaintiffs were first required to exhaust administrative remedies – an agency-driven administrative process, during which petitions are filed with and decided by the DEA to reschedule cannabis.
Judge Hellcrstcin did not appear to address the plaintiffs’ argument, as reflected in a recent filing, that the petitioning administrative process generally consumes an “average of nine (9) years to complete,” and is “overseen by a biased decision-maker (defendant JeffSessions), who has pre-determined to reject the evidence before it has even been presented.”
Michael Hiller, Hiller, PC lead counsel for the plaintiffs stated: “Resigning the plaintiffs to the petitioning administrative process is tantamount to a death sentence for those patients who need cannabis to live. The time has come for the courts to abandon decades-old precedent, notched with obsolete legal technicalities, and catch up with modem science and contemporary principles of constitutional law.”
Lauren Rudick, Hiller, PC co-counsel for the plaintiffs, added: “The plaintiffs weren’t the only ones who experienced a setback today. States and principles of federalism took a black-eye as well, and under the false premise that the courts arc constrained by prior decisions to take actions, which the
overwhelming majority of Americans, including members of Congress and the President, know arc wrong.”
Joseph Bondy, co-counsel for the plaintiffs, commented: “We believe that the court didn’t consider a number of arguments in our case and declined to hear oral arguments on some of those points. We are exploring all of our legal arguments to further our chance of winning the case.”
Michael Hiller concluded: “This case will continue to move forward. Notwithstanding the outcome today, we remain confident that the final disposition of this case will include a finding that the classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional – freeing millions of Americans to safely treat their conditions with a plant that maintains their health and their lives.”