The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada is suing the state Board of Pharmacy to remove cannabis as a Schedule I drug, arguing that continuing to include it on the list post-legalization wastes taxpayer dollars as criminal convictions persist.
In a statement, ACLU of Nevada attorney Sadmira Ramic said that “police departments and district attorneys in Nevada have wasted an immense amount of taxpayer dollars by seeking criminal convictions and penalties for small-time cannabis possession.”
“Despite Nevada voters’ explicit desire to have cannabis treated like alcohol, it is readily apparent that they are treated very differently. The failure to remove cannabis as a Schedule I substance not only goes against voters’ will, but it violates the Nevada Constitution which unequivocally recognizes cannabis’s medical value.” – Ramic in a statement
Despite the passage of the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act in 1998 and the Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana, the lawsuit argues that the state, specifically the State Board of Pharmacy, “has failed to take action to comport with the will of Nevada voters, the Nevada Constitution, and Nevada Revised Statutes.”
“Instead of removing marijuana, cannabis, and cannabis derivatives from NAC 453.510’s list of controlled substances, the Board has continued to regulate them as Schedule I substances, a category reserved for substances that have no medical purpose and cannot be safely distributed such as methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine,” the lawsuit states. “This failure to amend Nevada’s Schedule of Controlled Substances is necessarily a constitutional and statutory violation that can only be remedied by removing marijuana, cannabis, and cannabis derivatives from the list of Schedule I substances.”
Cannabis Equity and Inclusion Community Founder A’Esha Goins said it is “disheartening that we are four years after legalization and we’re still dealing with policies that can derail people’s lives over cannabis possession.”
“We’re consistently fighting for policy changes that will ensure freedom for Black and Latinx people that choose cannabis as a treatment,” she said in a statement. “The classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance must be stopped.”
The lawsuit was filed on April 15 in the Eighth Judicial District Court.
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