I have been following the movement of the federal cannabis lawsuit that was filed by Hiller, PC in cooperation with the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA) since the whole ordeal began.
The last word we received was that Hiller, PC had filed their appeal but I am so happy to share that just this week they have received the Calendaring for their day in court to defend this appeal. The hearing date is set for December 12th, and will be heard by a group of judges in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.
Nelson Guerrero is the Executive Director of the CCA and said, “We are very much still in this fight and will not quit. After our initial argument was dismissed this is our opportunity to be heard. Cannabis isn't a fringe issue anymore. If we win this appeal, it goes back up the circuit and we can win. If we are stalled here, we will keep fighting all the way to the Supreme Court.”
This appeal was necessary because Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein dismissed the suit for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, but did not issue a decision on the merits of the plaintiffs claims. In fact, Judge Hellerstein recognized that medical cannabis does work for the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, which is farther than the U.S. justice system has come in other cases similar to this one that have challenged federal courts.
Michael Hiller, Founding Member of Hiller, PC said, “We are looking forward to the Argument and having the opportunity to make our case.”
Guerrero added, “We need public support for this action. People can share the Facebook event, tell your friends, show up to court with us on December 12th, or donate. The entire team working this lawsuit has been doing it all pro-bono. Any donation to the CCA is tax deductible as a 501c3.”
Essentially, the lawsuit contends that the federal government is violating the plaintiffs rights to have access to their medicine. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as it pertains to cannabis. Hiller, PC is representing five plaintiffs and maintains that the CSA, in classifying cannabis as a “Schedule I drug,” is so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution. Among the other claims in the lawsuit are that the CSA: was enacted and implemented in order to discriminate against African Americans and to suppress people’s First Amendment rights; and that it violates their plaintiffs’ constitutional Right to Travel.
The lawsuit was filed in July of 2017, and you can read the full text of the complaint here.