Retired NFL star Marvin Washington wants to start up a program to help injured athletes use cannabis, but he is barred from seeking federal money.
Dean Bortell wants desperately to help his epileptic daughter, Alexis, live a normal life.
Army veteran Jose Belen only wants to get some sleep.
Each one, and thousands like them, is a criminal under a federal law that prohibits the use of marijuana in any quantity, for any reason.
The three are among the five plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed July 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York demanding it overturn a Vietnam-era law, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This drug policy gives the federal government the authority to outlaw marijuana on the grounds that it is classified as a highly addictive Schedule I drug with no medical value — and more dangerous than opioids.
Plaintiffs to the 89-page suit — which names Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, DEA Acting Director Charles Rosenberg, and the United States of America — claim CSA, a cornerstone of Nixon’s war on drugs, effectively weaponized marijuana by using it to arrest and imprison tens of thousands of young black men, the…