A judge in Clark County, Nevada has ruled that the state’s Board of Pharmacy must remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances.
Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy ruled that the pharmacy board does not have the legal authority to regulate marijuana based on its status as a state-level legal substance. As such, the board must remove marijuana as a schedule 2 controlled substances, where it has been for decades (alongside crack, MDMA, LSD, PCP and others).
The Board of Pharmacy “designates a substance as a ‘controlled substance’ but the designation falls outside the authority delegated by the Legislature, the designation is invalid”, says the judge.
The ruling is based on a lawsuit brought forward by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLUNV) on behalf of Antoine Poole and the Cannabis Equity and Inclusion Community.
“The constitutional right to use marijuana upon the advice of a physician does establish that marijuana has an accepted medical use and treatment in the United States,” says Judge Hardy.
“The notion that a state agency is able to engage in unlawful actions because it’s happening at the federal government – it’s just not the way it works,” said Athar Haseebullah, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLU), during a July hearing for the case. “They don’t work for the feds. We didn’t sue the DEA here. We sued the State Board of Pharmacy because this is a state action.”
According to Judge Hardy, “the Board exceeded its authority when it placed, or failed to remove marijuana, cannabis, and cannabis derivatives on its list as Schedule I substances.”