By Mona Zhang
On Wednesday, advocates and those in the cannabis industry descended on a federal court in New York to watch Justice Department lawyers try to dismiss a case against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The suit involves a motley crew of plaintiffs: Alexis Bortell and Jager Cotte, both pediatric medical marijuana patients, Jose Belen, an Army combat veteran who uses cannabis to treat his PTSD, Marvin Washington, a former New York Jet-turned cannabis entrepreneur, and the Cannabis Cultural Association, a non-profit dedicated to ending the war on drugs and promoting people of color in the cannabis industry.
Over the years, many have attempted to challenge the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance. Wednesday’s hearing was both an example of how far the country has come on the issue and how far there still is to go. During the hearing, Judge Alvin Hellerstein considered the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the suit.
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