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Judge rules in favor of ACLU of Nevada; cannabis as a Schedule I substance is unconstitutional

A microscopic close-up of a cannabis nugget resting on a circle that is out of focus. The nugget is forest green, with flecks of orange and purple.
Lucia Starbuck
/
KUNR Public Radio

The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy must remove cannabis from its list of Schedule I substances.

These substances also include heroin and Phencyclidine (PCP), and by definition, don’t have an accepted medical use. But, Nevada’s constitution says cannabis can be used upon advice from a physician. That’s why The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada filed a lawsuit.

Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy ruled in their favor last week. One of ACLU Nevada's lead attorneys, Christopher Peterson, says it’s a good step toward decriminalization.

“That is something we will be exploring about, how to make sure those people that were convicted unconstitutionally can have justice, and to make sure that those convictions don’t stay on their records moving forward,” Peterson said.

The judge didn’t rule if the state board can regulate cannabis or not. A final ruling will come after both sides submit proposals.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America focusing on community reporting and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local community issues are her passion, including the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, a lack of access to healthcare, protests and challenges facing vulnerable communities in northern Nevada.
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