ATLANTA — A Georgia father whose young son is treated with medical cannabis is part of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal government’s stance on marijuana.
Filed this week, the lawsuit argues that a federal law that views marijuana as dangerous as heroin is irrational and violates constitutional rights, such as the right to travel.
Marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 narcotic, meaning the federal government believes it has no accepted medical value. It’s the most restrictive category, and the Drug Enforcement Administration decided to keep it there just last year.
Concern about the federal law is a frequent roadblock for advocates in Georgia who are pushing for in-state cultivation, which would provide residents a way to skirt the federal prohibitions.
Georgia’s now two-year-old medical cannabis program allows the possession of low THC oil, but because of the federal Controlled Substances Act, it is illegal to transport the oil across state lines. It’s also still a crime to sell or manufacture the oil in Georgia.
“Valid or not, (state officials) are using that it’s a Schedule 1 substance as a reason why they don’t want to help us have legal access to it,” said Sebastien Cotte, who is representing his 6-year-old son Jagger in the lawsuit and who is a parent-advocate in Atlanta.
“If our lawsuit were to be successful, then that would take away that excuse from them. They would have no reason not to allow us to grow it and buy it