Former NFL Player Marvin Washington Sues Jeff Sessions Over Marijuana

Faith Castro
July 27, 2017

The Trump administration is preparing to crack down on marijuana after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' task force tied the drug to violent crime.

According to Julia Marsh of the New York Post, former Jets defensive lineman Marvin Washington is one of five plaintiffs suing to decriminalize marijuana. Then again on Monday, Trump referred to Sessions as "beleaguered" and wondered why he wasn't investigating purported ties between Hillary Clinton and Russian Federation.

Marvin Washington, a former defensive end with the Jets and a Super Bowl victor with the Broncos in 1999, is one of five people suing Jeff Sessions, the DEA and the DOJ in Manhattan federal court over what they say is marijuana's unconstitutional designation as a Schedule I drug, the NY Post reports.

The lawsuit challenges the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug because it does not fit the requirements for it, which are high potential for abuse, no medical use in treatment and no ability to be used or tested safely under medical supervision. In comparison, the government has drugs like cocaine and meth categorized as Schedule II Drugs.

Washington has joined the lawsuit because the current legislation prevents him from obtaining federal grants to start a business aimed at professional football players who want to use medical marijuana to manage pain, the Post reported.

"Classifying cannabis as a "Schedule I drug" is so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution", the suit says.

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Currently, 29 states have medical marijuana and 8 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis for recreational use.

Other plaintiffs include an 11-year-old boy, Alexis Bortell, who requires medical marijuana to control his epilepsy, and a disabled military veteran, Jose Belen, who uses it to control post traumatic stress syndrome.

"But Sessions" hard stance on drugs has sparked fears that a crackdown on marijuana could be on the horizon.

Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center's Justice Program, told The Hill she had heard Sessions and other DOJ officials explicitly talking 'about how immigration and marijuana increases violent crime. But in May, he sent a letter to Congress requesting that he be able to use federal funding for going after those in the marijuana industry, including medical marijuana.

Washington played eight seasons with the Jets, won a Super Bowl ring with the Broncos in 1998 and spent two years with the 49ers.

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