Cannabis Equity & Inclusion Community v. Nevada Board of Pharmacy
Nevadans, like voters in many states, have chosen to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. In Nevada, these changes—adopted through citizen ballot initiatives and, in the case of medical marijuana, enshrined in the Nevada Constitution—were intended to ensure that marijuana is regulated much like alcohol and that law enforcement resources are focused on violent crime, not the prosecution of non-violent drug offenses. Despite these legal changes, Nevada’s Board of Pharmacy continues to regulate marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance for purposes of state law, akin to the Board’s treatment of cocaine and fentanyl. The Board’s scheduling designation for marijuana has enormous implications for criminal defendants in Nevada since state law makes it a felony to possess or engage in certain other activity with respect to a Schedule I controlled substance, as designated by the Board.
This case, brought by an individual and organization harmed by the Board’s scheduling designation for marijuana, involves the question whether the designation violates the Nevada Constitution and state statutes. The ACLU of Nevada is counsel in the case, and the ACLU’s State Supreme Court Initiative is co-counsel on appeal.