LAS VEGAS — The Nevada Board of Pharmacy last week announced its intent to appeal a District Court ruling that the board’s inclusion of cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance is unconstitutional.
The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy filed a notice in Clark County that it would appeal an earlier ruling in CEIC v. Nevada Board of Pharmacy. The Pharmacy Board is also seeking to put the ruling on hold while an appeal proceeds.
ACLU of Nevada Legal Director Chris Peterson said:
“For more than 20 years, there’s been an ongoing inconsistency with how Nevada categorizes cannabis. For some people, it’s a medicine or a good time on a Friday night, but for other people, it’s continued to result in a felony charge, even after legalization. The District Court’s ruling was thoughtful and strong, and we have no intention of backing down until we have fixed this inconsistency to prevent further injustice.”
ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Athar Haseebullah said:
“It’s shameful to see the Board of Pharmacy continue to waste state resources with this ridiculous appeal. The Board’s continued support for criminalizing cannabis and continued representation of cannabis as more dangerous than Fentanyl, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine raises serious questions of accountability and aptitude. The Board’s actions during the initial case alongside this appeal are a prime example of government overreach and should be offensive to every Nevadan.”
About CEIC v. Nevada Board of Pharmacy
Despite Nevada voters’ approval of laws to legalize cannabis possession for medical and recreational use in 1998 and 2016, respectively, the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy has failed to honor the Nevada Constitution, Nevada Revised Statutes, and the will of Nevada voters. Instead of removing marijuana, cannabis, and cannabis derivatives from the state’s list of controlled substances, the Pharmacy Board has continued to regulate them as Schedule I substances, a category reserved for drugs that have no medical purpose and cannot be safely distributed such as methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada in April filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Cannabis Equity and Inclusion Community, a nonprofit organization focused on civic engagement and policies that will make opportunities real and attainable for communities and people that were disenfranchised by the failed war on drugs, and an individual who was convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance for possessing marijuana after it was legalized both for medical and recreational uses.
The case is CEIC v. Nevada Board of Pharmacy, Case No. A-22-851232-W.
In September, Clark County Judge Joe Hardy ruled that including cannabis on the state’s list of Schedule 1 controlled substances violates the Nevada Constitution. Hardy also ruled in October that the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy does not have the authority to regulate cannabis products since the Legislature created the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board in 2019.
ABOUT THE ACLU OF NEVADA
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to the defense and advancement of individual liberties and civil rights for all people in Nevada since 1966.