August 8, 2016
Pittsburgh attorney and marijuana reform activist Patrick K. Nightingale has filed a motion challenging the Constitutionality of marijuanas Schedule I classification.
The motion was filed with the Court of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania law defines a Schedule I substance as a substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
Despite this classification, Pennsylvania recently joined 25 other states with a medicinal marijuana program and the Pennsylvania Legislature specifically found that marijuana can provide relief to critically ill Pennsylvanians.
Mr. Nightingale has released the following statement clarifying his challenge of the Schedule 1 classification of marijuana in Pennsylvania:
Both medicinal consumers and recreational consumers are faced with potential prosecution for possession of a Controlled I substance despite the fact that we have a law demonstrating its efficacy for treating any of 17 qualifying conditions. I believe this amounts to a denial of equal protection and the Court is in a position to address this contradiction.
Previous challenges in states like California, for example, have gone unresolved, leaving the process of removing Marijuana from the Schedule 1 list in the hands of Congress.
Unfortunately, Congress has been unwilling or unable to act decisively on this important issue, ultimately affecting not just Pennsylvanians, but every American citizen and their right to equal protection under the law.
It is our contention that the Court has the power to force Congress to finally take action on this clearly contradictory law as a violation of Constitutional Rights.
About the author
Patrick K. Nightingale is a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor with deep experience in search and seizure law, DUI law, drug crimes, white collar crimes, and representing violent offenders. Since 1996, Mr. Nightingale has worked diligently on behalf of his clients to mount passionate, well-planned, and professional criminal defense services. Mr. Nightingale is also an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA), the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
Here is a copy of the actual filing.
(Actual PDF file Link)