LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Marijuana is still classified among the most dangerous drugs in Nevada, and now the Nevada Supreme Court is deciding if that should be changed.

The Nevada ACLU is representing a group suing the Nevada Board of Pharmacy as the state agency continues to follow federal guidelines for drug classification.

After arguments concluded in the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday, FOX5 spoke with the ACLU’s Legal Director. Nevada voters legalized cannabis use for medical purposes back in 2000 and there are now dispensaries across the state, but the Nevada Board of Pharmacy has not changed its classification.

“While Nevada law allows them to consider what the federal government is doing, it does not obligate them to follow the federal government’s scheduling. Obviously, if we had to do exactly what the federal government was doing, we would not have a cannabis industry in this state,” contended Christopher Peterson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Nevada.

In Nevada, marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance, the most severe classification for drugs that have no medical value and can’t be safely distributed under medical supervision.

“Schedule I is the most serious; that is where you find methamphetamine and heroin,” Peterson explained.

A non-profit cannabis equity organization representing a man convicted on marijuana charges under the Schedules I status sued and is now being assisted by the ACLU.

“I worked as a public defender and I represented a number of people, usually young people, that were being charged with criminal offenses that were based on the board’s regulation of cannabis, keeping in mind that the way we view cannabis in the state has changed. It is meant to be treated and regulated like alcohol,” Peterson stated.

More than a year ago, a district court agreed ruling the state agency cannot classify cannabis as Schedule I, that it violates the Nevada Constitution. The Nevada Board of Pharmacy appealed, sending the debate to the Nevada Supreme Court.

The ACLU also argues that while the Board of Pharmacy regulates drugs in the state, they should no longer have authority over cannabis because the Legislature gave that authority to the Cannabis Control Board.

FOX5 has been covering this ongoing legal battle for years and we previously spoke with an attorney for the Nevada Board of Pharmacy who said they will not comment on pending litigation.


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