A Right-Leaning Supreme Court Won’t Impede Cannabis Reform, Legal Experts Say

By Benzinga Staff Writer, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

While the Amy Coney Barrett appointment leans the court considerably conservative, it is unlikely to impact the ongoing Green Wave.

By Andrew Ward

Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Oct. 27 confirmation to the Supreme Court may feel like ages ago after a historic election season complicated by President Trump’s attempts to reverse the results.

Under a month into the role, Justice Barrett stands poised to weigh in on a myriad of pressing issues, including voting rights, the census and the fourth amendment.

Cannabis reform likely won’t be one of those matters, legal experts say. A Conservative Court Unlikely To Impact Reform Efforts Much While the Barrett appointment leans the court considerably conservative, it is unlikely to impact the ongoing Green Wave.

“Unless a party can formulate an argument that the scheduling of cannabis is unconstitutional…the question is unlikely to reach the Supreme Court anytime soon,” Jodi Avergun, Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft’s chair of white collar defense, says.


The Supreme Court refused to hear cannabis classification cases in the past, namely an October 2020 case brought up by several medical patients, including Alexis Bortell, Marvin Washington and Jose Belen.

Avergun, the former chief of staff at the DEA and former chief of the narcotic and dangerous drug section of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said the case was not indicative of future cannabis decision making.

She said the court rejecting the case, which sought to force the DEA to take action on a rescheduling petition, sets no precedential value.

“Moreover, that case is not terribly instructive because it focused more on agency rulemaking than the substantive question of cannabis reform,” added Avergun.


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