The Latest: Marijuana case judge indicates he's sympathetic

NEW YORK — The Latest on a lawsuit challenging federal marijuana laws (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

The judge hearing a lawsuit challenging federal marijuana laws has indicated that he is sympathetic to some patients who use cannabis to treat medical conditions.

On Wednesday, Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York addressed an attorney for plaintiffs who want to see the law changed. The judge asked how anyone could say that the plaintiffs' lives "have not been saved by marijuana."

The lawsuit claims that the government's decision to classify marijuana as dangerous is irrational, unconstitutional and motivated by politics.

The federal government says people who want to change federal drug laws should petition the Drug Enforcement Administration rather than filing a lawsuit.

Hellerstein will rule at a future date.


12:30 a.m.

Army veteran Jose Belen (beh-LEHN') says the horrors of the Iraq War left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

And the drug that he says helped him deal with the symptoms was one Veterans Affairs doctors couldn't legally prescribe: marijuana.

Now, Belen is one of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging federal marijuana laws.

He is set to appear in a New York courtroom on Wednesday for arguments in a lawsuit that claims classifying marijuana as a dangerous drug is irrational and unconstitutional.

The government has filed a motion to dismiss. Government lawyers say there are logical reasons for listing marijuana as a dangerous drug under federal law.

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