United States v. Green, No. 19-997 (2d Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Defendants filed a joint motion to dismiss the narcotics conspiracy count on the grounds that the classification of marijuana under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act violates their Fifth Amendment due process and equal protection rights. They argued that marijuana's scheduling has no rational basis because it does not meet the statutory criteria for inclusion on Schedule I. The district court denied their motion to dismiss, concluding that they incorrectly sought to tether the rational basis inquiry to the statutory criteria
The Second Circuit agreed with the district court that the Act's scheduling criteria are largely irrelevant to our constitutional review because the rational basis test asks only whether Congress could have any conceivable basis for including marijuana on the strictest schedule. Because there are other plausible considerations that could have motivated Congress's scheduling of marijuana, the court concluded that its classification does not violate Defendants’ due process or equal protection rights.