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Public Interest Group Files Civil Suit To Overturn All U.S. Marijuana Laws


The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has filed a civil suit challenging the constitutionality of the nation's marijuana laws.

The suit, filed in Washington last Wednesday, asks a special three-judge Federal Court to rule that laws prohibiting the private possession and use of marijuana violate an individual's right of privacy and other guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a member of NORML's advisory board, will argue the suit for the Washington-based public-interest group.


Police Chief Jerry Wilson, Mayor Walter Washington, Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson '41, and John R. Bartels Jr., administrator of the Justice Department's Drug Enforcement Administration, were named as defendants in the suit.

Keith Stroup, director of NORML, said yesterday he expects the Justice Department to move for dismissal of the case on the grounds of improper plaintiffs because the suit names a civil class of 40,000 adult users of marijuana in Washington as co-plaintiffs.

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