Lawyer: Marijuana prohibition laws unconstitutional

HARTFORD  — A Connecticut lawyer hopes his arguments in a drug case eventually are used by attorneys nationwide to fight marijuana charges and bans on pot possession.

Aaron Romano says many state marijuana laws were based on a 1937 federal law that essentially criminalized pot. The Bloomfield attorney argues the federal law was rooted in racism and bigotry against blacks and Mexicans and therefore was unconstitutional, as are state bans based on the law including Connecticut’s.

Romano made the unusual argument Tuesday in a motion to dismiss marijuana possession and probation violation charges against a client who was caught with nearly a pound of pot in January.

The prosecutor in the case declined to comment, while at least one drug law expert doesn’t believe such an argument would be successful.