Besieged by litigation about its travel ban, its immigration agenda, its prohibition on transgender soldiers and numerous potential conflicts of interest, the presidency of Donald J. Trump has seemed at times like a high-stakes spinoff of “The People’s Court” with Mr. Trump in the starring role as defendant in chief.
On Wednesday, yet another courtroom battle promises to pull the White House into the legal spotlight as crucial arguments are heard in New York in a sweeping lawsuit that is challenging the administration’s marijuana policy by seeking to legalize pot under federal law.
When the suit was filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan in July, it appeared to be an intriguing, if limited, effort to help its five named plaintiffs — among them a former professional football player with a business selling pot-based pain relievers and a 12-year-old girl who treats her chronic epilepsy with medical marijuana. But the case was thrust into national relevance last month when Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an order encouraging prosecutors to aggressively enforce the federal marijuana law, endangering the viability of the multibillion-dollar weed industry in states where it is legal.
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