is planning to pay a $3.3 million settlement to settle a federal lawsuit alleging it violated the Constitution by engaging in “unconstitutional practices” that violated the Fifth Amendment.
The settlement with the Justice Department includes a payment to settle claims that the city illegally used its authority to control prices of medical marijuana to coerce doctors to prescribe it and to withhold prescriptions from those who did not sign up.
The Justice Department also agreed to a settlement with another state that alleges the city violated federal drug laws by denying the right of a person with epilepsy to receive a medical marijuana card.
The settlement also includes an agreement to amend and correct its policies regarding the delivery of medical cannabis to the sickest patients.
A federal judge in Philadelphia agreed to dismiss the lawsuit brought by patients and their advocates against Evanston on Tuesday, a decision the city appealed.
In a statement, Mayor Donnie B. McIlveen called the settlement with federal officials “a victory for patients and the millions of patients across the country who have access to medical cannabis.”
McIlvean said the city is pleased to be settling its lawsuit.
He said the settlement also covers any other state that was also sued.
The city’s attorney, Richard S. Smith, said Evanston would also seek to settle the case in an administrative proceeding with the Office of Management and Budget.
“The City of Evanston has always been committed to ensuring that its medical marijuana program is fully compliant with the law and that the patients in this state have access and access to affordable, legal medical cannabis,” Smith said.
“We will continue to work with the OMB to ensure the patient care program is properly administered and operated.
The lawsuit was filed in February after the Justice Departments Office of Legal Counsel released a study in April that said Evanwood, Illinois, had the fewest licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in the country.
The report said the federal government was likely to approve the city’s request for a waiver from state laws barring the city from establishing a dispensary network in the state of Illinois.
The Justice Department said in a statement the Justice Dept. would continue to investigate.