Current Events, Legal

Has Congress Officially Approved the Medical Use of Marijuana? Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Seeks to Find Out

Has Congress officially legalized the medical use of marijuana? Now that Washington D.C.’s medical marijuana program is moving forward, a lawsuit against the federal government seeks to find out.

In a picture of ironic contradiction, Federal IND patient Irvin Rosenfeld smokes a legal medical marijuana cigarette outside our nation's capital.

Naming Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray as Defendants Sibley v Obama et al could end up being the biggest medical marijuana case since the 2005 case Gonzales v Raich. The Plaintiff in this case, glaucoma patient and D.C. dispensary applicant Montgomery Sibley, seeks a court order preventing the Department of Justice from enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act in the District of Columbia until the legal ambiguity surrounding the District’s program is resolved.

In his argument, Sibley establishes and clarifies his attempts to be a law abiding citizen:

“Plaintiff has: (i) filed his “Letter of Intent” to operate a medical marijuana cultivation and/or dispensary operation pursuant to the D.C. Medical Marijuana Act and the Rules promulgated thereunder with the District of Columbia, (ii) entered into an agreement in January 2011 to lease certain property in the District of Columbia for the express purpose of growing and/or dispensing medical marijuana and (iii) organized with others by telephone and/or email for a license to grow medical marijuana under the D.C. Medical Marijuana Act. Finally, Plaintiff has been diagnosed as having glaucoma by an Optometrist and thus will be seeking to become a “qualifying patient” to use Medical Marijuana as authorized under the D.C. Medical Marijuana Act.” — September 1, 2011 Amended Complaint in SIBLEY v. OBAMA et al

Having talked by phone and email about dispensing marijuana, Sibley could still be charged with a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance at the federal level. While D.C.’s medical marijuana program offers legal protection to applicants within the District, the program does not protect applicants from federal prosecution. Not only that, the D.C. medical marijuana program specifically asks applicants to waive future defenses to federal prosecution!

If Sibley, or any other applicant, applies for the medical marijuana permit by September 16th, he or she will be required to sign a Medical Marijuana Program Cultivation Center Acknowledgment and Attestation Form as part of the application process. The last sentence of Line 11, part (c) of the form, reads:

“The District of Columbia’s law authorizing the District’s medical marijuana program will not excuse any registrant from any violation of the federal laws governing marijuana or authorize any registrant to violate federal laws.”

Signing this form, argues Sibley, is a violation of the Fifth Amendment, as anyone who signs this form is admitting to breaking federal law while simultaneously agreeing to waive immunity from federal prosecution. Sibley argues that requiring applicants to sign this form is a violation of the fifth amendment:

Is Montel Williams, one of the potential D.C. dispensary applicants, unconstitutionally incriminating himself by following D.C.'s registration requirements?

“The rules and practices of the Defendant Mayor and Defendant DOH, both on their face and as applied, expose Plaintiff to a real and appreciable risk of self-incrimination and thus violate the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” —September 1, 2011 Amended Complaint in SIBLEY v. OBAMA et al

Raising a Fifth Amendment challenge to the District’s rules for medical marijuana, plus arguing for Congressional “repeal by implication” of the Controlled Substances Act, Sidney v Obama et al has huge potential for the medical marijuana movement! As the 2012 election reaches ever closer, medical marijuana lawsuits in Arizona and Iowa, and now, Washington D.C., will have some interesting rulings on the constitutionality of marijuana prohibition.

The disappointing result in Gonzales v Raich was NOT the final say, no matter how many times Drug Warriors point to that incomplete ruling. I hope other D.C. applicants are paying attention to this groundbreaking case. You can be sure I am. Follow WeedPress on Facebook for more on this case as it develops.



7 thoughts on “Has Congress Officially Approved the Medical Use of Marijuana? Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Seeks to Find Out

  1. Suing the president for not following through with a campaign promise? Seriously? That’s like suing the Pope for being Catholic. I think this guy is going to be laughed out of court. Although his Constitutional arguments might be taken seriously if not for the ridiculous claims about Obama’s promises.

    Posted by Tony Aroma | September 5, 2011, 7:49 pm
    • I don’t believe he’ll be thrown out of court. His fifth amendment claim is going to have to be addressed. The courts can’t just ignore him.

      So many activists out there ridicule Obama’s flip-flop attitude towards medical marijuana. It’s nice to see somebody actually doing something about it. I agree that his claim against the President regarding campaign promises isn’t the strongest. I disagree that that argument will get him laughed out of court.

      Posted by jsnsoc8 | September 6, 2011, 9:48 am

    This book is Jack Herer’s legacy! Because of the compassion of his widow it is here FREE for all to read!
    Please do so then REPOST this link profusely!!!
    Knowledge is Power…The Truth Will Set You FREE!

    Posted by Wilford John Presler IV | September 5, 2011, 11:52 pm
  3. What a wonderful project Montgomery, keep up the good work!

    Posted by Bob | September 6, 2011, 11:06 am
  4. I don’t live in D.C., I live in the other Washington where I just got raided May 4th.

    The man who has placed his suit, would have done better by using the fact, Congress re-wrote the CSA laws on 01/22/2002, and under Title 21, Section 812, Sub-section (B) it states that for a drug to be a level ( 1 ) drug, it can NOT have any “CURRENT USE” for medical use in the USA!

    I’m having a person from the Federal Cancer center as well as the Federal Veterans Medical branch in to have them both state how they allow patients to smoke marijuana for medical reasons!

    This arguement will open the door for thousands to sue the Dept. of justice for violating guidelines set in place by Congress. 🙂

    Want to learn more about my case or about the 3.5 Million case for damages, call adam at 509-288-4799

    Posted by Adam Assenberg | September 6, 2011, 7:02 pm
  5. need to get medical marijuana approved for all states! A patch work of laws is never good! If one state or 16 states can have it then all should! The drug companies are the ones that don’t want it so they can keep making the poison they push on TV and though the doctors. It has been documented to help people for a number of conditions and comes without dangerous side effects. Also since it can be growen by the person in need of it, it could save everyone money including medicare. But since the drug companys have so much money to fight it the people of this country suffer and the courts and jails are bogged down by the out of date laws, along with our out of date goverment that is supposed to be for the people and by the people, but is now for the money by the money and nothing but the money!

    Posted by Michael Lotzer | March 12, 2012, 4:28 pm
  6. yeah, nothing new, it is always the money. that is why i am against medical marijuana, or anyone involved in it (but for the patients). everyone with half a brain, knows the medical mj movement is a half baked way to get mj into the hands of the special few. we also know, that fully 50% or more of the patients, have no medical need for mj at all, it is all a ruse, thus the feds. crack down, regardless of their stated reasons. any medical mj provider, who says he concern is for his/her patients, i lying just as much as the DEA, HHS, and FDA are, which quite plainly exposes the bigitory in all this mess. It IS About The MONEY!

    so, lets get real, and admit that fact, and carry on our fight for full legalization of mj in an honest way. the goal has always been for recreational use, more than for medical use. mj clearly helps those in Real need, andi dont know about u, but i want to enjoy my pot, just as the medical patients do. pot get users high, that is what this battle is all about, nothing more, nothing less; we all know it, we are not blind and stupid.

    there are two valid ways to get pot legalized, and both are about rescheduling pot to schedule 3 or below. so, the first way is for the executive branch to exercise its executive order. pot is then legalized in the stroke of a pen. the second way, is the courts, which is probably the best avenue, provided u have a solid argument, and not just a bunch of hope.

    the harder we push this issus, the harder the DEA and pals will push back. legalization via the executive route is basically a dead issue. read about obamas new and imporved attack on mj, in all area. it is a pathetic attempt to take us back to the Nixon lies, and “just say no” programs, which are acknowledged as a collosal failure. the 1 trillion dollars spent matter not, we will never carry that argument forward, there is just too much money for the powers that be,, to ever give up, relent, and see things our way. every fact in the world does not matter to them, they just roll out the same old debunked lies. obama is the worst, and a flat out liar to the very people who elected him in the first place. in my mind, he can never be trusted again, and a sad scenario it is. his lies will continue to destroy lives, families, and futures, obana knows full well the path he has chosen, as do we all. our mistake was in believing him in the first place. but the worst of it all is, romney is worse, he is on tape laughing at a question by a guy in a wheelchair about protecting his med. mj. laughed, and walked away. romney is evil to the core and absolutely the biggest liar i have ever seen, pathological, and he lies without compunction, it is amazing to see. romney is a flat out fool.

    so, focus on rescheduling, that is where it is at, bottom line. bravo to the states and their advances of our movement. personally, i would never support medical mj, only full legalization is good enuf, and by that i mean, just treat it like alcohol. we will slowly take our freedom to success, just be patient as usual, the federal courts are very slow to even hear mj cases. i matters not to me, i will still get mine int he meantime, like it has been done for decades. pot legalization will prevail in the end. peace.

    Posted by jack smith | May 19, 2012, 4:38 pm

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