D.C. Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Dismissed for Lack of Standing in Sibley v Obama et a

Previously on WeedPress, I wrote an article about Montgomery Sibley, a Washington D.C. glaucoma patient and medical marijuana dispensary applicant who filed suit against the Obama Administration recently.

Sibley, arguing that Congressional approval of D.C’s medical marijuana program has repealed the federal prohibition of marijuana by implication, had his argument dismissed on October 21st for lack of standing. The court opinion can be read here. Here’s some excerpts:

“Plaintiff [Sibley] seeks injunctive enforcement of President Obama’s alleged promise not to enforce the Controlled Substances Act with respect to medical marijuana; review of the constitutionality of the CSA; and a declaratory judgment that Congress has amended the CSA by implication in its purported approval of the District’s program. Plaintiff has also sued Vincent Gray, the District’s Mayor, and the District’s Department of Health. Plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of medical marijuana program rules that allegedly require him to incriminate himself under the CSA…

The Court will also grant the federal defendants’ motion to dismiss, and defendants Obama and Holder will be dismissed from this case. The District defendants’ motion to dismiss remains before the Court…

Since plaintiff has failed to allege facts indicating an actual or imminent injury, he lacks standing to sue and the Court therefore lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims against the federal defendants. The Court will therefore grant the federal defendants’ motion to dismiss, and defendants Obama and Holder will be dismissed from this case. Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining the federal government from enforcing the CSA has thereby been rendered moot and will be denied.” Memorandum Opinion, Sibley v Obama et al

The day after Sibley received notice that the court found any injury to his person "speculative," Wells Fargo shut down his bank account.

Interestingly enough, the day after Sibley received the Court’s opinion, Wells Fargo shut his bank account down. In response, Sibley has filed a motion for reconsideration…here’s some more excerpts:

“Yet, the day after this Court issued its opinion, Plaintiff received evidence of his “injury” occasioned by the federal government in the form of a letter from his bank terminating the bank account of his company, The Medicinal Medical Marijuana Company of America, LLC…

“Clearly, Plaintiff has been harmed by the failure of this Court to reconcile the conflict between the CSA and the D.C. Medical Marijuana Act. If Plaintiff is correct that there has been a repeal by implication of the former by the latter, then Wells Fargo would have no basis for terminating its relationship with Plaintiff’s copmany for no federal laws would be violated…

“Plaintiff requests that this Court vacate its order of October 21, 2011, and permit to Plaintiff the discovery of the basis for the termination of his bank account–and the government’s role in that termination–in order to establish the record for appellate review that the government is, through administration pressure brought without legal basis, forcing the termination of Plaintiff’s banking relationship with Wells Fargo.” —Motion for Reconsideration by Montgomery Blair Sibley

Will the court, having previously reasoned that Sibley “failed to allege facts indicating an actual or imminent injury,” reconsider it’s decision? Or will the court avoid ruling on Sibley’s argument, and allow D.C. officials to subject their citizens to federal prosectuion? Follow WeedPress on Facebook…I’ll post updates as soon as I can.



One thought on “D.C. Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Dismissed for Lack of Standing in Sibley v Obama et a

  1. FYI, i used the exact same argument here in colorado federal court (as our injuries are real and immenent Not speculation) case # 11-cv-2578-pab It has survived summary dismissal as well as another dismissal tactic by the CO AG office. ANY STATE with a licensing scheme, revenue collecting by the state and criminal penanties for non compliance violates these laws as well as the issues in Leary v. US 395 US 6 (1969)

    Posted by Rev. B Baker | March 28, 2012, 9:35 am

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