Medical marijuana: Reverend Brandon Baker challenges state MMJ laws in Federal court
The Reverend Brandon Baker, who's with the ganja-based Greenfaith Ministry, has a lot of titles.
He's a farmer, a father, an activist, a religious leader -- and now a self-professed legal scholar who says he's found a way to end Colorado's medical marijuana regulations, which he says violate patient privacy.
For the last year or so, Baker says, he's been scanning law books, looking for a way to challenge the state medical marijuana regs passed over the last two years; he believes they've created a state-run regulatory scheme that incriminates all patients in federal marijuana crimes. And last month, he filed a motion to overturn the laws in federal court.
Baker argues that state laws requiring dispensaries to keep patient records and maintain live feeds of security cameras for Colorado's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division will eventually lead to patients being arrested by federal law-enforcement officials. His suit also argues that the state government can't collect any revenue or application money from a federally illegal industry.
"This is a facial challenge," he explains. "I'm not challenging marijuana, I'm challenging the Fifth Amendment. I'm going to have them toss the dispensary laws and have them rewrite them all with privacy for the patients."
Baker is also a part of a similar lawsuit at the state level demanding that the state's MMJ laws be thrown out; it was filed by activist Kathleen Chippi. But while he acknowledges that the two suits essentially seek the same outcome, he says they don't overlap.
And he also wants to make it clear he isn't attacking Colorado's constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana, passed by voters in 2000 -- just the new laws put in place by the Colorado Legislature with the passing of HB 1284 last year.
"It's more exploratory than anything else," he says of his attempt to get the federal court to hear the case. "I mainly want an answer. I want to see what the reply and theory and thinking is on it. I pretty much combined all of [Chippi's] arguments into this as well. I'm not going to fuck shit up for everyone else -- I promise."
Click over to the next page for text of Baker's challenge.
Note** This post has been updated to include the most current version of Baker's challenge.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No._ 11 CV 2578-BNB
_REV. BRANDON BAKER, Plaintiffs,
_THE STATE OF COLORADO, _A. G. JOHN SUTHERS, Defendant(s).
_________________________________________________________________ AMENDED COMPLAINT _______________________________________________________________
1. Plaintiff, Reverend Brandon Baker, was and still is; a resident of Colo. who resides in Nunn CO 80648. 2. Defendant State of Colorado is the governing entity of the People of Colo. created by and acting pursuant to, and limited by, the Const. of Colo. As well as the U.S. Const. 3. Defendant John Suthers was and still is a resident of Colo. and is challenged in his official capacity as Attorney General; he works at the Office of the Attorney General (A.G.), 1525 Sherman St, 7th floor, Denver, CO 80203.
JURISDICTION and BACKGROUND
4. Plaintiff re-alleges everything from paragraph 1-3 and further alleges: jurisdiction arises in this Court pursuant to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-51-101 (2009). et. seq.; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-4-101 (2009). Et seq.; and C.R.C.P. 57. A declaratory judgment in this case for the plaintiff would resolve all of this controversy giving rise to this proceeding and many others in trial or litigation 28 U.S.C. § 2201 (2010). 5. Plaintiff, Reverend Brandon Baker is. a licensed medical cannabis patient, a personal cannabis caregiver and religious cannabis practitioner of greenfaith Ministry; a Licensed and Registered non-denominational church & charity by the State of Colo. & United States; is a branch of the Oklevuha N.A.C. and is controlled by Reverend Baker an ordained Catholic, Christian, Rastafarian and Native American Holyman (specifically in religious personal healing and end of life passing). 6. Plaintiff John Suthers was and still is the Legal Head Representation for the State of Colo. and is the main party to serve pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.1(a)(1)(B), as he signed off on the constitutionality of these Unconstitutional statutes and is the one who violated his duty and the procedures set out in the Controlled Substance Act, 21 U.S.C. § 801-927 (2010). 7. In addition to the self-incrimination by the challenged statutes, they also violate inherent liberty, life privacy issues that establish a "fundamental right" to medical care, Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution the Colorado Constitution is more expansive of these rights in specifically establishing as a fundamental right of all Colorado citizens and residents the ready access to medical marijuana for debilitating medical conditions; to keep it confidential and to keep it constitutional; this cannot be denied for greenfaith Ministry on any grounds as it is part of their religious healing 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2010). 8. Furthermore doctors, dentists, and other medical providers routinely prescribe and pharmacies routinely dispense in every municipality in every county of the state a great many controlled pharmaceutical narcotics such as Fentanyl, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, morphine, and codeine, universally recognized as far more potent than medical marijuana; the use of these medicinal substances is illegal unless pursuant to a doctor's or dentist's prescription see C.S.A., 21 U.S.C. § 801-927 (2010). 9. In infringing upon the aforesaid constitutional rights of the Plaintiffs, the medical marijuana business statutes, legislation, agency division and regulations fail to promote any compelling state interest furthermore, there is no rational basis for any of these challenged restrictions let alone any compelling state interest as they deviate far from the chief concern which is to carry out the legislations' intent without either broadening or restricting beyond its original intended scope. see Colo. Const. art. XVIII § 14, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-18-406.3 (2001), Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-1.5-106 (2009) for original intent. 10. When coupled with the illegal and improper regulatory restrictions on: patient, care-givers and everyone connected to MMJ; these statutes and the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Dep't of Revenue created by them as well as the large number of municipal/county bans being enacted across the State are UNCONSTITUTIONAL & are wasting millions in revenue plus time with litigation against the states/ cities in the courts.
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF AND SUPPORTING FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
11. Plaintiff re-alleges everything from paragraphs 1-10 and further alleges: this matter is; a federal question on the constitutionality of state statutes C.R.S. 12-43.3- Et seq. (2011)., in their entirety, as a facial challenge [see U.S. v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 745.]; properly and legally filed as specified by 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (2010), 28 U.S.C. § 2403(a) (2010), 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2010), Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.1(a)(I)(A), 15 & 57; and C.R.C.P. 7 through 11 (specifically C.R.C.P. 8(e)(2); 10 & 57). 12. A statute is facially unconstitutional only if no conceivable set of circumstances exist under which it may be applied in a constitutionally permissible manner [the only Constitutional and Legal way to implement Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43.3-100 (2011) to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43.3-1001 (2011). is to petition the DEA to reschedule cannabis as it has accepted medical use in the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 801 Et seq. (2011).] therefore Colo. must reschedule or repeal these challenged statutes. 13. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43.3-100 (2011) to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43.3-1001 (2011). are in direct violation of procedure pursuant to C.S.A. see 21 U.S.C. § 801-927. (2010). and are UNCONSTITUTIONAL when looked at individually and in their entirety as they openly and blatantly violate the U.S. Const. amend. V. pursuant to the self-incrimination clause; there is no Constitutional way of enforcement or enactment of any parts of the challenge statutes without rescheduling. 14. There is no other Constitutional way to implement or enforce any part of the challenged statutes if the D.E.A. doesn't reschedule cannabis/marijuana and if not corrected immediately the harmed individuals can actually sue to recover any ill collected revenue and connected damages (in the area of 12 million dollars) pursuant to 26 CFR 1.1346-1 (2005). 15. Plaintiffs seek the following disputed issues be resolved through the Court by ruling as a matter of law, and for the reasons set forth above, the following statutory provisions, and the agency regulations promulgated thereunder, are unconstitutional [see (C.R.S. 12-43.3-100 to C.R.S. 12-43.3-1001)] UNLESS cannabis/marijuana is rescheduled.
REQUEST FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, for the reasons stated above the Plaintiff requests the following relief:
1. Plaintiffs respectfully request the court for an order to John Suthers, Colo. Attorney General, to petition the DEA to have marijuana/cannabis be removed from the Controlled Substance Act and given a proper scheduling test pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 811 Et seq. (2010). As it is the only way to make these challenged statutes and the Revenue Dep't Marijuana Division (M.M.E.D.) Constitutional and as Legally required by Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43.3-202(g) (2010) or; 2. Plaintiffs respectfully request a declaratory judgment from the Court that these challenged statutes of the medical marijuana legislation pertaining to the Colorado medical marijuana program, the agency regulations and Revenue Dep't division promulgated thereunder are unconstitutional and; 3. Repeal Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43.3-100 (2011). to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-43.3-1001 (2011). And disband the M.M.E.D. by this facial challenge due to the presented information. 4. Plaintiffs further respectfully request an order from the Court, repealing and permanently enjoining them, jointly and severally, from implementing, enforcing or otherwise acting upon any and all of the listed, as well as any future, provisions of the medical marijuana statutes, legislation and agency regulations that are found to be unconstitutional.
Respectfully submitted, Rev. Brandon Baker By:___________________________ (Unrepresented individual)
More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana: CO Supreme Court asked to review Jason Beinor case about MMJ rights."
Get the Marijuana Newsletter
Stay informed of the latest marijuana news and views with updates about dispensaries, strains, products, changes to the law, and special offers in your area.