The following is the text of a motion filed by Alan Sobol in his lawsuit against Arizona to establish the legality of his cannabis club.
1. Plaintiff Allan Sobol, pro/per files this brief memorandum as his Motion for Immediate Summary decision or in the alternative Expedited Hearing on his Complaint for Declaratory Judgment. This motion is filed because of the extreme controversy that is effecting the community at large and which demands immediate Court resolution.
2. Summary decision is appropriate because the facts are clear and undisputed that the Plaintiffs 2811 Club business model is not in violation or conflict with any Arizona Laws.
3. Moreover, summary decision is appropriate because of the significant amount of Arizona citizens that are being adversely effected by the on going controversy.
4. On November 2, 2010, Arizona voters were asked to consider whether the State should decriminalize medical marijuana. Proposition 203, an initiative measure identified as the “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act” (“The Act” or “AMMA”), envisioned decriminalizing medical marijuana for use by people with certain chronic and debilitating medical conditions. Qualifying patients would be able to receive up to 2 ½ ounces of marijuana every two weeks from medical marijuana dispensaries or to cultivate their own plants under certain conditions. Proposition 203 provided that its purpose “is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.”
5. Arizona voters passed Proposition 203 in November 2010; the Governor signed it into law on December 14, 2010.
6. The defendants in this Action have been very vocal in their opposition to Prop 203, and apparently are displaying sour grapes over the voters choice.
7. Defendant Brewer, as Governor, is vested with the supreme executive power of Arizona and regardless of her personal beliefs, she is responsible for the faithful execution of all laws, including the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act,
8. Furthermore, The Act requires the Arizona Department of Health Services (“ADHS”) to be responsible for implementing and overseeing the Act.
9. Specifically, the Act provides for the registration and certification by the, ADHS of “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries,” “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agents,” “qualifying patients,” and “designated caregivers.”\
10. On April 14, 2011, the ADHS began accepting applications from persons who sought to be certified as Qualifying Patients and Designated Caregivers. As of August 15, 2011, there were over 8000 Qualifying Patients certified by the ADHS including the plaintiff herein.
11. However, on or about June 1, 2011, in an attempt to thwart the will of the voters and impose her own personal beliefs on the citizens of Arizona, defendant Brewer suspended the dispensary portion of the ACT. This represents a bad faith abuse on the part of the Governors authority.
12. Defendants suspension of the dispensary program effectively denied most qualified patients the ability and right to obtain the medical marijuana authorized under the ACT.
13. The very purpose of the Act was to provide for a qualifying patient, who has a “debilitating medical condition” to obtain an “allowable amount of marijuana” from a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary” and to possess and use the marijuana to treat or alleviate the serious debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the medical condition
14. Denial of relief to these seriously ill patients equates to cruel and unusual punishment , a violation of the Voter Protection Act and a clear abuse of the Governors authority.
15. The majority of qualified patients are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Many are confined to wheel chairs with disfigurements, missing limbs or simply weak and frail resulting from their debilitating conditions. These individuals suffer daily from chronic pain and other ailments that this Act was intended to alleviate. Absent a safe and legal way to acquire their medication these qualified patients are forced into the very risky black market to acquire the medication they so desperately desire. This exposes many qualified patients to the criminal elements including con artist and robbers.
16. Absent a viable dispensary program where a qualified patient could purchase affordable small quantities of medical marijuana as needed, denies these patients the right under the Act to possess and use medical marijuana.
17. The only recourse available to these disfranchised qualified patients is to seek and acquire free quantities of medical marijuana from other qualified patients who are willing to donate their excess marijuana as it may be available.
18. Under the ACT, (36-2811 B-3), “patient to patient” transfers of medical marijuana is specifically permitted provided nothing of value is exchanged.
19. The inherent problem is the fact that under the ACT all qualified patient records maintained by AHDS are confidential. In fact, the ACT makes it a crime for any AHDS employee to release patient information to a third party. Consequently, there is no way, other than high risk internet Craigslist type classified advertising, for a patient looking to acquire free marijuana to locate another donating patient with excess marijuana.
20. In an effort to assist qualified patients, plaintiff Sobol developed a business model concept intended to provide qualified patients with a venue to network. A place they could come to meet other qualified patients. The 2811 Club, LLC, (Named after the provisions of the Act which allow patient to patient transfers ), The 2811 Club, hereinafter referred to as the” CLUB”, is a is a professionally operated, membership only entity.
21. For marketing purposes the business is called a club, However, the Club’s primary function is that of a Educational and Resource center for qualified patients. Through the Club’s affiliation with Plaintiff Sobol’s other business, the Arizona Cannabis University, ( previously known as the Arizona Dispensary University) , the Club offers extensive educational services to qualified patients. The Arizona Cannabis University has been offering classes to the general public since September 2010, and has built a credible reputation for providing one of the most extensive marijuana related curriculums in the country. The University has been repeatedly featured on all local TV and print media and some national news organizations. The University has from time to time offered classes across the state utilizing hotel conference rooms as needed. Additionally, like most Universities, the Arizona Cannabis University comes complete with a private campus. The physical, permanent classroom and campus is located at 17233 N. Holmes Blvd Suite 1615, Phoenix AZ 85053 and features, extensive on-line research services, free wi-fi, an extensive marijuana related book and video library, daily entertainment, a school discount store, pain management demonstrations, political advocacy programs, even spiritual sermons but most importantly, a lounge area for qualified patients to interact and network together. This is a closed campus where only qualified patients who possess a AZDHS medical marijuana card are permitted to enter. The University and Club interact together in a clean, professional and safe environment to provide much needed services to qualified patients. This unique one-of-kind facility provides professional armed security and a state of art surveillance system together with patient verification and tracking to assure full compliance with the ACT.
22. The Facility charges a yearly membership fee of $25.00 to qualified patients. Thereafter, the Club/University charges a usage fee of $75.00 per day which entitles the patient/member to full access of the facility and all it’s services. The Club maintains a policy of fee waivers for individuals with limited income. This fee pays for the overhead, (cost of operations), of the facility including the rent, electric, security, insurance, payrolls, educational services, etc.
23. The word “Club” is merely the vessel that brings qualified patients together. The Club facility is simply a venue for qualified patients to interact with other qualified patients. Contrary to the allegations of the Defendant, the Club does not sell, produce, transport, transfer or distribute Marijuana in any form. The defendants have produced no evidence that suggest otherwise. The Club does allow qualified patient/members, pursuant to ARS 36-2811 B-3, to exchange their own marijuana with other patients. Everyone in the club facility is a qualified patient. These are direct “ patient to patient” transfers that are in no way associated with the Club management or the usage fees charged. The Club has strict written rules that limit marijuana transfers to no more than 2.5 ounces and there can be no exchange of any value. Violation of these rules mean immediate and permanent expulsion from the Club.
24. Additionally, the Club donates space to a private not-for-profit Association; The Arizona Compassion Association, Inc. This association is not a collective. The association is comprised of approximately 50 qualified patients who each, individually, grow their own medical marijuana. This association was formed to advance their mutual beliefs to share knowledge and otherwise network together for the betterment of the industry. This association is protected under the First and Fourteen amendment of the US Constitution.
25. The qualified patients of the association, who are all members of the club, bring very limited amounts of their excess marijuana into the club and transfer it “FREE OF CHARGE/VALUE” to any Club member that request it. These are also direct “patient to patient” transfers as permitted under the ACT and are in no way connected to the operation of the Club, or the fees that are charged. Again, the Defendants have produced no evidence to suggest otherwise. These transfers are not conditioned upon payment of entry to the club. If two qualified patients are enrolled in ASU, or perhaps a local community college, and conducted a patient to patient transfer in the lounge of that school, would the Attorney General threaten to criminally prosecute and close down the School? . In fact, the Act does not limit where such patient to patient transfers can take place. Qualified patients could meet on a street corner, a movie theater, or even a Mcdonalds. These transfers can take place outside of the Clubs facilities, however, our patient/members voluntarily elect to conduct the transfer in the Club while enjoying the Clubs facilities, services and security.
26. The club owners, and the plaintiff have no legal affiliation with the association, other than a simple agreement that provides some donated space and the requirement that the association conduct themselves in a professional business-like manner, in full compliance with Arizona Law. Any perceived benefit the association may receive from the donated space is being realized by the legal entity ( The Association) and not by any individual patient/member. There simply is nothing of value being exchanged directly from the Club to any individual qualified patient.
27. For these reasons the Club is operating within full compliance of the law.
28. Having effectively stopped the Dispensary portion of the law, the defendants are now unjustly taking aim at the only remaining option qualified patients have to obtain their medication.
29. While the defendants have not produced one scintilla of evidence demonstrating any illegal activity at the 2811 Club, the defendants have nevertheless threathen the club owners with criminal arrest and prosecution. This Club/university is being singled out for prosecution because of its marijuana curriculum. The defendants have relied on marketing materials, news reports, hearsay, and speculation. But have not presented this Court with any substantive evidence to support their allegations. In fact, the marketing materials produced by the Defendants supports the argument of the Plaintiff.
30. Moreover, the plaintiff has been completely transparent and forthright in the development and operation of the Club. The Plaintiff has made numerous good faith efforts to explain and demonstrate the operation of the Club to the Defendants. Sobol has invited the defendants to visit the club on at least three separate occasions for a first-hand on-site inspection, the defendants have ignored all such requests. The plaintiff has repeatedly conveyed the following proposition to the defendants; that if defendant can produce a specific Arizona Statute showing that the Club is in violation of the law, Sobol will agree to withdraw his license and close the Club. The defendants have failed to respond to this request The defendants have failed to present any specific Arizona Statute whereby they can support their allegations that the Club has violated any State law. (Ubi jus incertum, ibi jus nullum). The fact is, the Club is a legally registered, fully compliant, and legitimate business operation
31. The defendants have clearly voiced their personal opposition to The Medical Marijuana Act. The defendants, acting in concert with each other, are conspiring to use the power of their office to further their personal beliefs and agenda regarding marijuana, all in dereliction of their official duties. As Governor Brewer is vested with the supreme executive power of Arizona and is responsible for the faithful execution of all laws, including the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Instead, the Governor and Mr. Humble are abusing their authority by threatening and intimating legitimate business owners out of existence in an effort to thwart the will of the Arizona voters.
32. The Club operation is fully compliant with Arizona State Law and the Defendants have produced no evidence to suggest otherwise.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Sobol respectfully requests declaratory relief as follows:
A. Grant Summary Decision in this matter or, in the alternative, Grant an Expedited hearing in this matter.
B. Deny all the Defendant requests.
C. Find in favor of Plaintiff, that Sobol’s specific 2811 club business model is not in violation of any Arizona State Laws.
D. That the Court grant such other and further relief as it deems appropriate and proper.
Dated this 15th day of August, 2011.
ALLAN SOBOL pro per
/s Allan Sobol___________
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I certify that on this 15th day of August 2011. I electronically transmitted a PDF version of this document to the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court, Maricopa County, using Turbo Court ECF System, with a copy also mailed to :
Office of the Arizona Attorney General
Att: Lori Davis
1275 W Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2926
INDEX OF EXHIBITS
- Sobol’s Medical Marijuana card issued by AZDHS
- Arizona Cannabis University media publicity
- 2811 Club Marketing Materials
- Memorandum of Agreement between 2811 Club and Arizona Compassion Association, Inc.
- Communications from 2811 Club to Law Enforcement
- Letter to Attorney General offering to close 2811 Club
- Defendants opposition to Prop 203 and medical marijuana.