Congressman's Daughter a Plaintiff in Medical Marijuana Case

The daughter of Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray is one of the plaintiffs in a series of lawsuits to keep medical marijuana dispensaries open

By Mari Payton
|  Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011  |  Updated 1:21 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Briana Bilbray, 25, who is battling stage 3 melanoma cancer is named as a plaintiff in a series of lawsuits filed to stop U.S. attorneys from shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries.

Briana Bilbray, 25, who is battling stage 3 melanoma cancer is named as a plaintiff in a series of lawsuits filed to stop U.S. attorneys from shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

SD Explained: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Things are heating up for local medical marijuana dispensaries, reports Voiceofsandiego.org. Get more from voiceofsandiego.org here.

SD Fact Check: Pot Rules

Are there really more medical marijuana collectives in the city than there are pharmacies? Voiceofsandiego.org investigates. Get more from voiceofsandiego.org here.
More Photos and Videos

Medical marijuana advocates are standing up to the federal government.

A series of lawsuits were filed Friday and Monday in California to stop U.S. attorneys from shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries. It accuses the Department of Justice of entrapping pot providers by reversing its own policy.

Plaintiffs cite a 2010 agreement by federal prosecutors to dismiss a case against a Santa Cruz County medical marijuana cooperative because the department had told U.S. attorneys to defer to states on medical use of the drug.

The state's four federal prosecutors last month announced a broad effort to close pot clubs, telling landlords who rent space to pot dispensaries they could have their property seized.

One of the local plaintiffs is Briana Bilbray, 25.

She is battling Stage 3 melanoma cancer.

"I had to have a lot of surgeries to cut it out and I went through four treatments of chemotherapy," said Bilbray.

While undergoing chemotherapy treatments, she smokes marijuana to help deal with nausea.

"This medicine helped me in seconds," she said. "It wasn't minutes or hours it was seconds."

She's also the daughter of Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray.

She wants to stop the statewide crackdown on medical marijuana.

"It was really scary to tell Dad and Mom but they saw the pain I was in," she said Monday night.

One of the lawyers for the coalition, Lance Rogers, said lawsuits were also filed in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.

Other local plaintiffs include three marijuana collectives.

"All of the individuals involved in this litigation are bonified legitimate medical marijuana patients and medical marijuana dispensaries operating in complete compliance with the laws of the state of California," Rogers said.

When asked about his daughter's involvement in the lawsuit, Congressman Bilbray issued a statement:

"Karen and I raised our children to be strong individuals who think for themselves. I respect my daughter's right to fight for what she believes in based on her personal experiences. We may not agree with our children on every issue, but Karen and I are very proud parents."

Congressman Brian Bilbray has not taken an official stance on medical marijuana. He believes there are medical benefits to marijuana, but still said he supports federal law. 
 

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

Copyright NBC San Diego / Associated Press

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out