Joe Arpaio Supports Medical Marijuana, or At Least He Did at One Time

Sheriff Joe Arpaio supports medicinal use of the good ganja? Well, at least that's what the former DEA agent did during this clip from the 2007 documentary American Drug War: The Last White Hope. In it, Arpaio was asked his opinion on medical marijuana, as he stands in Tent City, surrounded by prisoners in bumble-bee stripes.

This is what "the shurf" had to say, starting around 1:31 in:

"Well that's a tough one," he told his interviewer. "Tough one. If it's issued by tight controls by a physician, I don't know if I oppose that. Someone's dying of cancer, and that's going to help that person, I don't know if I'm strictly opposed to medical marijuana, [which] you're probably talkin' about. It can help the dying patient, but it has to be dispensed by a doctor, just like codeine and other drugs. Doctors dispense other drugs."

That's essentially the sort of system Prop 203 sets up: with licensed dispensaries that folks can only gain access to after they have a recommendation from an M.D., and secure a caregiver registry card from the Arizona Department of Health Services. (For a more detailed description of the law, read my colleague Niki D'Andrea's recent analysis of Prop 203.)

The above video shines an ironic light on Arpaio's current anti-203 stance. In the weeks before election day, I attended a press conference by the anti-Prop 203 "Keep AZ Drug Free" folks, where state Senator Russell Pearce (now state Senate President-elect) and Arpaio took to the podium to preach the evils of Mary Jane, even when a doctor thinks its the best thing for a patient.

joerusspicresized_1290182030_ 166.jpg
Pearce and Arpaio, blasting Prop 203 before the election

One of Arpaio's main objections was that the use of marijuana is proscribed by federal law. When I reminded him that racial profiling was also against federal law and that he was breaking it nonetheless with his anti-immigration sweeps, he flipped out and started spurting nonsequiturs, pointing a finger at me, and saying, "You broke the law!" 

Huh? I chalked it up to Joe not taking his Alzheimer's medicine that day.

Is Joe a hypocrite? Of course he is, he's a politician, and twists with the wind. Heck, the sheriff even came late to the nativist bandwagon, only signing up with the anti-illegal immigrant crew after he took a lot of flack over the 2005 Patrick Haab incident. That's the one where Haab took several illegal immigrants hostage at an Arizona rest stop.

Arpaio's deputies arrested Haab, and Arpaio repeatedly stated that Haab was in the wrong. But the nativists hailed Haab as a hero, and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas declined to prosecute him. Arpaio felt the wrath of the wingnuts, and soon was singing the anti-illegal tune.

Regarding federal immigration laws, Arpaio has always made the argument that local cops have the inherent authority to enforce federal statutes. Following Prop 203's passage, he's been floating the idea of some sort of pot posse, which might police the medical marijuana dispensaries that will open as a result of 203.

"Isn't interesting," Arpaio told Fox 10 News recently, "that on illegal immigration everybody says it's a federal issue. Now we got marijuana, which is a federal issue and a violation of the law, yet now they want to dispense this kind of drug for alleged medical reasons."

Yeah, "alleged" medical reasons such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, and other conditions causing severe and chronic pain.

Will Arpaio begin some sort of crackdown on dispensaries of medical marijuana or the doctors recommending medical marijuana for their patients, using federal law as a pretext? 

I doubt it. Arpaio's "anti-illegals" stance is wildly popular in Arizona, whereas Prop 203 just gained the approval of the statewide electorate, albeit by a razor-thin margin.

Arpaio could risk alienating some of his die-hard supporters as he's looking toward another run for re-election in 2012, if he were to start raiding state-approved dispensaries, for instance. After all, some of those Sun City alter kockers may need the weed for their own debilitating ailments.

And considering the fact that Arpaio's been taking hits right and left, from the county, and from multiple federal and state investigations of his office, if Joe escapes indictment, he'll need every vote he can get in 2012. Even from the blue-haired ganja tokers.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest

Because nobody has changed their mind on something once new information about it has become available or anything like that....

To: Chem Trail Karen Skank
To: Chem Trail Karen Skank

Chem Trail Karen, you nasty skank, where have you been hiding your rancid hole ??? You haven't been down on Van Buren & 24th. like usual. Are you working the gay book stores again, ya dumb bitch ??? They're fags. They don't want your foul smelling twat. Listen up... I want my money for that 8 ball you owe me, plus interest. An even $300.00. If I have to come and find your ho ass there will be problems. PAY ME BITCH - NOW - GOT IT

The Animated Arpaio
The Animated Arpaio

According to Scripture, Satan reigns for 1,000 years. The thousand years of Nazi's Third Reich lasted 12 years. Sheriff Joe's reign of terror is nearly two decades old now. How about we give the little troll an early departure ? It is going to take 980 years to scrape his stupid name off of all MCSO equipment anyway. You would think that Sheriff Jose has had enough time to graft the MCSO coffers out of a nice retirement fund for himself and David Hendershott, the Sheriff's official buttboy, scapegoat and "Depends" changer. Does Arpaio really need the job ? He's too old to be a Wal-Mart door greeter, sure, and I suppose if he did bless us with death, Hendershott would just have him mummified and set him off in the corner for use as a prop for the daily media Q & A's he was so well known for. A tape recording played of past public Joe appearances would suffice since the old coot never had anything new to say anyway. Joe doesn't medical Marijuana. Glaucoma isn't making him blind... just his own childishness and stupidity. I'd recommend a nice shot of morphine for him... A real big shot.


big bag of wind talking out of both sides of his mouth. he must have been talking to young people, but let his sun city geezers fidn this out hahahhahhaha

and they are the ones to benefit from this most all!!!


what about quality control? This is a human consumable good. Nobody is talking about testing this medication for pesticides, THC levels and free-radicals. All we need is for one grower that laces his crop and someone gets sick. Then we're fucked. -Dan K.


Yeah, like I really want the government to tell me how to grow weeds in my back yard! Look, this law allows people who qualify to grow their own (or have their caregiver grow it). It's free - get it FREE! No one that really needs it has to pay for it anymore, it will return back to what it was before 1929 and

Based on falsified claims of the "dangers" of pot and ignoring the the scientific research on the subject indicating the benefits of marijana use, the Marijuana Tax Act passed in 1937 in Congress. This was the culmination of the corporate monopolies' (timber, oil, coal and cotton) efforts to prevent this common plant and one time No. 2 product of the U.S. from competing with their products. Remember, hemp can be used in place of all four of the above products.

Charles Ward
Charles Ward

Actually, there is some investigation and discussion about analysis of products. Stay tuned for details as they become available.


Ca prop 19 was supported by 47 % even though the bill did not pass , that is a lot of votesAnd no politician can ignore that. The conversation took place

politicians whores will sell their bodies for votes This guy will never get the MMj or the MJ crowd to vote for him , he is a parasite on the community


2 of the 3 stooges blasting our right to get high legally.

I wonder where Candy Ass Thomas is? Hiding?

Susan Rastella
Susan Rastella

As usual, Arpaio is "blowin' in the wind". I think most of us intelligent people in Maricopa County now know how much hot air is in him.

Hopefully, we won't have to wait until 2012 to see him leave --- maybe he will wise us and retire before his history note is as a convicted felon!

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Wishful thinking, Susan. One of the key identifiers of a path0logical liar is the ability to say anything and actually believe it to be the truth. The Flaccid Fool believes everything he says, and thus it becomes law, at least in his mind. He also has said repeatedly that he will never resign. He will only be fired by the voters. If death doesn't get him before 2010, we the voters will have to. I have no faith at this point that DOJ or the state grand juries will do anything to him soon, if at all.

His political machine is working on a new spin factor to garner votes for him in some way, using the medical marijuana issue. I fully expect that Mr. Lemons will be correct, once again. I expect to hear the Wrinkle Winkle announce very soon that he has formed another posse of gun toting geriatrics to investigate these dispensaries, even though it's not a COUNTY issue.

By the way, folks, did you know that the MCSO shurf is ONLY one of fifteen county sheriffs in Arizona. Just one. Not even a certified peace officer. JUST an elected official. Just like a member of the Board of Supervisors.

The MCSO Sheriff is mentally ill.

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

There is no doubt about it, Feathered Bastard, that indeed, some of the geriatric boondoogles(blue haired ganja tokers) in Sun City are using "the evils of Mary Jane" for their own "debilitating" health "ailments". Sooner or later, that joKKKer's gonna find himself smokin' the same joint he opposes. Given to the ol KKKoots age.

Yeah you're right F-Bastard, he's a friggin hypocrite!

Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza
Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza

An Associate from Mesa responded to the three posts,

"Man, Old "malcolmkyle" really rattled "Crow's" cage. Chill out, Crow's Feet, we know he's a longwinded gas attack in public, but let's be happy we still have our First Amendment rights. The price we pay for those rights is having to put up with "malcolmkyle's" three foot long posts. Of course, we concur with some of his views. You obviously do not.

Thanks to the Latina Ms. Sanchez for not using up another three feet of blogspace screaming about the rights of illegal aliens and how much she wants to HACK OFF JOE ARPAIO's COJONES. Thanks for sparing us, Rose. Save that for SAL REZA."

There you have it, folks. This Associate is simply happy to see you all freely speaking your mind, and he apparently is upset over the length of our first blogster's post. malcolmkyle, got a good stash of speed that's making you go 500 mph on that keyboard? ROTFLMAO!

Check out for the latest on Phoenix police and government corruption.

That's - where the TRUTH hurts! Ouch!

JTR, solo on the blog, online and on time.



Go spam your bullshit somewhere else. We want a real Government that regulates the corrupt Corporations that support your bullshit concepts so they can do as they please while you let them. The Libertarian Fantasy is moronic. It's also fake as hell. Republicans (with Libertarian retards right next to them) are responsible for the Police State and big Government. I'd rather have a good government making sure my food is safe and fixing the unfair trade policies fucktard republicans endorsed.

Keep your filthy Tea Party Hands off my Social Security.


Crow, I would be glad to keep my hands of your social security, since you are unable or unwilling to handle your own retirement. But when You want to stick your hands in my wallet at the point of a federal gun to support your failed utopian policies, we have a problem. Tell you what, why don't YOU come over here and take my money yourself. I dare you, you vindictive, nasty, piece of socialist crap.


It's time for all of us, not only Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to stop being ignorant hypocrites and start being TRUE conservatives!

Pragmatic libertarians (minimal-statists) and "true" Conservatives agree that many, if not most, of society's problems are caused by government usurping choices that could better be made by individuals and that government is just about the worst way of doing almost anything. Where libertarianism normally parts company with "fake" conservatism is over moral issues. But a true conservative would have no problem with agreeing, that what people do with their own bodies, and especially in the privacy of their own home, should be supremely their business, and that anything else would entail ignoring the basic tenet of limited government.

Fake-Conservatism on the other hand has much in common with socialism; Both Leftists and Fake-Conservatives appear to harbor the belief that nature does not exist and that any human can be anything he wants to be, or can for the "greater good", be "re-educated" into being. Leftists therefore think little boys can be conditioned into preferring dolls over toy soldiers, and similarly Fake-conservatives believe that adults can be coerced into choosing alcohol over marijuana. A true conservative, just like a pragmatic libertarian, would immediately reject both ideas as nonsense.

If you support prohibition then you are NOT a conservative.Conservative principles, quite clearly, ARE:

1) Limited, locally controlled government.2) Individual liberty coupled with personal responsibility.3) Free enterprise.4) A strong national defense.5) Fiscal responsibility.

Prohibition is actually an authoritarian War on the Constitution and all civic institutions of our great nation.

It's all about the market and cost/benefit analysis. Whether any particular drug is good, bad, or otherwise is irrelevant! As long as there is demand for any mind altering substance, there will be supply; the end! The only affect prohibiting it has is to drive the price up, increase the costs and profits, and where there is illegal profit to be made criminals and terrorists thrive.

The cost of criminalizing citizens who are using substances no more harmful than similar things that are perfectly legal like alcohol and tobacco, is not only hypocritical and futile, but also simply not worth the incredible damage it does.

Afghani farmers produce approx. 93% of the world's opium which is then, mostly, refined into street heroin then smuggled throughout Eastern and Western Europe.

Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of this very easily grown crop, which means that Prohibition is the "Goose that laid the golden egg" and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Only those opposed, or willing to ignore this fact, want things the way they are.

See: How opium profits the Taliban:


Prohibition provides America's sworn enemies with financial "aid" and tactical "comforts". The Constitution of the United States of America defines treason as:"Article III / Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

Support for prohibition is therefor an act of treason against the Constitution, and a dire threat to the nation's civic institutions.

The Founding Fathers were not social conservatives who believed that citizens should be subordinate to any particular narrow religious moral order. That is what the whole concept of unalienable individual rights means, and sumptuary laws, especially in the form of prohibition, were something they continually warned about.

It’s time for us all to wise up and help curtail the dangerous expansions of federal police powers, the encroachments on individual liberties, and the increasing government expenditure devoted to enforcing the unworkable and dangerous policy of drug prohibition.

To support prohibition you have to be either a socialist, ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.

* The US national debt has increased at an average rate of $3,000,000000 per day since 2006.* The unemployment rate has increased by 7300 per day since 2008.* The loss of manufacturing jobs has been 1400 per day since 2006.* Without the legalized regulation of opium products Afghanistan will continue to be a bottomless pit in which to throw countless billions of tax dollars and wasted American lives.* The hopeless situation in Afghanistan is helping to destabilize it's neighbor, Pakistan, which is a country with nuclear weapons.* The mayhem in Mexico has deteriorated so badly that it’s bordering on farcical.

There is nothing conservative about prohibition, which enlists the most centralized state power in displacement of domestic and community roles. There is everything authoritarian and subversive about this policy which has incinerated American traditions such as Freedom and Federalism with its puritanical flames. Any person seeking to insure and not further compromise the safety of their family and of their neighbors must not only repudiate prohibition but help spearhead its abolition.

We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: "Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!"

Now Trending

From the Vault