Governor Jan Brewer Says Feds' New Letter on Medical Pot Proves She Took "Proper Course of Action" in Derailing Dispensary Program

Categories: Medical Weed

brewer campaign shot.jpg
Governor Jan Brewer
​Governor Jan Brewer believes that a "clarification" by the feds on medical-marijuana programs proves she took the "proper course of action" in halting the voter-approved dispensary program.

Brewer and state Attorney General Tom Horne filed a declaratory judgment in federal court in May, and also instructed the Department of Health Services to reject dispensary applications. See the complete text of their news release below.

Tom Horne also e-mailed us back after we sought comment from him on the June 30 letter to U.S. Attorneys by Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole.

 

Horne wrote that the feds "knew of a broad concern about whether government employees facilitating distribution were at risk, and deliberately said nothing to reassure us. Dispensaries clearly are at risk."

He added that "nothing has changed" in terms of the state's position that it must seek clarification from the federal court system before fully implementing the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

mmj hearing 3 yuhas.jpg
Joe Yuhas

​As we mentioned in an another post today, some representatives of the dispensary industry acknowledge that Cole's letter presents another hurdle that will delay the full roll-out of the program as voters intended it. Yet problems for the dispensary industry also means a boost for smaller-scale collectives and medical-marijuana clubs. Horne declined to comment on that part of the deal.

 

Joe Yuhas of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, whose members led Proposition 203 to success in November, tells us that he believes Cole's letter still preserves the "status quo."

"I continue to have great confidence in the fact that the federal government has never taken action against a dispensary or a cultivation facility ... where the participants have abided by the state laws," Yuhas says.

Yet he admits the Cole letter also means "it's clear there will be additional delays."

As more caregivers and patients keep getting registered with the state, co-ops and clubs will definitely became more popular, he says -- but he doesn't necessarily see that as a good thing.

"I hope policymakers will recognize the foolishness of implementing this law in a piecemeal fashion," he says.

Yuhas mentions something we'd noticed, too: That the timing of Cole's letter -- released selectively to the public and just prior to a major holiday weekend -- was no coincidence. The suspicious timing "illustrates the internal debate" in Washington between those who favor states' rights versus federal control on the issue of medical marijuana, he says.

Brewer's news release follows:

Statement from Governor Brewer and Attorney General Horne

Medical Marijuana

Governor Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne responded Friday to a memo intended to offer guidance to federal prosecutors regarding state medical marijuana programs.

"I'm disappointed in this latest memorandum from the U.S. Department of Justice, which offers little more than continued confusion and doublespeak regarding the legality of locally-authorized medical marijuana programs in Arizona and other states," said Governor Jan Brewer. "If this memo was an attempt at clarity, it failed.

"Serious questions remain," Governor Brewer continued. "Might state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries be targeted for federal prosecution? Are state employees at risk if they license dispensaries according to state law? In light of these and other questions, the proper course of action was the one taken by the state: to place the dispensary process on-hold while we seek court guidance regarding the legality of the overall program."

The Arizona Department of Health Services had been implementing provisions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act up until the agency received a letter, dated May 2, 2011, from U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. That letter cast serious doubt on the legality of Arizona's medical marijuana program and the potential culpability of state employees who administer the program. Governor Brewer and Attorney General Horne responded by calling a "time out" on the state's issuance of licenses to marijuana dispensaries, and filed a declaratory judgment asking a federal court to rule on the legality of the overall program.

That legality remains very much in question. This latest memo from Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole, dated June 29, 2011, notes that "persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law." The memo never addresses the potential legal culpability of state employees who administer medical marijuana programs according to state law.

"The federal government knew there was broad concern about whether 'facilitate' sale was a term that could endanger state employees, and they chose to remain silent," said Attorney General Horne. "This letter represents a 180-degree turn from the Ogden memo, which said there should be low priority for those in clear and unambiguous compliance with state law, and 'low priority' was interpreted to mean they would not prosecute. Now they say they will prosecute those involved in distributing or 'facilitating' distribution, regardless of whether or not they are in compliance with state law. A federal court needs to resolve this conflict between federal and state law, as is traditionally one of the roles of the federal judiciary."



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69 comments
Ronald
Ronald

next on the news brewer, mccain, and thorne all wanted by the antique road show because there not wanted here any more. They been caught in lies or due to there age can't remember whats been said, Yesterday. We all know if a person word is No good then what do have to offer that is. ITS TIME TO GET A NOOSE.

hipbilly
hipbilly

While I believe Gov. Brewer and AG Horne are doing the wrong thing, I also hope a dispensary NEVER opens within 25 miles of where I live. Growing our own medicine is the best way to keep the greed-heads out of the medical cannabis system.

Albert
Albert

Text of Section 2:Penalty for Violation of Initiative and Referendum ProvisionsThe legislature shall provide a penalty for any wilful violation of any of the provisions of the preceding section.Text of Section 2:Political Power; Purpose of GovernmentAll political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.Text of Section 4:Governor; Powers and Duties; Special Sessions of Legislature; Message and RecommendationsThe governor shall transact all executive business with the officers of the government, civil and military, and may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. He may convene the legislature in extraordinary session. He shall communicate, by message, to the legislature at every session the condition of the state, and recommend such matters as he shall deem expedient.I know Brewer and Horne isn't a legislature, but there should be something penalty wise for not doing your sworn duty.Which ultimately brings up the question: If a government's legitimate use of state power is based on the consent of the governed, then at what point does marijuana prohibition — in particular the federal enforcement of prohibition — become illegitimate public policy? By Paul Armentano

Valerieloe
Valerieloe

I am ashamed of Jan Brewer for being the gov. of our state of Az. She never wanted the law passed in the first place.  I am 71 years old,and have never done drugs but maraijuana helps with my chronic pain.  It really doesn't seem to make any difference what the voters in Az. vote for, its what the people in office like Jan Brewer and attorney Dennis Burke want!  Why isn't Michigan, Montana and other maraijuana states having troubles.  Maybe that's because their elected officals are doing what the people want.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

If the Republicans in this state can drag this issue out long enough AND if a Republican is elected President with control of at least the house of representatives, you will see the true evil of the Republican party in violating the rights of the States to determine their own laws.  Under a Republican controlled federal government, I predict that EVERY person who has signed up for a cannamed card will be arrested and prosecuted.  People, wake up - the last time the Republicants were in office they drove our economy into a ditch and did everything they could to lessen States rights. 

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

The fed gives Brewer her orders and she follows through.   It's not hard to understand.   She's a puppet looking for something after her stint as governor.    The fed lays out the plans and those who adhere to those plans get compensated.    Either that or they find evidence of illegal activity on your computer that you never put there.    Big Brother rules.    You think private growth of marijuana will be tolerated?    If you're in need of a prescription for medical marijuana then you are most likely physically debilitated to the degree that you can't grow grass, let alone weed.    And it's not easy to grow good weed.   It takes knowledge, practice, a safe place and the physical abiliity to grow good weed.     Once Gilbert P.D. goes back on the hunt and continues to stomp on pot plants again, people will eventually become so fearful they'll give it up.   Big Brother gives Gilbert P.D. their orders too.    Their role is that of the enforcer.    Brewer plays the stooge.    Burke is the joker.    The people play the blinded fool.

Ronb54
Ronb54

leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadenaave #8 tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documentsand paid 5000 dollars to obtain a US tourist visa. she also submittedfake employment records to obtain a work visa. she is now applying forcitizenship. her contact at the embassy was man named sandman.

lzs
lzs

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lzs
lzs

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lzs

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mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

If Jan had smoked more weed and swilled less alcohol she would probably be a nicer person.

Glxkmn
Glxkmn

What else would you expect from a shriveled up old alcoholic shrew?.........Jan flies to work on her broom so she can't get picked up for DUI..................LOL

wherewasi
wherewasi

I don't know which of our infamous politicians - Brewer, Arpaio or Pearce - is the biggest idiot.  They all need to be out of office, and Arpaio and Pearce need to be in jail.  Brewer should just be a good old 'stay at home mom' and go visit her criminally insane son every once in a while - at least once every 4 years.

I don't smoke weed but I don't have any issue with people who do.  I find it hard to believe that for so many decades, marijuana has been illegal while alcohol is not.  Alcohol is far more damaging - both to the user and to society.  I don't think you can smoke so much pot that you die from it, but extreme alcohol intoxication results in death on a regular basis.

The Feds need to legalize it, and thereby create jobs in production, processing, and marketing, as well as generate tax revenue.  Take the money spent on trying to apprehend marijauna smugglers or sellers, and use that DEA money for combatting dangerous drugs.  All the inmates who are in jail / prison for marijauna possession should be released.  You have to wonder why the Feds refuse to legalize it - someone is making a lot of money by keeping these archaic laws in place.

Ray - what's up with the Gilbert police?  Did you guys ever find out why their Chief decided to get a wild hair up his butt over a guy with an ounce of weed and a MMJ card?  Again, such a petty waste of tax payer money.  It seems to me that he must be another egomaniac LEO who wants to get famous with publicity stunts.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

When asked the day before if she was going to sign SB-1070 into law, Mrs. Brewer simply answered, "I'm going to do what's best for Arizona". The next day she signed it into law and since then she has cost the citizens of Arizona many millions of dollars in lost income and monies paid out to appeal the unlawful legislation.

Her definition of what's 'best' for Arizona comes directly from pearce and Mrs. Brewer is simply a sheep...

Trommy Themulus
Trommy Themulus

Well it's good to see that those who want to can grow their own.  I thought that was the bad part of the law where you can't grow if a dispensary exists.  It seemed to be more of a way to start an industry here than making medication available for people who are in need.  Everyone should be able to grow their own and if they don't then they can get their meds from a compassion club or collective.

cap'n jaq
cap'n jaq

Nice photo of her turning her back on the voters, to give the devil his due.

guest
guest

any type of prosecution for medical marijuana or any type of marijuana in any instance anywhere needs to come down to jury nullification until feds get a clear picture that we won't take their prohibition bs any longer

Fuckthepolice
Fuckthepolice

It's obvious YPS didn't benefit by being educated.

Andrew Zahn
Andrew Zahn

Complete and utter bullshit.  Brewer and Horne didn't need Federal guidance with SB1070 but now they decide to question the issue of state's rights when its convenient for them politically.  Arizona voted for dispensaries, so stop holding it up.    

ZeD
ZeD

Why should we be surprised? Nothing in this state is skewed in favor of the little guy, and Brewer the Murderer is going to see that the status quo is maintained. Yeeeee-hi.

Imanoid2
Imanoid2

Screw Brewer the Kunt!    Speaking about ugly things, Horne has a face only his mama could love!  It looks as though the firemen thought his face was on fire and put it out with an axe!      We don't need dispensaries.     Grow your own.     

whyisanyonesurprised
whyisanyonesurprised

Here’s the 2010 10k of the Corrections Corporation of America (PDF), the largest operator of private prisons in the country.  It’s a pretty simple business model – more prisoners, more money.  Or, as the company writes, “Historically, we have been successful in substantially filling our inventory of available beds and the beds that we have constructed.  Filling these available beds would provide substantial growth in revenues, cash flow, and earnings per share.”CCA offers an assessment of risks to the company, which include ending the war on drugs or curbing the incarceration of undocumented immigrants.The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.

teknik1200
teknik1200

Sure we waisted a Trillion bucks, but that cash didn't disappear, it went into someone's pocket. Waisting tax payer money isn't the issue, the issue is who gets to reap the spoiles.

Concerned Arizona Citizen
Concerned Arizona Citizen

How about for a state official to violate state law, as Brewer did, with no punishment?  What kind of extra bullshit is that?!

Mike
Mike

Last time I'll ever vote for that old hag!

xyz
xyz

The Govonor,State Att.Gen.,and county Atty. thought they were going to undermine Az. MMJlaw,but little did they realize,they are only making it stronger.Like running over a patch of weeds with the lawn mower.It comes back stronger and wider than before.They have onlygalvinized more and more support for MMJ.More and more peole who were on the fenceare supporting are cause !

Jim Samson
Jim Samson

I agree, but keep in mind, in the states that passed medical marijuana legalization after Arizona growing by patients is not allowed, and they have a limited amount of dispensaries they are afraid to open. Some patients simply can not grow, and at the heart of any system helping sick people obtain cannabis is the dispensary. I don't mind partaking in an act of civil disobedience, if fact it's my civil duty to try to overturn such a poor law that states marijuana has no medicinal value.

john brown
john brown

Grand Rapids Mi is doing all they can to keep out dispensaries. every county in Mi voted to pass and this is what you get

Ted
Ted

Why would anyone believe you?

wherewasi
wherewasi

And you are posting this on a board about medical marijauna in Arizona ... WHY?

wherewasi
wherewasi

What the hell are you babbling about?

Coz
Coz

That's just as sick as it gets.

Coz
Coz

Does she have one ?All I see is 2 asses.

Fuckthepolice
Fuckthepolice

I never voted for the old hag and never will.

Acer
Acer

Plus the fact that an equal amount of weed will be grown here but not under the regulated dispensary license.

Ted
Ted

Your drawing breath violates international and federal laws against noise pollution,  wasting scarce resources and excessive stupidity. Your comments reminded me about how a turkey will drown itself by looking to the sky during a heavy downpour. Check out your sky during the next monsoon, perhaps it will work for you, turkey! Gobble, gobble.

AZ Cannabis Society
AZ Cannabis Society

 Let me clarify something for you, Jan Brewer and all the other idiots reading this that think they know a lil sumthin sumthin. What you all missed apparently was this happening in the shadows...

http://www.supremecourt.gov/op...

“Federalism secures the freedom of the individual. It allows States to respond, through the enactment of positive law, to the initiative of those who seek a voice in shaping the destiny of their own times without having to rely solely upon the political processes that control a remote central power.”

Sometimes little cases make big constitutional law. This case involved a woman who was prosecuted under federal law for harassing her husband’s girlfriend—not the set of facts ordinarily creating an important precedent.

So with the voter approved prop 203 in place as the AMMA now, should anyone be arrested they have the ability to challenge Federal law based on state's rights. Don't forget people, whether you voted for or against prop 203 if you voted they are stepping on your vote right now and you need to speak up or what will they step on next?

Coreykmlg827
Coreykmlg827

So you enjoy getting fucked in the ass by people in DC who don't know you or what's best for you?

Trommy Themulus
Trommy Themulus

Oh you mean the one that was passed because of the open racist remarks of an ignorant man named Anslinger?  Why would anyone defend or allow that law to continue is beyond comprehension.

Mr. Anslingers racist ignorant quotes  (here's the stupidity behind prohibition)“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”“Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

xyz
xyz

So did  letting women vote , and alcohol porhibition ,the Federal Gov. has often been on the wrong side of law.

words
words

You're an idiot. Every post. Congrats.

Albert
Albert

This is a good thing...... limited government? Are they really going to start considering the Ninth and Tenth Amendment? Just because of the healthcare law?  Or is it going to be pick and chose whats convenient for government? 

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