Sheila Polk's Letter to Brewer Misstates AZ U.S. Attorney's Position on Medical Marijuana

Categories: Medical Weed

See also:Bill Montgomery and Sheila Polk Probed Whether Prop 203 was Constitutional

See also: Judge Orders Arizona to Implement Medical Marijuana Act, Tosses Out Four Rules for Dispensary Applicants

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Image: www.azbar.org
Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Attorney, says she heard the new Arizona U.S. Attorney intends to shut down dispensaries as they open. She heard wrong.

Is the new Arizona U.S. Attorney, John Leonardo, going to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries as soon as they open?

That's what Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk hears, according to a letter signed by 13 county attorneys that Polk sent to Governor Jan Brewer. In the letter, Polk and the other prosecutors urge the governor to halt all licensing of marijuana "for any purpose," meaning they want to end the whole concept of medical marijuana in Arizona.

Polk notes ominously in her letter (see link below) that Leonardo, an Obama appointee and former Pima County judge who just started his job this month, is preparing serious action against the dispensaries that are likely to open as soon as early September.

"I have been told that the newly appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, John Leonardo, fully intends to prevent any dispensaries from operating in Arizona by seizing each and every one as it opens and commits violations of the CSA," Polk wrote.

We asked Polk today who told her that. She replied that Tony Coulson, a retired Drug Enforcement Agent, told her.

But Coulson tells New Times that Leonardo never told him anything like that.

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John Leonardo, a former Pima County judge, is the new U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona.

Coulson says he did talk to Leonardo about the medical-marijuana program -- but Leonardo "never said what he was going to do one way or another."

He does, however, believe that the feds will shut down Arizona program -- but that sort of wishful thinking is no surprise, coming from an ex-DEA agent. Time will tell if Leonardo or anyone else in the federal government makes a move on Arizona's voter-approved program, now that it's about to enter the dispensary phase.

We e-mailed Polk late this afternoon to find out her reaction to Coulson's comment, and we'll let you know what she says in reply. (UPDATE: Polk says, "I wrote in my letter to the Governor what Tony told me." At best, this means these folks are simply awful at the old game of "telephone." How in the world did a non-response by Leonardo become "fully intends to prevent any dispensaries from operating in Arizona by seizing each and every one as it opens..." Sheesh.)

The Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office put out this statement in regards to Polk's letter:


Ms. Polk's representation of the U.S. Attorney's position on medical marijuana dispensaries is inaccurate. The position of the U.S. Attorney in Arizona has not changed since then-Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Scheel informed Governor Brewer that the U.S. Attorney's Office will follow Department of Justice policy on medical marijuana. Specifically, the Department of Justice is focusing its limited resources on significant drug traffickers, not seriously ill individuals and their caregivers who are in compliance with applicable state medical marijuana statutes. The Department of Justice has advised U.S. Attorneys that prosecution of significant drug traffickers, including marijuana, remains a core priority of the Department, but that focusing enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer and other serious illnesses, who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen, likely is not an efficient use of federal resources.

That last part essentially parrots what James Cole, U.S. assistant attorney general, wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorneys in July of 2011. Since then, President Obama has conducted a crackdown on dispensaries in California, but not in Colorado, which has a program of state-authorized medical-pot stores more similar to the one being set up in Arizona.

Polk argues in her July 24 letter to Brewer, and also in her July 28 opinion article in the Arizona Republic, that Arizona's program is "bad policy" because it flies against federal law.

The Republican politician is a die-hard marijuana prohibitionist who actively tried to defeat Prop 203 in 2010, and who teamed up with Bill Montgomery early in 2011 to explore a possible way to thwart the wishes of voters by having the law declared to be in violation of the Arizona constitution.

That being said, we still have a soft spot in our jaded heart for Polk, who took a courageous position against the abuses of power being committed by former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

If you're a right-winger and were offended by Polk's stance against Sheriff Arpaio and Thomas, maybe her feelings about medical marijuana will put her back in your good graces.

Brewer, meanwhile, told Polk and the county attorneys that she has concerns about the law, but that voters have spoken. It took a couple of judges to remind her of that fact, but she's clearly got it now.


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34 comments
tromulus
tromulus

The only word that comes to mind is Liar!  You all are sick minded controlling desperate people who see their hopes for kicking people coming to an end.  It's over for your kind and intelligent informed people know what you are. 

charlie_oscar
charlie_oscar

The raids on MM dispenceries has a very clear and distinct pattern - Large scale, mulit million dollar FOR PROFIT pot prolifierators! Every single one...making big money, here cometh the DEA! People seem confused and nervous about the raids - yet they fail to grasp the concept that if you run a legit opertation, you card people and triple check their status (I would go as far as turning away anyone who is not 30 years old or older) and operate non-profit and keep tight books, pay the sales tax - you will be okay. Even if there is an eventual shut-down, you get a memo instead of a DEA war wagon busting through your gate!

 

Polk is pandering to the Mormons in Northen Yav county...She is a classic civil service lawyer who cannot handle a private law firm work-load or the constant litigation demands. I also notice she was cool with everyone carrying a concealed GLOCK 40 legislation!

woefatcat
woefatcat

What I read here is that Polk doesn't want the citizens of AZ smoking what she is obviously smoking.

marcy
marcy

As long as politicians get elected by claiming they are "tough on crime" you'll continue to have politicians passing more laws that make and keep things illegal.

 

When people figure out that one of the best ways to reduce crime is to reduce the number of things that are criminal, maybe things will change.

 

 

joyfully1
joyfully1

According to my estimates the ADHS has gained 5.5 million dollars from the implementation of this program. How is this a such BAD thing for our state?

SeedyWard
SeedyWard

I had a feeling there was something suspect about that second hand, indirect quote about the feds shutting things down pronto. They might, of course, but I doubt they would tip their hands before the fact.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

apparently this cunt needs to go from my County to Maricopa county.

Coz...
Coz...

The fact ius you can't trust anyone in Government

narizona
narizona

Enough already with the reefer madness shit !!!!!!!!!!bitch ..get some education on what your trying to control besides government propoganda your bad habits are showing! don't lie it only furthers the cause.

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

"Sheila Polk's Letter to Brewer Misstates AZ U.S. Attorney's Position on Medical Marijuana"

 

Your being kind with that title. I think the term is, she lied. These CA's are politicians after all and they depend on large donations(bribes) from their corporate masters like the for profit prison industry to keep their jobs.

 

If these lairs are so concerned with public safety, why do they do nothing about the pharmaceutical companies that actually admit in their commercials that their products will kill you?

 

Because it's all about the money, the money lining their pockets.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Recall the survey that the idiots at CAP sent out, and here we saw Montypoodle's answers?  Are the others CA under the oppressive thumb of clowns like Cathi Herrod?

 

We have wing nuts with a leash on AZ politics.  The CAP's own  Sharia Law.  Terrorists, I tell ya!

wanumba
wanumba

Why even vote for anything in this stupid state.  Go have another drink Jan..glug glug glug...

phxjustice
phxjustice

County and District Attorneys as well as all of the various law enforcement agencies across the nation are addicted to confiscated property and funds seized in the "war on drugs".  This is not to mention the various politicians who can look "tough" on crime by creating anti-drug laws that benefit no one but the prison-industrial complex.

 

Until this addiction is squashed by the voters, these various individuals and entities will continue to wage their war.

Bnbk
Bnbk

Polk may have taken a courageous position against Arpaio,but wasn't she also the judge who let  Bennett's anal broom raping son off the hook with a slap on the wrist ?

trichometrist
trichometrist

 @charlie_oscar "I would go as far as turning away anyone who is not 30 years old or older"

Slow down charlie! over 30?  why not 38? how about 22?

If the argument goes " cannabis is safe" it is safe for anyone, anytime

I get the point , but I wont further prohibition by catering to LEO.

obviously some people cant work for the public if they cant separate personnel vendettas and the job they get paid to do.

 

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

 @SeedyWard My take is that Obama has a leash on the U.S.Attorney's in CO and AZ until after the election. He needs independents to take CO and to have a chance for democrats taking some congressional seats and maybe a senate seat in AZ. He will loose the independents if he goes after voter approved mmj laws in CO and AZ. He probably figures he has CA tied up already or that the election will be  decided before they finish counting the votes in CA.

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

 @ptcgaz

 Really, that's the most articulate word you could come up with????  Disagree with her, absolutely!!  But really, can't you come up with an argument that relies on something other than ugly name calling.

teknik
teknik

 @RetiredArmy although, actually, US Attorneys in CA and CO have been busting dispensaries.  Not all of them, but some of them.  A dispensary does not count as a patient or a caregiver.

 

That said I hope they do block them again, simple because they will charge too much and the 25 mile rule will shut down growers who have been supporting themselves and their patients for the last year.

TaxpayingVoter
TaxpayingVoter

 @wanumba Why vote for anything?  People not BOTHERING to vote is the reason we have the legislature, representatives, senators, and governor we have NOW.

 

THAT'S why.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

 @phxjustice What is sadder, is the CA's seem to think that having people give money to drug cartels is better than following the will of the voters.  Aren't the CA's sworn in with an oath that includes protecting AZ laws?

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @Bnbk Dunno but that was disturbing.

 

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @LegitQuestions  No he can't!  The guy's an imbecile!  If you look through his list of posts, you'll see smatterings of his stupidity THROUGHOUT his posts on here, whatever the subject.  He's been REPORTED as a violator OVER AND OVER and they won't do anything about him, so he just gets more bold every time!  He's a REAL loser and you'd actually be best served ignoring the ignorant fuck!  EVERY response he writes to another poster is riddled with INSULTS, CURSING and his general "Archie Bunker" mentality.  The poster's a KID who SHOULD be in school instead of talking "Grown Folks" business!

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @LegitQuestions oh wow. all you can do is attack me for name calling but you apparently read three words and ignored the rest of my post. This chick belongs in Maricopa County where she would fit right in with Horne and all the rest of the disgraced Yavapai County CAs.

 

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @TaxpayingVoter I wish we could have required voting. Some countries pay you to vote and in Australia something like 92% of people vote. I wish more people voted here, however I am scared of what would happen if all the morons votes.. 

 

TaxpayingVoter
TaxpayingVoter

 @ptcgaz Oh, believe me...I'm just as angry about those who don't vote as I am about those who vote for these idiots.

 

Voting is a privilege and a duty and should be taken extremely seriously and with care, never neglected.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @TaxpayingVoter well in that case the people who don't register to vote are more stupid than that people that do. None of the people who don't vote have a right to complain about anything in the government. 

 

As for who they vote in I agree 100% I don't understand how some of these retards get elected in our state. Put an R next to their name and they would easily win. Always made me think about running as a GOP hack and then when I get into office... hahahaha

 

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @SeedyWard haha yes, well 1/3 of registered voters are "others" and the then 1/3 are GOP. And 1/3 are democrats (at least in my county anyways.  so I think 2/3s are stupid ;)

And yes these numbers might have changed since 2008, but considering all the GOP signs around here I dont think so.

SeedyWard
SeedyWard

 @ptcgaz Just pulling stats out of my hindquarters I'd bet that you are close to correct about the electorate, especially if you count those who have become just mentally lazy among the stupid. I know a few people who refuse to vote simply because they don't like any of the choices.

TaxpayingVoter
TaxpayingVoter

 @ptcgaz MOST of Arizona hasn't bothered to register to vote, and most of THEM are too apathetic or frustrated with the current state of politics to vote.

 

That leaves a majority of active voters that are retarded, stubborn, bigoted, or whatever else it is that makes them vote in these lunatics.

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