Arizona Medical-Marijuana Law Debated in Court; Judge Criticizes Wording of 2010 Law

Categories: Medical Weed

flowering pot plant peachey.jpg

Medical marijuana in Arizona faces an important court decision in a case that local prohibitionists see as a weak link in the voter-approved 2010 pot law.

Arizona Republic reporter and rapid-fire Tweeter Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez has been filing live updates from the courtroom this afternoon. The hearing's over, but you can still check out her posts if you're interested in this case. Click here to read her updates.

See also - Tom Horne and Bill Montgomery Make Their Move to Nix Arizona's Medical Marijuana Law


We just read through her tweets and saw that Maricopa County Superior Judge Michael Gordon has made at least two statements that don't bode well for medical-marijuana advocates:


"Ultimate irony is that Arizona could have decriminalized pot and said it's not going to be prosecuted under state law."

and

"Maybe the lesson to be learned is voters ought not have been so directed in telling the state how to enforce its statutes."

Those quotes from the judge, as relayed by Wingett-Sanchez, seem to indicate that Gordon doubts that the law, as it's written now, can handle the challenges presented by anti-marijuana state officials Tom Horne, the state Attorney General, and Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney.

The two Republicans don't like what voters have done, and they're bent on demolishing it.

In August, Montgomery and Horne jumped into a lawsuit filed against the county by the White Mountain Health Center, a company that plans to open a medical-pot dispensary in Sun City. County officials denied the company any information about zoning rules, making it unable to comply with a state regulation that requires zoning rules to be listed in a dispensary's application. The two lawmen figure the case is the perfect opportunity to argue that the law itself is unconstitutional and should be nixed because, in their view, it authorizes the breaking of federal law.

Lawyers for White Mountain, including some with the American Civil Liberties Union, believe the law doesn't authorize anyone to break federal law, but decriminalizes the use and sale of pot for registered patients and dispensaries.

Gordon says he'll try to get a decision out in a timely manner.

Marijuana has become a hot topic in the western United States this election season: Washington, Oregon and Colorado voters will decide next month whether to legalize pot outright.

Ironically, as those states prepare for the possibility of legal marijuana for all, Arizona's right-wing prohibitionists still want to throw anyone in jail who dares possess a grain of marijuana -- even patients with multiple sclerosis and cancer.


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18 comments
Kevins_Mom
Kevins_Mom

My god! 

 

After all these years, you'd think that stoners would be able to write a proper medical marijuana initiative that isn't full of holes and unconstitutional on its face.

 

I guess smoking weed does make people stupid.

 

 

alex695
alex695

Medical Marijuana is NOT working for California and day by day it is becoming more clear that Prop. 215 needs to be repealed.  Don't let the Arizona law fool you.  It's harmful in more ways than one.  

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2LWTCC-8-8

Sedonasherpa
Sedonasherpa

Forgot to mention...the real news is a national challenge to de-schedule marijuana down from SCH 1 and that will end the debate forever... I think the case was already argued in the supreme court this month.

Sedonasherpa
Sedonasherpa

Tom Horne will prolly be facing his own criminal indictment over his campaign money shenanigans...Maybe he should join-up with former DOJ lawyer Dennis Burke (Fast & Furious)  and open a law office? Horne & Burke Lawyers specializing in: Gun cases, pot possession, pot cultivation and dispensary defense/

SeedyWard
SeedyWard

Sounds like this case is going to proceed up a notch to the appeals court. May God strike Horne and Montgomery dead.

barbarian.bob1
barbarian.bob1

gotta wonder why a righteous man would take medicine away from sick people or even debate it for 2 hours. that's right ,maybe tom horn and this Montgomery fellow and the so called judge are lacking this attribute in their character lol  they must have a big fan base eh. hurting good people maybe they could work for the ayatollah or caligula

pvplacid
pvplacid

The judge couldn't care less about politics and will make his decision based on the law. Sounds like he's already made his decision. Continued fighting to keep this apparently ill-conceived law in place seems a waste of time and money. As if there hasn't already been enough of both wasted over the past two years.

tromulus
tromulus

Well if we have elected representatives that think they are above the law then we need to get rid of them.  It's  a shame how full of themselves these politicians are.

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16

During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

 

If you support prohibition then you've helped trigger the worst crime wave in history and raised gang warfare to a level not seen since the days of alcohol bootlegging.

 

If you support prohibition you've a helped create a black market with massive incentives to hook both adults and children alike.

 

If you support prohibition you've helped put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets, and helped to make these dangerous substances available in schools and prisons.

 

If you support prohibition you've helped create a prison-for-profit synergy with drug lords and terrorists.

 

If you support prohibition you've helped escalate the number of people on welfare who can't find employment due to their felony status. 

 

If you support prohibition you're responsible for the horrific racial disparities which have bred generations of incarcerated and disenfranchised Afro Americans.

 

If you support prohibition you've helped evolve local gangs into transnational enterprises, gifted them intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helped them gain control of vast swaths of territory, and put significant social and military resources at their disposal.

 

Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare. If you support it, you must be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, corrupt, or criminally insane. 

 

Kevins_Mom
Kevins_Mom

 @Sedonasherpa If it is rescheduled, it will not be available at amateur dispensaries, or for recreational use.

 

Name a single scheduled drug, in any category, that is legal for recreational use.

 

.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

 @Sedonasherpa 

 

It was, now we are just waiting for the court to write and release it's ruling.

 

Could be up to a year before we see that but it is expected within 3 months

SeedyWard
SeedyWard

 @SeedyWard Maybe that's a bit strong. I've been fighting this battle for 40 years, though. Pisses me off when the other side doesn't fight fair. They have all the money they can scam from the taxpayers, and we have what we can effectively beg and panhandle.

 

"Maybe the lesson to be learned is voters ought not have been so directed in telling the state how to enforce its statutes." Come on, that was what we were doing: crafting a law with which the legislators and prosecutors would disagree. That was the point! That law was carefully crafted by MPP lawyers who knew exactly what they were doing: creating a law that would emasculate the Arizona cannabis laws as they stood. That's why the MPP chose Arizona: because Arizona has some of the most primitive, repressive pot laws in the country. This was no mistake, it was deliberate. Had Arizona had rational pot laws like they do in say, Ohio, this would not have been necessary. 

 

As I've said many time before, I'll be satisfied to see the prohibitionists laid off and disgraced, relegated to the ash heap of history. Remember what happened to the prohibition agents eight decades back? Brush up your resume's, folks.

Smity
Smity

 @pvplacid yea ,you got no business weighing in on this. Your ignorance is distasteful !! Pull your head out. No empathy for sick and dieing. 

Thane.Eichenauer
Thane.Eichenauer

 @tromulus Bill Montgomery who is mentioned above IS on the ballot and DOES have an opponent who does not support the wasteful prohibition position that Montgomery supports.  I have voted for Michael Kielsky the only other choice on the November ballot.  http://www.kielsky.com

pvplacid
pvplacid

@SeedyWard What is there about my comment that you think justifies yours? This might be a simple case of "shoot the messenger," or perhaps you didn't understand my comment. Anybody who thinks medical marijuana isn't about to get the boot from the judge is in denial. That result pretty much could have been foreseen from the very beginning. It's one thing to pour money and time into a risky business. It's another thing to continue pouring money and time into this once the courts get involved and the law is overturned.

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