Kimberly Yee and Sheila Polk Use Power to Prop Up Marijuana Prohibition

Categories: Medical Weed

polk sheila 3.JPG
Sheila Polk
Earlier this month, Polk led the Yavapai Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution supporting marijuana prohibition. When New Times asked Board chairman Rowle Simmons why prohibition was better than legalization, he said he didn't know -- and that Polk had asked him to vote for the resolution, so he did.

In an Arizona Court of Appeals ruling last month, Polk was allowed to ban a medical-marijuana user from using marijuana as a term of probation.

But the court stymied Polk's plan to extend the ban on every person taking a plea deal in Yavapai County.

The case stemmed from a DUI bust in which a woman who had a .237 BAC was also found to have marijuana in her system. Polk's plea deal for the woman ordered her to "not buy, grow, possess, consume or use marijuana in any form, whether or not Defendant has a medical-marijuana card..." as a term of her probation.

When a trial-court judge struck the provision from the plea deal, citing the state's Medical Marijuana Act, Polk told him she would divert all change-of-plea cases to a different judge from then on, and would try to find judges "more agreeable to the probation term."

In an October 2013 memo Polk circulated after the trial judge's decision, Polk explained her reasoning for banning marijuana use by anyone taking a plea deal was that "marijuana continues to be banned by federal law and is ... a harmful addictive substance."

Polk further explained in the memo that she had instructed her prosecutors "to include the standard marijuana provision in every plea agreement."

For various reasons, Judges Jon Thompson and Lawrence Winthrop wrote in the 2-1 opinion that the trial court had erred by refusing to let Polk ban the DUI defendant from using marijuana as a condition of her probation, and that the lower court judge should have applied an "individualized analysis." (The third appellate judge, Margaret Downie, dissented on technical grounds.)

The appeals court supported Polk's "use of this condition" for the woman, noting that she had behaved "recklessly and engaged in disruptive behavior" while on booze and pot.

Yet the judges drew the line there, saying they "disapproved" of Polk's attempt to create a "blanket provision," which they felt would "not satisfy the prosecutor's duty to make an individualized determination of what is reasonably beneficial to the public good."

We don't know whether Polk has continued to use a blanket provision against those taking a plea regardless of the ruling, which stops short of ordering her not to do so. Polk was out of the office when we tried to reach her today.

No doubt, Polk and Yee, as two of the state's foremost anti-marijuana voices, will keep up their fight -- even if they appear to be on the losing end of history.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.

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28 comments
shadeaux
shadeaux

Gee Arizonans elect the most ignorant leadership possible.


Who would have thought?

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

It's all about money.  Someone or some corporation or some for profit prison paid them off.  Prohibition is good for business.  It keeps cops working, DAs working, judges have jobs, tow trucks, probation officers, prisons can't fill themselves, so you need prisoners, after all it is a "for-profit" prison industry in AZ, sherrif Joe needs a job, etc.  What do you expect??  Days of fighting crime are over, these are the days of Law Enforcement and capitalism.  the demand for prisoners will never allow prohibition to be over.  Good Luck!

Eleanor_Holguin
Eleanor_Holguin

Karma will take care of these two.


Voters should also take care of these two. 


There will come a day in their lives when they will need medical marijuana because there will be no drug to fix or cure what ails them or someone they love. Until then their ignorance should be questioned.

JimTolar
JimTolar

Am I the only one who noticed that the lead sentence in the article is wrong?


"Arizonans who want to fight marijuana prohibition in this state have two strong allies in powerful positions: State Senator Kimberly Yee and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk."

should be instead

"Arizonans who want to SUPPORT marijuana prohibition in this state have two strong allies in powerful positions: State Senator Kimberly Yee and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk."


Also, Yee and Polk are morons.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Just what Arizona needs, more whacked out bitches in politics.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Yee is terrible. She seems to answer to no one, in any of her actions. As chairman of Senate Education she ignores every comment from every Statewide group except those from the Goldwater and the Taliban.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Yee is terrible. She seems to answer to no one, in any of her actions. As chairman of Senate Education she ignores every comment from every Statewide group except those from the Goldwater and the Taliban. Every vote is pre-ordained on every piece that gets to her committee.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Sorry you never know if the post went thru.

Jenna
Jenna

So, when is Polk going to start demanding the withholding of Insulin, Hypertension Meds, Asthma Meds, Kidney Dialysis, etc. because SHE perceives herself to have more knowledge of medical issues than those with a medical degree? And why not.........She perceives herself to be a dictator that doesn't have to follow the will of the people. She is very dangerous and needs an evaluation to determine why she has such an authoritarian complex.

Somehow, though, she doesn't demand the same obedience when comes to raping 13 year olds with broom handles. The only obedience she expected of that sick criminal behavior was to go on a Mormon Mission. 

And thug police officer gang members beating people up in bars just gets a "Hmmmmmmm..............."

     

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

All these 2 politicians see is the $ from arrest, incarceration, fines, going from lawyers and cops, to everyone else. They could give a rats rear end about anything else. peace

e.meenie69
e.meenie69

As a 60+ female, born and raised Arizona citizen , I am appalled by these two women, who have declared war on Medical Marijuana and the patients.

I have not seen the likes of such political shenanigans since Ev Mecham was in office.

Shame on them, and shame on the rest of their constituents for letting them get away with this. 

Don't think for a moment we will forget come election time! 

BrianKelly
BrianKelly

The "War on Marijuana" has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful "War on Drugs" that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.


Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending "War on Marijuana", lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It's a no brainer.


The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?


Marijuana is much safer, and healthier to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?


Let's end this hypocrisy now!


The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less "crimes" because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.


Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that's approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!


Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

JustSayin
JustSayin

I see this backfiring just like SB1062. 

teknik
teknik

Nothing like "small government" in action!

Trommy
Trommy

I wonder what they will prohibit when Cannabis prohibition is over?


ray.stern
ray.stern moderator

@JimTolar  I guess they're not the only morons. Lead sentence fixed.

bobunf
bobunf

@e.meenie69  LD 20 – east of 67th Ave, west of Cave Creek, north of Dunlap (Thurderbird on the east side of I-17), south of Bell (Union Hills east of 35th Ave).


The Democrat running against Yee this year is Patrice Kennedy.  He's running clean, i.e., he needs $5 contributions from you if you live in LD 20. 


Registered Republicans in the District are 38%, Democrats 28%, Independents 33%.  Latinos 18%, Blacks 4%, Asians 3%; Obama got 43.4% of the vote in LD 20 in 2012.

In 2012 Michael Powell ran against Republican Kimberly Yee* and Independent Doug Quelland.  Those two split the Republican vote, but Powell still lost 51 to 37.  

The District also has former minuteman Carl Seel*, the recipient of a $102,000 principal reduction on his mortgage in exchange for help to the banking industry.  He's also in line for the Dumbest Arizona Legislator.  

Nonetheless Jackie Thrasher lost against Seel by 2,523 votes – 2 points.

The voters in this district are pretty Neanderthal.  No offense to Neanderthals.  


ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@BrianKelly The people who opposed legalization of alcohol were supposedly smart "Christian" people who used the bible to support their position - BUT THEY WERE WRONG!  These people are also using the bible to support their position and THEY ARE WRONG TOO!!!  I really understand why god hates false prophets AND tools of the corporate elite - don't think for one minute that the wealthiest among us don't have their hands in the drug cartel's money stream.  It's been like that ever since the Royals were involved in the opium wars.



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