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Brewer to argue against part of Arizona pot law

Gov. Jan Brewer is going to take a new legal position after a federal judge said Brewer’s lawsuit on the legality of implementing Arizona’s medical marijuana law is in jeopardy.

The governor’s lawyers now will argue that a part of the law dealing with authorizing medical marijuana dispensaries conflicts with a federal drug law and is pre-empted, Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said Wednesday.

Brewer is taking the new position two days after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said during a hearing that the lawsuit, which asks whether federal law overrides the voter-approved state law, failed to take a position on that key issue.

The hearing was on a motion by supporters of the medical marijuana law to dismiss Brewer’s suit. The judge did not rule immediately on the motion, but she said Brewer’s case was incomplete if it didn’t take a position on pre-emption.

“It seems to be what Judge Bolton was seeking, and the governor will oblige,” Benson said.

Brewer previously had avoided taking a position on whether the medical marijuana law, which she opposed when it was before voters as a 2010 initiative measure, is pre-empted by federal law.

Benson disclosed the governor’s new position hours after Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced that he would argue that the state law is pre-empted.

Montgomery said the state needs a ruling on the pre-emption issue so it knows whether public employees could be prosecuted for implementing the law. Brewer has expressed similar concerns.

Montgomery said he’ll make an argument for pre-emption as part of his pending request to participate in the case.

Brewer’s administration has not implemented the dispensary part of the law but has issued thousands of qualified patient cards to individual marijuana users. Versions of those cards allow people to grow their own marijuana.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

3 comments

  1. It is so apparent in what she is trying to do. Who cares what the voters in Arizona want. We know where she stands and that is – I will do what I want to do, regardless of what the voters want. When it is in her personal interests take on Federal law (immigration) and when she doesn’t want to implement state law, argue that part of the law conflicts with Federal law and shouldn’t be implemented. It is ok for the state to take $150 for a medical marijuana card, but it is against the law, the same law that we passed, to have dispensaries. What a Croc!!!!!! No wonder the majority of Americans are so disgusted with our politicians.

  2. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (The AMMA), the State and Federal lawsuits, even criminal felony charges in Maricopa Superior Court or weed-DUI, or asset forfeiture/seizure, all have numerous laws and cases to be considered before making a decision. Each client’s case is different. One thing in common is our office only handles pot cases, we do not represent criminals.

    Whether smoking or eating medicine, all patients who want or need medicinal grade marijuana who have registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services, including registered caregivers, have a disability. An HIV/Aids patient cannot grow in their homes however DHS does not provide a list to patients of registered caregivers willing to donate time to raise 60 MJ plants. The amount of physical labor and financial upstart costs are impossible for most disabled and elderly patients on their own. Other patients who can afford upstart of growing medical grade marijuana are loosing crops due to inexperience in gardening. It is a large investment of both time and money that many people cannot or unwilling to take away from family, career or school.

    Learn the law and protect your rights. Get your weed card. The law is not on hold!

  3. So GED Jan is going to thwart the will of the people again? It appears she didn’t learn much from her IRC experience (or any other experience for that matter). Time to get that recall machinery going and remove “queenie” from her throne.

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