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Arizona AG Horne: medical pot dispensaries illegal

A non-binding legal opinion by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne warns that federal law means that the state cannot authorize distribution of medical marijuana, but Horne says that doesn’t stop the state from holding a lottery Tuesday to award dispensary certificates.

Commenting on the opinion he issued Monday, Horne says that’s because the certificates aren’t the final step in the process to authorize dispensaries.

Horne says he anticipates a judge will be asked to rule quickly on whether federal pre-emption of Arizona’s law means the state cannot authorize dispensaries.

Health Services Director Will Humble says the lottery will be held as scheduled but that he doesn’t know what may happen in coming weeks or months.

That’s when applicants awarded certificates Tuesday return for licenses once they pass various inspections.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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