The fight against Arizona’s medical marijuana program continues as state prosecutors act to stop dispensaries in the state. Prosecutors are also asking the court to rule that the voter approved law is illegal and conflicting with federal law.
This past Thursday Attorney General Tom Horne and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery continued their quest to end medical marijuana in Arizona. The prosecutors claim the voter approved law is illegal and conflicts with federal drug laws which trumps states law.
“Possession, distribution and cultivation of marijuana are all forbidden by federal law, and state authorization of these activities is pre-empted (by federal law),” Horne said.
However it’s important to site the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which was ratified on December 15, 1791. The principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the States by the Constitution are reserved to the States and/or the people.
Regardless of states rights, both state and county prosecutors disagree with the Constitution, and continue the fight to end the voter approved medical marijuana law.
The prosecutors’ are targeting dispensaries applying to open business in the state for patients in need of medication. Some argue this is a personal act against a case of White Mountain Health Center Incs’ lawsuit against the county for neglecting to provide zoning clearances for a Sun City location, which are needed under the medical marijuana law.
Horne and Montgomery asked Judge Michael Gordon to dismiss White Mountain’s lawsuit on grounds that Arizona’s marijuana law is illegal due to the federal stance on medical cannabis. Horne cited cases in other states where it was found that federal law trumps states’ medical marijuana laws, but defense attorneys disagree stating that other rulings have reached opposite conclusions.
Judge Gordon himself recently ruled that state health officials could not decline to award a dispensary license to White Mountain.
But it all sounds so familiar, as if Arizona has been down this road before, and prosecutors are now simply grasping at strings while beating a dead horse.
In May of last year Arizona Governor Jan Brewer along with Tom Horne, had filed a lawsuit against the voter approved medical marijuana law. This was in an attempt to avoid prosecution of any state employee under federal law.
But the U.S. Justice Department dismissed Brewers case, arguing that the legal action filed by Brewer goes against state’s rights and improperly uses the court system to interpret federal law and intently attempts to invent controversy.
The Supreme Court saw no reason any state employee would be prosecuted and that the Plaintiffs (Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne) disputes are merely hypothetical. It was also sited that the Plaintiffs themselves claim to choose no side on the argument at that time.
In January of this year a state judge ordered the state to proceed with allowing the creation of dispensaries and lifted part of the state’s restrictions. But even after continuing to lose in court, the state officials hired to serve as the voice of the people, continue to fight against voters.