Arizona Governor Moves to Block Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference that she has instructed the state attorney general to file a federal lawsuit to seek clarification of the legality of the state's medical marijuana law. That means that the dispensary licensing portion of the program will most likely be put on hold pending a "declaratory judgment" sought by the governor.

Those scary US Attorneys get to another governor. (Image via Wikimedia.org)
Under the Arizona law, most patients would have to rely on a system of licensed dispensaries to obtain their medicine. They or their caregivers cannot grow their own unless they live more than 25 miles from a dispensary.

Brewer said she was prompted to act because of a threatening letter sent by US Attorney Dennis Burke. In that May 2 letter, Burke warned Department of Health Services Director Will Humble that the state's medical marijuana law conflicted with the federal Controlled Substances Act.

"Growing, distributing and possessing marijuana, in any capacity, other than as a federally authorized research program is a violation of federal law," Burke wrote. "Compliance with Arizona laws and regulations does not provide a safe harbor, nor immunity from federal prosecution."

Brewer said Tuesday that Burke's letter made her fear for state employees who would be issuing dispensary licenses and patient and caregiver registration cards.

"I just cannot sit on the sidelines and allow the federal government to put my state employees at risk," Brewer said. "That letter really muddied the waters... I intend to get answers because peoples' lives and careers are at stake."

Brewer's move comes little more than a month after the program went into effect, and 3,600 patients have already registered, but the dispensary portion of the program is not fully up and running yet.

"We are moving in the direction" of ordering the Department of Health Services not to issue dispensary permits, Brewer said.

A Brewer spokesman, Matthew Benson, told the Arizona Republic later Tuesday that the governor's advice to the department on dispensary permits was "imminent, in the next few days."

Brewer, who opposed last November's initiative making medical marijuana the law of the land, said she was not trying to overturn the election results, nor was she defending the medical marijuana law.

"We will not take a substantive position, either to thwart the will of voters or to try to impose our own policy views," Horne said. "We are simply saying to the federal court, 'We need a resolution of these competing pressures.'"

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which helped draft the medical marijuana initiative, wasn't buying it. "We are deeply frustrated by this announcement," said MPP executive director Rob Kampia. "The law Gov. Brewer wants enjoined established an extremely well thought-out and conservative medical marijuana system. The law was drafted so that a very limited number of nonprofit dispensaries would serve the needs of patients who would be registered with the state. Governor Brewer is trying to disrupt this orderly system and replace it with relative chaos," he said.

"Patients would not purchase their medicine at state-regulated dispensaries, Kampia continued. "Instead, they or their caregivers would grow marijuana in homes across the state. Some will even be forced to find their medicine on the streets. We cannot think of a single individual -- aside from possibly illegal drug dealers -- who would benefit from Gov. Brewer's actions today. She has done a disservice to her state and its citizens."

Brewer is only the latest politician to use threatening letters from federal prosecutors as a reason to back away from medical marijuana dispensaries. Earlier this month, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee halted the state's dispensary program after getting a letter from the feds, and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire gutted a dispensary bill that had reached her desk citing the same reasons.

Phoenix, AZ
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Medical Marijuana

Gov. Jan Brewer is showing her true intentions by disrupting the process of the will of the voters.

It took 50% of voters plus one to make medical marijuana legalized in Arizona.

That is all it takes to replace her in the next Arizona governors election.

If this got the approval of the majority of voters in Arizona, doesn't the governor understand the majority of voters will take her and the governor appointed Arizona Health Director out of office.

The voters of Arizona realizes this and will vote her out!

Re-elect no one is office. It cannot get worse. Possibly they will realize the voters rule.

Voter Approved Medical Marijuana

Gov. Jan Brewer is showing her own opinion in and convictions with trying to disrupt the process for Arizonan's to put into place an approved ballet issue. There is a simple solution to her and her self appointed puppet (Arizona Health Director) Mr. Humble out of office. Loose her and you loose Mr. Humble too.

It took 50% of voters, plus one to approve Medical Marijuana in Arizona. In the next election more young people will vote because of the presidential election. There is no doubt with more young voters showing up at the poles, the majority will rule in the governors race.

These politicians continue to make laws in contrary to the voters opinion. Very tired of this happening.

Perfect reason to not re-elect anyone in current office. How much worse could it be?

& when do these dictators become libal?

So let me get this straight, US Attorney Dennis Burke has resorted to threatening our state’s representatives that compliance with our state laws & regulations doesn’t provide safe harbor, nor immunity from the dictations of our States union's prosecutions despite the 91 years of prohibitionist provoked fiscal waist & neglect that has destabilized our nation causing multiple massacres, massive incarcerations, energy instability, & the loss of many of trillions of dollars in both tax expenditures & gross domestic revenues. 

& where dose the concept that; "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." come in to play? 

Sam Caldwell was arrested on October 2, 1937, the same day that the Marihuana Tax Act was enacted. He was released from prison in 1940 & died on June 24, 1941. Our prohibitionists killed this peaceful man. Not to mention the millions of worldly citizens who have been discriminated against, harassed, denied civil liberties, enslaved, & victimized due to possessing, growing, transporting, &/or distributing these God given, "seed baring plants," the "healing of the nations," cannabis hemp & sin semilla, (aka marijuana with & without seeds.)

Backwards

She should be suing the feds in defense of the people of her state.  You know, the ones that elected her.  If she has to take sides, why would it be against her constituents?

Golly Gee,  I wonder why?

Golly Gee,  I wonder why?

THE REAL ISSUE HERE!

This probably has more to do with political jockeying for the Feds to draw a line in the sand on how they deal with States rights, so AZ can have ammo for the 1070 push. Irregardless the dispensaries were by design of 203 unethically crafted to be monopolies controlled exclusively by the elite wealthy. The Arizona middle class that desperately need a chance to participate in practically the only thriving market sector in our abysmal economy were on the verge of being laid under the tracks of the dispensary money machine!

I sincerely hope that not one dispensary ever opens in Arizona under the present law! I wisely wish that patients are free to grow their own medicine and if they are unable to produce it themselves, can find caregivers that will provide them with it for free. Halting the 50 mile wide rings of suffering and greed created by the dispensaries is a Godsend!

To all interested

To all interested parties,
Arizona Cannabis Society will move ahead as scheduled in its current process to apply for multiple dispensary location licenses across the great State of Arizona. We here at Arizona Cannabis Society felt it necessary to say that first, that way our intentions would not be questioned throughout the remainder of this document., they have been clearly stated; we will move forward.
The Arizona medical marijuana program is in jeopardy here in Arizona ladies and gentlemen and we need to act right now. As most of you have already seen on the news Arizona is demanding some judicial “clarification” if you will regarding whether or not State employees can be prosecuted for their participation in implementing and overseeing Arizona’s medical marijuana industry.
Let’s get right to the heart of the problem and not sugar coat it.
State government is concerned that should a dispensary operator be prosecuted they could potentially be named in a Federal RICO suit as a co-conspirator. That’s right, at the Federal level should dispensary operators be prosecuted AZ DHS employees (as well as various other State agencies) could potentially be prosecuted as well. Obviously that raised an eyebrow or two “upstairs” and this need for “clarification” has arisen.
I would say the lawsuit will be filled Friday as scheduled, here’s a tid-bit…

“Republican Governor Jan Brewer said the state will file the court action by Friday to make sure that Arizona does not put state workers and consumers in jeopardy as it implements its voter-sanctioned Medical Marijuana Act.
The decision to seek clarification comes after the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke, warned in a letter to state health officials earlier this month that the cultivation, sale and distribution of marijuana is still against federal law and subject to prosecution.
In it, Burke said he would "vigorously prosecute individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing, distribution and marketing activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law."
Brewer said she wants to follow voter's wishes, but remains concerned.
"I won't stand aside while state employees and average Arizonans acting in good faith are unwittingly put at risk," she said in a prepared statement released Tuesday.
"In light of the explicit warnings on this issue offered by Arizona's U.S. Attorney, as well as many other federal prosecutors, clarity and judicial direction are in order," she added.
Arizona became the 15th state in the nation to approve medical marijuana. Last November, voters gave the go-ahead to a ballot measure by a razor-thin margin.
The state has been accepting applications from individuals seeking to use marijuana for medical purposes since April.
Figures show that 3,696 people have been given cards to use marijuana for a range of medical problems, with the bulk of the users approved because of chronic pain.
The legal action also comes as the state readied to accept applications statewide on June 1 for those seeking to dispense the drug under the new law. There will be 125 dispensaries allowed under Arizona Department of Health Service rules.
Officials have said the dispensaries would start operating in late September or early October. But a governor's aide told Reuters that Brewer wants to put the dispensary part of the law on hold pending a decision on the legal case.”

So, what happens from here? One of several things, a combination of many, truth is we simply don’t know. One thing we do know is that nothing has ever gotten accomplished by people doing nothing at all. Now is the time we all need to do something Arizona, whether you voted for or against Arizona’s medical marijuana program one fact remains the same, YOU VOTED!
The Federal government has ignored “State’s Rights” over and over again in regards to the medical marijuana issue or marijuana in general. Did we not elect these very same officials that are now threatening to trample on our right to vote and make decisions at the State level?
It is a well known fact that the USA via the Department of Human Health Services holds US PATENT #6,630,507 which is a patent that proves marijuana has medicinal values, in specific as neuro-protectants and antioxidants used to treat dementia after things like strokes, heart-attacks, Alzheimer’s Disease, HIV dementia and various others.
This patent directly CONFLICTS the US federal Governments stance on marijuana as it is currently a Schedule 1 narcotic due to the “fact” that it has “no medicinal values” alongside LSD and a few others.
So in reality what do we have here?
#1 our “elected” Federal Government holds a patent on a medical marijuana product.
#2 Our “elected” Federal Government has marijuana “Scheduled” as having “no medical benefit” thus making it a Federal crime to cultivate, possess or likewise.
#3 Arizona (and 15 other States) have VOTED for and implemented a medical marijuana program, all in direct violation of Federal Law and fully within a “State’s Right’s” to act in such a manner.
#4 The ACLU has threatened to re-open a lawsuit against the Federal Government should they continue to pursue and prosecute those acting in compliance with STATE law regarding medical marijuana.
#5 Arizona will file an official lawsuit on Friday which will “HALT” Arizona’s medical marijuana program to a virtual standstill. For patients, caregivers and dispensaries.
#6 If the Fed’s do come in and trample on our electoral vote they are not just trampling on prop 203 but prop 105 as well, The Voter Protection Act.
#7 Large groups such as Arizona Cannabis Society, NORML, Canna-Voice, and many others are starting to work in a cohesive manner to further one common message, JURY NULLIFICATION.
Now is the time ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to take the stand. The great people of the United States have spoken time and time again that we want “change” when it comes to marijuana laws at both State and Federal levels.
The supreme court has ruled in: “In every prosecution for crime it is necessary to establish the “corpus delecti”, i.e., the body or elements of the crime.” People v. Lopez, 62 Ca.Rptr. 47, 254 C.A.2d 185”
And just what is “Corpus Delecti”? and how is it established?
The supreme court has also ruled that the “Elements of “corpus delecti,” injury or loss or harm and a criminal agency which causes such injury, loss or harm, need only be proven by a “reasonable probability,” i.e., by slight or prima facie proof…” People v. Ramirez, 153 Cal.Rptr. 789, 791, 91 C.A. 132.
So I ask you this Arizona, where can one find ANY of the three elements of corpus delicti in a marijuana crime for cultivation, possession and or use? These are REQUIRED in court to prosecute.
The answer is simple, you can’t. Often people don’t remember that the lower courts have to be in compliance with the Supreme Court’s decisions or “rulings” regarding all legal matters.
So, is my marijuana use a crime? For this answer let us look no further than to the Supreme Court itself, let’s look at the elements of corpus delciti.
My marijuana cultivation, processing, packaging, and use satisfy none of the required elements of Corpus Delicti.
They cause no “injury, loss or harm” and are not performed by a “criminal agency” nor do they violate anyone’s Constitutional Rights.
Simply put, legally, there is no crime in a marijuana case for possession, cultivation, use or any of the likewise.
Simple fact is, we have the right to demand a jury trial whenever we are convicted of a crime, it is a Constitutional Right that cannot be denied. We need to use that right and demand a jury in EVERY marijuana prosecution attempt.
It is then as simple to show a jury as it was for me to show, you that “legally” there really is no recourse to be had on behalf of the Federal Government (or State) regarding marijuana “crimes”.
This pivotal lawsuit on behalf of the State of Arizona has the power to set precedence across the nation. We have the chance to force the Federal Government reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule 1 narcotic to something more appropriate, whatever that may be. If the federal Government says it will prosecute State employees, this could have an obvious backlash across the nation in regards to the various medical marijuana programs already in place. If we “win” the precedence will be set for other states to implement a program with no Federal recourse to be had.
What we need to succeed is rather simple;
We need defendants that have serious medical conditions and are currently “prop 203 card holders” meaning they have been through the DHS process and have their actual prop 203 cards.
We need a republican, a democrat and an independent that all voted FOR prop 203 as well as the above mentioned patients to all be defendants in what is set to be the “Miranda” of medical marijuana cases.
We also need some money to cover the legal costs of the lawsuit, about $25,000 in total for retainers, paralegals, etc. will be required to move forward with this legal action.
Some of this money has already been donated on behalf of the AMMA patients from AZCS as well as a few other local groups. We need more. Plain and simple this will cost some money and we all need to dig deep and make it happen.
Please email me directly at [email protected] if you are interested in helping our cause, time is short ladies and gentlemen, very short. We need to act right now and we need to show them we will ALL stand shoulder to shoulder to defend our right to choose via the electoral vote. We need to stand together and enforce the Law, the real law, as it is written.
Please forward this to any/all parties of interest with the medical marijuana program in Arizona.

Sincerely,

Bill Hayes

Acting CEO
Arizona Cannabis Society

It's very clear

The federal government was created to act as an agent among the states, not the other way around. End of story.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." 10 Amendment.

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