Judge Asked To Toss Marijuana Lawsuit
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Judge Asked To Toss Marijuana Lawsuit
Posted by CN Staff on August 01, 2011 at 21:00:05 PT
By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Source: Yuma Sun
Phoenix -- Federal attorneys asked a judge on Monday to throw out a lawsuit filed by Gov. Jan Brewer seeking a ruling about the legality of the state's medical marijuana law.Deputy U.S. Attorney Scott Risner said there is no legal basis for the lawsuit. Risner told U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton in legal papers filed in her court that, absent some actual threat of prosecution under federal drug laws by his office, the question is purely academic and therefore not a proper subject for litigation.
But state Attorney General Tom Horne, who filed the lawsuit in May on the governor's behalf, said Risner is telling only part of the story.The fight surrounds the decision by Arizona voters last year to set up a system allowing those with a doctor's recommendation and a state-issued ID card to purchase marijuana from state-regulated dispensaries.Since that time, several federal prosecutors, including Dennis Burke, the U.S. attorney for Arizona, warned that possession and sale of the drug remain illegal under federal law. Brewer then directed Horne to ask a federal court whether Arizona could implement its program anyway.In the interim, the state health department, at Brewer's direction, decided not to license any dispensaries, though they have continued to certify patients as medical marijuana users.Risner said the problem with Horne's lawsuit is that no state employee involved in issuing licenses — those that Brewer said she was most concerned about — is facing prosecution.But Horne said that's not exactly true.He pointed out that federal prosecutors, in their letters to state officials in Arizona and elsewhere, essentially said that medical marijuana users have nothing to fear. It's what those letters did not say, Horne said, that amounts to a threat.“They gave no assurance to state employees, they gave no assurance to dispensaries. And they said they were going to vigorously prosecute anyone who is involved in the distribution of marijuana,” Horne continued, a category that could include state workers. “What unbelievable hypocrites!”Horne also brushed aside Risner's argument that there can be no risk of prosecution to state health workers since they are neither accepting nor processing applications from those who want to operate dispensaries.“We asked for the court decision and we said we'll hold it up until there is a court decision,” Horne complained. He called it “sophistry” for the Department of Justice to now argue that the state, by putting the license-issuing process on hold, is not entitled to a ruling on the very issue that is holding up the process in the first place.Risner did not return a call to his office seeking comment.It's not just the Department of Justice trying to have the governor's lawsuit dismissed. Would-be dispensary operators and the American Civil Liberties Union are making similar arguments in their own legal filings.Bolton has not set a date for a hearing.Source: Sun, The (Yuma, AZ)Author: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media ServicesPublished: August 1, 2011Copyright: 2011 The SunWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #3 posted by weedoflife on August 03, 2011 at 09:20:36 PT:
the real way this article should read
Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Has No Merit
via Weed all about it... by jsnsoc8 on 8/3/11Political stunts mocking the integrity of the judicial system. Who’da thunk it possible…Recently, Arizona’s Governor filed a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that she is “concerned” that state workers could end up in legal trouble federally for implementing Arizona’s medical marijuana program. It’s definitely not because she opposed Proposition 203 in the first place. It’s not. Trust her.See, Governor Brewer apparently is worried about “people winding up in legal trouble.” Never mind the suffering that implementation of medical marijuana will save sick patients in her state…we’ve gotta “follow the law!” (Hint, hint, Governor Brewer: your failure to remove marijuana from Schedule I, and petition the federal government, is the only thing putting patients at risk of federal prosecution in your state. If you want to follow the law, file for federal removal of marijuana from Schedule I based on state sovereignty. You’re welcome for the tip.)Today, Arizona’s weak lawsuit against the federal government was shown for what it is: a massive, epic failure to assert state sovereignty. Shame on you, Governor Brewer, for your thinly veiled political stunt. Patients deserve better representation from elected representatives. At page 2, footnote 1, of the U.S. Attorney’s Motion to Dismiss the case today, the federal attorneys arguing the case pointed out what Iowa already knows: it’s the Controlled Substances Act, stupid!Congress found that “[a]ny attempt to authorize under State law an activity prohibited under . . . the Controlled Substances Act would conflict with that . . . Act,” and expressed its sense that “the several States, and the citizens of such States, should reject the legalization of drugs through legislation, ballot proposition, constitutional amendment, or any other means.” Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 105-277, Div. D, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-758 (1998). –Page 2, Footnote 1, Arizona v. United States of America, 11-01072, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona (Phoenix).
–Wow. Case law, explaining legal arguments. I wonder if Governor Brewer read that case (or even did any research whatsoever) before filing her political stunt…I mean, lawsuit…for the federal government. Wait, did I say lawsuit for the federal government? My tongue must have slipped in the slippery semantics. I apologize. The ACLU, whose arguing against this lawsuit, pointed out that “states shouldn’t be able to challenge the legality of their own laws in federal court.” If Governor Brewer truly wanted to stop the threat of federal interference, she would assert her state sovereignty by suing the federal government for failure to remove marijuana from Schedule I. Schedule I is the only impediment to state medical marijuana laws receiving Constitutional protection from federal oversight. See, Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243, 258 (2006): This meme dedicated to Governor Brewer, the Governor who doesn't know how to Govern. 
(“The Attorney General has rulemaking power to fulfill his duties under the CSA. The specific respects in which he is authorized to make rules, however, instruct us that he is not authorized to make a rule declaring illegitimate a medical standard for care and treatment of patients that is specifically authorized under state law.”)Descheduling/rescheduling/unscheduling marijuana is the only thing that will solve federal interference with state laws. When will states stand up for their rights and utilize their due process? Ignoring this legal strategy at the detriment of patients is morally reprehensible; patients are suffering as a result.If you live in a medical marijuana state, pay attention to Iowa’s work: we’re doing it right, and winning, in a state with no medical marijuana access. Get educated, study the law…AND USE IT!!!It’s really quite simple.     
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Comment #2 posted by weedoflife on August 02, 2011 at 10:25:35 PT:
patients should be suing the state
Patients should be suing the state of Arizona for failure to file for federal reclassifaction . The patients rights are being violated and this is directlly harming them, which would give them good standing for the law suit in any court of law. So patients of Arizona you need to step up to the plate and take action against your state for not filing a reclassifaction petition to protect you against the federal laws . For Info on laws and past court cases check out info on iowans for medical marijuana website by Carl Olson and his shows
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on August 02, 2011 at 06:41:26 PT
Federal Prosecutors?
Since they have only two sides of their mouth to speak out of they employ a second orifice when they want to really talk crap!
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