Pages tagged "Arizona Medical Marijuana Act"


Gov. Brewer Orders Arizona to Start Processing Dispensary Applications

The good news that came out last week for Arizona medical cannabis patients got even better today. Having a week to digest the impact of having her lawsuit thrown out of federal court on Jan. 4th, AZ Gov. Jan Brewer has announced she will not re-file. More significant (and quite a pleasant surprise) was the following statement by Brewer:

“I have directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to begin accepting and processing dispensary applications, and issuing licenses for those facilities once a pending legal challenge to the Department's medical marijuana rules is resolved."


This is fantastic news, although any credit given to Brewer needs to be put in context. The AZ Governor has actively worked to prevent the program, and even qualified her encouraging statement above by saying, “[i]t is well-known that I did not support passage of Proposition 203.” With that in mind, it will be important to keep an eye on the response Brewer gets back from U.S. Attorney forArizona, Ann Birmingham Scheel, asking for federal government’s position on state employees regulating dispensaries. However, last week’s resounding dismissal of Brewer’s case should be indicative that regardless of Scheel’s response, the program must still move forward.

Medical cannabis dispensaries will finally be coming to Arizona. It’s still a question of when, but it looks like they’ll be arriving much sooner than anyone previously expected.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this entry stated that AZ would begin processing applications prior to completion of the state-level lawsuit. Applications will not be processed until completion of this lawsuit. Thank you to those who pointed out the error.

Proposition 203 and Arizona Medical Marijuana Act: http://www.azdhs.gov/prop203/

Pending Lawsuit: http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/documents/dispensaries/CompassionFirst-v-Arizona.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Judge Tosses AZ Governor Brewer's Attempt at Blocking Voter Initiative

In a major victory for safe access in the Grand Canyon state, a federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who must now implement the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA).


Brewer’s lawsuit was technically filed under the guise of protecting state workers from federal prosecution, but in reality was a thinly veiled attempt to thwart the will of the majority of Arizona voters who passed the AMMA in 2010. In fact, the lawsuit bordered on the absurd, as it attempted to utilize 20 fictitious defendants as part of the basis for the case.  However, Brewer’s refusal to fully implement AMMA has not stopped her from collecting nearly $3 million in fees from the approximately 19,000 Arizonans who have registered as patients. What’s more is Brewer’s own lawsuit admits that she, along with “employees and officers of the State of Arizona have a mandatory duty to implement and oversee the administration of the AMMA,” (emphasis added).

Not only does Americans for Safe Access agree with the Governor’s assertion that the Arizona government has a mandatory obligation to implement the AMMA, but on behalf of patients and caregivers, we demand the swift implementation of the program. For some Arizonans, yesterday’s victory came years, months, weeks, or perhaps even mere days too late. Now is the time for Governor Brewer to act so that no more patients in Arizona suffer needlessly as the expense of political posturing.

Ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton (contains the text quoted above from Brewer's lawsuit): http://www.scribd.com/doc/77175415/Mmj-Lawsuit-Dismissed

Arizona Medical Marijuana Act: http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/rules/index.htm#statutes