Back in November 2010, amid some controversy with the count, the voters of Arizona approved by a slim margin the use of cannabis as medicine. With few details delineated, they entrusted their representatives with the fine print.
For almost two years we the people have endured the political leaders of our state delaying and questioning and petitioning the law’s effect.
Last week, the Arizona Department of Health Services successfully held the long awaited lottery to decide which applicants can move forward with the opening of the first 99 of 126 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
In 2011, Governor Jan Brewer initiated dialogue with the federal government to ensure legal safety for state employees issuing medical marijuana licenses to dispensaries and patients. This was seen by many as the governor’s way of reversing the vote or, at the very least, of delaying the impact of the new law. This, at a time when not one public employee has been implicated in a Federal Controlled Substances Act court case.
Now, we are hearing from Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne who announced his intentions to file an injunction to keep legitimately selected dispensaries from operating. In our opinion, those in glass houses should hesitate to throw stones.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has also started to threaten filing felony charges against anyone cultivating, handling, distributing, selling, or using (without a card) cannabis. Ironically, Montgomery claims his warnings are aimed only to protect citizens’ “personal liberty”, a ridiculous notion that suggests revocation of freedom upon expression of other forms of freedom. Even more humorous is the notion of a county attorney prosecuting his own constituents for violations of federal law!
It seems no one of the top rung of Arizona’s political ladder has been too thrilled about the AMMA since its passage in 2010. Here’s to hoping for good news! And congratulations to all the dispensary drawing winners — we look forward to supporting you!