Prosecutors want judge to rule Arizona medical marijuana facilities are prevented by federal law

By Howard Fischer

Capitol Media Services/East Valley Tribune

Prosecutors urged a judge Friday to declare medical marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities as preempted by federal law.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said there’s no question but that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. And he told Judge Michael Gordon that law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug for which there is no legitimate medical use.

What that means, Montgomery argued, is the state is powerless to do anything that ultimately results in the state issuing a license to someone to sell marijuana. If nothing else, he said the requirements of the 2010 voter-approved law for public officials to act put them in the position where they could be prosecuted under federal law for aiding someone else in obtaining the drug.

Most immediately, Montgomery wants Gordon to block a bid by the owners of White Mountain Health Center to open a dispensary in Sun City. But he ultimately hopes to get an appellate level ruling that any action by any government official that paves the way to a dispensary is illegal, effectively banning not only the shops that will sell the drug but the facilities to grow it legally.


If you’d like to discuss medical marijuana, contact Ryan Hurley, head of the Rose Law Group Medical Marijuana Dept.,

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