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The confusion spreads- Arizona lawsuit seeks clarification on medical marijuana

May 25, 2011

The drama over medical marijuana dispensaries continues to unfold.  As more and more states receive letters from their U.S. Attorneys warning that the marijuana retail stores violate federal law (Maine finally got a message last week) advocates are getting more and more confused about the Justice Department’s intentions.

You might remember that Governor Chafee put our compassion center program on hold following a letter from U.S Attorney Peter Neronha.

Well, a letter from the ACLU hasn’t prompted the Justice Department to clarify what’s going on (the only on the record statement it will offer is “our policy hasn’t changed”) but maybe a lawsuit will.

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona is taking her questions to court. In a press release the governor said she wants a “declaratory judgment from federal court regarding the legality of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA).”

In particular, Governor Brewer is concerned for the vulnerability of state employees charged with administering the AMMA, including, but not limited to, the issuance of dispensary licenses and qualified-patient registration cards. If a federal prosecutor were to decide that such activities are contrary to federal law, state employees may be subject to federal prosecution.

How this will work is a little unclear.  Who’s the plaintiff and who’s the defendant?  I guess Brewer and her Attorney General are the plaintiffs, but versus who?

I have a call out to Governor Chafee to see what he thinks of Brewer’s plan.  Would RI consider a similar approach?  Meanwhile, my feature on all of this is scheduled to air THIS Saturday.  We’ll see if that date sticks.

What do you think?  Should RI consider legal action to figure out what to do with our compassion center program?  Do you expect the Justice Department to clarify what it means or forever sit in this limbo?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. C Arthur permalink
    May 25, 2011 11:11 pm

    The Federal Gov’t is all up in arms about MM and it legality for medical use. It is and has been proven to be helpful and non addictive. The Fed’s are getting very busy on this issue, but what and why haven’t they enforced the immigration laws and why haven’t they moved to protect the border states for the illegal’s flow. Fence the border and stop the undo flow from Mexico. It is and has been the federal Law to exclusively protect our borders from the invasion/influx of non-Americans. The Fed’s just want to enforce (only) what the want and when they want to do it. Not really what the law says. Only their pet issues are being threatened to be enforced. Not the drain on the USA because of the illegals and their 20 million (FREE HEALTH CARE) emergency room visits. 1 hositpal in CALIF. had an expense of $25 million dollars / a lose because the illegals do not pay. How hypocritical can the Fed’s get!


  1. What’s Chafee’s plan for RI’s compassion centers? « The Pulse: health care in RI

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