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Judge says AZ must license med. marijuana dispensaries

January 19, 2012

It’s as close of a comparison as you can get. Like Governor Lincoln Chafee, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer received a letter last year from the state’s top federal prosecutor, warning her that medical marijuana dispensaries violated federal law and were vulnerable to raids.

She responded, like Governor Lincoln Chafee, by halting the state’s dispensary program. Now a judge is forcing her to start licensing those medical marijuana retail stores. According to the Yuma Sun,

A state judge has ordered Gov. Jan Brewer to finally fully implement the 2010 voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act, saying she acted illegally in holding it up.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama rejected the governor’s argument that she has the discretion to delay enactment of parts of the law while she sought a ruling from another court about the liability of state workers under federal drug laws.

The judge says that law includes licensing the dispensaries. Unless she successfully appeals the decision, Governor Brewer must authorize the marijuana stores within 120 days.
Could this decision potentially apply to Rhode Island’s situation? The Ocean State also has a law requiring the state to establish compassion centers.  At one point, there was talk of taking Governor Chafee to court, but nothing happened.  Let’s see what happens now there’s a legal precedent.
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