Federal Judge Tosses Medical Marijuana Case

January 6th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

A federal judge has thrown out Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s complaint against the state’s medical marijuana law.

The law, passed in 2010, created a system of marijuana dispensaries that are regulated by the state’s health department. Patients are banned from growing their own marijuana if they live within a 25-mile radius of a dispensary.

Brewer and the state’s attorney general filed the lawsuit just days before the state was scheduled to accept applications from potential dispensary operators. The suit asked for a judgment on whether state officials who administer Arizona’s medical marijuana programs could be at risk for federal prosecution, since marijuana is illegal under federal law.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton of Arizona on Wednesday dismissed the complaint, ruling that the Arizona officials failed to show that an imminent threat of prosecution exists for state employees, or that state employees in any of the 16 states with medical marijuana laws have faced prosecution for violating federal laws that make marijuana use and dispensing illegal.

Recently, federal authorities in California began cracking down on the state’s medical marijuana industry, but they are targeting those who are dispensing the drug illegally, and have said those who need marijuana for medical purposes — such as to help ease the effects of cancer or AIDS — will still be able to get it.

Even if the threat of prosecution for state employees in Arizona were imminent, Brewer and the other plaintiffs in the case — the director of the Arizona

Article source: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PainManagement/PainManagement/30541