Maricopa County Attorney wants to see medical marijuana in court

August 08, 2012

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he’s eager to put Arizona’s medical marijuana law in front of a judge, as defendant or plaintiff. 

Last year, Montgomery warned county employees not to process any zoning or permit applications for marijuana dispensaries, because the businesses would violate the federal Controlled Substances Act. The White Mountain Health Center, which wants to open on county-controlled land in Sun City, sued. The case is winding its way through court.

Montgomery hopes a ruling will clarify whether --- as he says --- the medical marijuana program is federally preempted; in fact, he points to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent opinion on SB 1070.

“The operative language that I think applies very clearly here references [that] the physical impossibility [of complying] with both state and federal law results in federal law controlling.”

Montgomery also says Arizona criminal code makes growing or selling marijuana illegal, period --- and that he’s open to prosecuting users and dispensaries.

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