Attorney Says Lawmakers Violated ASU Student's Rights In Marijuana Conviction

Published: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:24am

State lawmakers had no legal right to ignore the voter-approved medical marijuana law during the conviction of a college student found with the drug on Arizona State University's campus.

That's what attorney Thomas Dean wants the Supreme Court to decide in the case against his client, ASU student Andre Maestas.

Dean said he wants the court to overturn the young man's 2014 conviction under the premise that Maestas was legally following the law and was in full compliance when he voluntarily told police he had .04 grams of the drug in his dorm room.

Maestas did not know at the time that state lawmakers had amended the voter-approved 2010 medical marijuana law to extend a public school ban on its use to college campuses.

But, Dean argued that's where lawmakers violated Maestas' constitutional rights under the Voter Protection Act, because it specifically prohibites lawmakers from repealing or sharply altering anything approved by ballot.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich also called it a felony that places university federal funding in jeopardy.

Dean pointed out that the same federal Controlled Substances Act specifically allows all three universities to impose internal disciplinary action with students or employees, which would make the A.G. and lawmakers' charges redundant.

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