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Arizona AG Files Another Lawsuit Attacking State Medical Marijuana Program

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Arizona AG Tom HorneArizona Attorney General Tom Horne Monday filed a civil action against four Valley cannabis clubs in an attempt to stop them from providing patients access to marijuana under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The pot clubs have cropped up to fill the void of dispensaries, which can’t yet operate in Arizona pending a judge’s ruling.

Although dispensaries are permitted under the voter-approved law, they are not able to open because state officials have put that portion of the law on hold while Gov. Jan Brewer’s federal lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment on the legality of the dispensary language is sorted out. Lawyers for the US government last week filed a motion to have that suit dismissed.

Under voter-approved Prop. 203, patients can legally grow marijuana and give it to other patients as long as there are no dispensaries nearby and nothing of value is exchanged. But Horne argues the law does not protect pot clubs and cooperatives, specifically those that charge fees.

The clubs operate by charging qualified patients a token membership fee, which then allows patients to make donations and obtain marijuana that is “gifted” by other members of the club.

arizona marijuana“(If) it was just a place for the patients to go and transfer marijuana for no fee, I suppose it wouldn’t be a problem,” Horne said.

“I want the courts to weigh in and make a decision,” said Al Sobol of the 2811 Club, one of the businesses named in the lawsuit. But Horne’s statement that his club was guilty of “deception” made him bristle. “What’s deceptive is when the state gives you a card, charges you $150 for it, then makes it so you have no way of using it.”

“I see Mr. Horne saying there is nothing in the law that allows us to do this,” Sobol said. “I have to tell him there is nothing that says we can’t. Let him show us something.”

If a judge agrees with Horne and declares the clubs illegal, Horne says his office would likely set a deadline for the clubs’ staff members to close down or face arrest.

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  • VakLoo

    The Arizona AG sounds like a real pompous windbag to me dude.

    http://www.real-anonymity.us.tc

  • ConservativeChristian

    Ms. Brewer’s actions are consistent with her close ties to the private, for-profit prison industry (the people who want to lock up your kids so that they can keep on making a buck): Here’s some info from Wikipedia, and a link to the underlying story:

    “The Brewer administration has also been investigated by KPHO for hiring Chuck Coughlin and Paul Senseman, both lobbyists for Corrections Corporation of America, as a policy advisor and communications director.[39] Although Coughlin continues work as both a lobbyist and policy advisor, Senseman no longer does work for CCA. CCA operates six private, for-profit prisons in Arizona.[40] ”.
    Here’s the KPHO story, including a description of tens of thousands of dollars in campaign money from Corrections Corporation. http://www.kpho.com/news/24834877/detail.html
    So Ms. Brewer is working to keep marijuana illegal and is at the same time hiring staff from a very large, for-profit prison corporation and taking campaign money from them. The AZ campaign finance site is at http://www.azsos.gov/cfs/CampaignFinanceSearch.htm but it’s not working for me; can anybody go in and see how much Ms. Brewer has taken from the prison industry? Is that really the government that we want… run by the prison companies? Is there someone in AZ that could get this info into the public arena?

    • Knowa

      There is to much money in Private prison to stop them. What a business model you get a reasonably educated nonviolent cannabis POW that you get paid any where from $40,000 to $100,000 a year to house. You can fit 60 plus in a room give them only the basic and the lest expensive food and force them to work for twelve cents an hour. The they have to buy every thing at the company store including phone collect calls at triple cost. Sound like a conflict of interest waiting to happen.

  • Well, at least he is not just sending in a paramilitary unit to bust up the joint and haul people to prison… I hope. It looks like he is taking a more civil approach, and asking a judge to decide if they are legal or not before taking action.

    Safe access is important, but so is civility when these disagreements pop up. I disagree with Mr. Horne, but I respect the way in which is his going about his effort as long as there are no raids and people aren’t locked up like animals.

    • Curious

      Agreed and hats off to Mr. Horne for doing this civilly. God the fascist police state SWAT ops need to go the way of the dinosuar