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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials April 29, 2016

8/7/2012 6:15:00 PM
Editorial: State forcing gamble on medical marijuana

If all the threats pre-election and post-election have not been enough, the sight of lottery balls being plucked out of the Atom Action Bubble Top Bingo Blower was a convincing sign to medical marijuana proponents that they are taking a gamble.

In fact, the mixed signals they continue to get from government officials are forcing the whole process into a real dice game.

There could be legal and financial repercussions for those trying to make use of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Law enforcement hates this law. The arguments they made against the act before the voters went ahead approved it are the same arguments they are making now.

Going full steam ahead, however, the Arizona Department of Health Services has a helpful and detailed webpage for those interested or involved in medical marijuana. Need a card? Want to become a dispensary? Want to prescribe MMJ? The ADHS will tell you how.

At the same time Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne not only issued a formal opinion about the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act but has also gone a step beyond. While telling the health department to go ahead with Tuesday's lottery drawing for dispensary applications and assuring medical marijuana card-holders that they will have no legal problems, he wants to go to court to ask the judges if the law passed by voters is actually legal.

The state is telling applicants, go ahead and try to set up a business but you could be losing a lot of money for nothing. Sure, go ahead and throw those dice.

Proponents of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act tried to write in every remedy to every legal problem that occurred in other states that legalized MMJ. That includes not allowing local governments to override the state law. It also includes a disconcerting confidentiality clause that keeps dispensary applications private. While these "fixes" do fix some loopholes, they also create other problems.

Even without Horne proactively challenging the law, elements of the law itself could be its undoing. That could undo all the work the dispensary applicants have put in. And that makes it all a big gamble.

Related Stories:
• Despite legal threat, state health dept. allocates medical marijuana dispensary bids

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Article comment by: two cents

So after the district attorneys get through filing their appeals and calling in the feds this will be the 3rd strike against the voters for MM. Of the people, land of the free, freedom of choice, none of that matters when the state can do anything they want regardless of the will of the people. This will prove to remain a police state and MM will never be allowed to get off the ground. It was passed two and half years ago and the first despensaries are just getting temporary approval. This is not America anymore it is a police state and MM is going to make a lot more people criminals before it is all over.

Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Article comment by: OUR KAKISTOCRACY

One need only ask - why do Horne and Polk and several other county AGs object to the AMMA? The answer is as simple as it is obvious - money. But it doesn't end with just them. The AMMA represents a huge threat to the income stream of the entire legal fraternity of Arizona. The prohibition of Marijuana has generated billions in easy money for this rapacious crowd and they are not about to give that up without a fight. That they view the voters with disdain should not suprise anyone.

Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Article comment by: Horne should respect will of people

What AG Tom Horne is doing is by no means "proactive".

The last lawsuit he filed like this was dismissed by the judge.

The fact of the matter is this law was passed by the majority of people in this state. What Horne should be doing proactively is ensuring the will of the people is being carried out.

By attempting to undermine the law, Horne -- like Sheila Polk -- is overstepping the bounds of the job he was elected to do. Voters should take note.

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