Blog of Rights

Arizona Governor Will Implement Medical Marijuana Law

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:02pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced today she will implement the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law. Brewer had challenged the law in a lawsuit arguing that state officials fear federal prosecution for implementing the law, despite Arizona’s former top federal prosecutor saying publicly the federal government “has no intention of targeting or going after people who are implementing or who are in compliance with state law.”

The ACLU asked the court to throw out Brewer’s lawsuit, and the court granted that request earlier this month.

Arizona voters in 2010 passed Proposition 203, which allows seriously ill patients in Arizona to use marijuana as medicine with a doctor’s recommendation. But implementation of the law had been stalled since May, when Brewer filed the lawsuit.

In a statement today, Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, said: “This is a great and long-overdue day for sick Arizonans who now have legal avenues available to them through which to obtain their vital medicine. Sick patients in Arizona should never have to needlessly suffer while being blocked from accessing the medicine their doctors believe is most effective for them.”

Read more about the ACLU’s work to protect the rights of patients to access medical marijuana in compliance with state law here.

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