ACLU Asks Federal Judge to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Arizona Medical Marijuana Law

December 12, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

PHOENIX - The American Civil Liberties Union today told a federal judge that a lawsuit filed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer seeking to strike down the state's medical marijuana law that would allow sick patients to access important medicine should be thrown out.

Filed in May, Brewer argues in the lawsuit 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 governor's lawsuit is a misguided attempt to undermine the will of Arizona voters and deny thousands of sick Arizonans the medicine their doctors believe is most effective for them," said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project.

A majority of Arizona voters in 2010 passed proposition 203, which allows terminally and seriously ill patients in Arizona who find relief from marijuana to use it with a doctor's recommendation. The law allows marijuana to be distributed by tightly regulated clinics to patients with state-issued registry cards, and creates penalties for false statements and fraudulent cards.

"Brewer and Horne are once again using the courts to play politics and advance their own anti-Prop 203 agenda," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “Not only is this lawsuit a slap in the face to Arizona voters, but it’s actually going to do more harm than good in terms of public safety because it’s creating a less regulated system than what voters approved.”

A copy of the ACLU's motion to dismiss, as well as additional information about the case, is available online at: www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/arizona-v-us-motion-dismiss

 

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