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Arizona Medical Marijuana Law Survives Attack by Arizona Governor

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January 5, 2012

Yesterday, a federal judge in Phoenix granted our request to throw out a lawsuit filed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer seeking to strike down her own state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law that would allow sick patients access to the medicine they need.

In May, Gov. Brewer filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to invalidate Prop. 203, a law Arizona voters passed in 2010 that allows terminally and seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. She argued 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 ACLU, representing the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, asserted that the lawsuit was 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, and argued for its dismissal.

In yesterday’s ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton said there is no genuine threat of imminent federal prosecution of state officials who carry out the law. Now state officials should heed this decision and get down to the long-overdue business of implementing the law — the will of the majority of voters — so that thousands of patients can access the medicine their doctors believe is most effective for them.

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