Pubdate: Sat, 26 Jan 2013
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2013 The Arizona Republic
Author: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez


Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is petitioning the Arizona
Supreme Court to bypass the appellate court and hear his arguments on
a high profile medical-marijuana case.

The case centers on whether the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is
preempted by federal law.

A Maricopa County Superior Court in December ruled that federal drug
laws do not pre-empt the state's medical-marijuana program and that
public officials must implement the voter-mandated law.

In his petition, filed Friday, Montgomery stressed the importance of
quickly resolving whether that ruling should stand.

"The issue presented - whether the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is
preempted by the federal Controlled Substances Act - is an important
issue of statewide impact," the petition says.

Voters approved the state's medical marijuana law in

More than 33,000 people have permission to use medical marijuana in

State health officials in August selected nearly 100 dispensary owners
who are authorized to sell and grow marijuana if they meet state

In his ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon
made it clear that marijuana is illegal under federal law, but he
wrote that the U.S. Constitution allows Arizona to make different
policy choices from the federal government when it comes to
decriminalizing and regulating medical marijuana.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does not undermine the federal
Controlled Substances Act, which makes possession, sale or use of
marijuana a crime, he wrote. 
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