Maricopa County Attorney loses legal battle with tail between his legs
Earlier this month, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of the
state's medical marijuana industry by quashing a long-standing legal
assault by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Montgomery constantly rails against imaginary dangers of marijuana,
likely borne from knowing little to nothing about the plant, and based
on flawed data. He was a major player in the fight against Proposition
205 along with Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk.
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Your meds are safe for a little while longer.
Congressional lawmakers bought a little more time for the
Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment by extending the current federal
budget with a disaster relief bill signed by President Donald Trump
earlier this month. The clause is set to expire with the rest of the
bill on Dec. 8.
The bill itself caught a lot of press due to the shocking ease with
which Trump sided with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling. Of the 90
"no" votes in the House of Representatives, all were Republican.
(House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Washington Post the vote
indicated House Republicans "have a philosophical problem with
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It looks like Attorney General Jeff Sessions has run into some
problems in his crusade against the marijuana. While the new
Department of Justice administration has long been mounting pressure
against the marijuana industry, the latest suggestion from the Task
Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety is to, well, do nothing.
The subcommittee was announced months ago and tasked with developing a
legal avenue for Session's marijuana crackdown. However, the
Associated Press reported the group "has come up with no new policy
recommendations to advance the attorney general's aggressively
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Thanks for publishing Rita Shyrocka's outstanding letter:
"Crisis is on government's shoulders" (7-19-17).
I'd like to add that in 1972, when President Richard Nixon launched
the war on drugs, the federal budget for the drug war was $101
million. Last year, the federal budget for the drug was over $25
billion - a 250-fold increase.
In 1972, fewer than 5,000 Americans died from illegal drugs. Last year
more than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses.
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Sessions' correspondence to marijuana states is full of smoke and
While certain federal administration officials take to Twitter to air
their grievances, those stuck in last century use more traditional
means for their loosely-supported rants.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to governors of states
with legal recreational marijuana in response to an April 3 letter
from the governors of Alaska, Washington and Oregon urging him to
uphold Obama-era pot policy.
However, the points raised in Sessions' letter may not be as
watertight as he thinks.
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Despite the upheaval of the current presidential administration, some
things just haven't changed, like acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg's
Obama-era insistence last month that "marijuana is not medicine."
Though he also stated that he'd "be the last person to stand in the
way" if medical uses of marijuana rise through the FDA process.
(Here's where we count on Sue Sisley's research in Phoenix.)
But Rosenberg doesn't seem to pay attention to what happens in
Phoenix. If he did, he might hear about a small clinic using marijuana
to treat opioid addiction.
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Major anti-pot campaign funder lands DEA approval of THC drug amidst
flurry of lawsuits
Ethics is a hazy argument when it comes to marijuana.
On one hand, opponents of legalization argue that the plant is harmful
to society and individuals, and therefore should not be used. "Good
people don't smoke marijuana," remember?
On the other, little evidence exists to show that marijuana was even
made illegal on ethical grounds, and thousands of individuals' lives
are affected by simple possession of a joint, regardless of context.
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Arizona continues efforts towards legal marijuana
The failure of Prop 205 may have been a sobering realization for some,
but others still have high hopes for the future of marijuana in Arizona.
Several new efforts have popped up to change the landscape of
Arizona's marijuana landscape since voters rejected this year's
The most promising initiative comes from the Independent Wellness
Center in Apache Junction, and intends not to legalize recreational
marijuana, but to increase the number of qualifying conditions for
patients to be eligible for a medical marijuana card.
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Candidate opinions on legalized marijuana appear to have less to do
with party affiliation and more to do with perceptions on whether
Proposition 205 is a solution to a problem, or a serious threat to
The citizens initiative is on the Nov. 8 ballot asking voters whether
to allow the recreational use of marijuana. Arizona is one of nine
states that will vote on the issue in the General Election.
Though many prominent Republicans have come out against Prop. 205,
there are notable exceptions. Gov. Doug Ducey and other state GOP
leaders, including LD14 State Sen. Gail Griffin, are on record opposed
to the initiative, while locally, Republican Cochise County Supervisor
Pat Call has said it may be time to reallocate the resources committed
to the "War on Drugs."
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There's a great deal of fear and loathing about the legalization of
marijuana, and I buy just about none of it.
In fact, I would not be alarmed, or even displeased, if Arizonans
approve Proposition 205. Nor do I think the state would plunge into
crime, chaos and hedonism should the measure pass.
That said, I could not bring myself to vote for Prop.
Not out of concern for the state, mind you. Or concern for the users.
Or their family, friends and employers.
If anything, marijuana users are why I almost voted for the "Regulate
Marijuana like Alcohol" initiative.
I love Denver. I served as its mayor for 12 years, so it saddens me to
see what has happened to my city since recreational marijuana became
The shock for most of us has been the unintended consequences of
Consider some staggering facts: Denver now has more pot dispensaries
than Starbucks and McDonald's combined. Marijuana-related traffic
deaths have risen 32 percent. Denver schools have seen none of the
money they were promised.
And that vow from marijuana's backers that "the cartels would be
driven out of business" - well, sadly, the exact opposite happened.
Discussions on marijuana being less harmful than alcohol or the amount
of tax money generated by legalizing pot use are irrelevant.
Free-thinking adults should be able to do with their own bodies
whatever they damn well please, contingent only on the requirement
that they alone are completely responsible for the consequences of
- - Bill Betz, Mesa
An open letter to the community:
We, a coalition of clergy and community leaders with Pinal County
Interfaith, are writing to oppose Proposition 205, which would
legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The proposition is crafted
to further the interests of the marijuana industry and clearly not the
interest of Arizona families.
We have seen that addiction is devastating. Individuals and families
suffer as a result of addiction. Easing access to marijuana will
exacerbate that suffering.
It is disingenuous to tell voters that Proposition 205 is good for
schools. For decades, we have educated children without any funding
from marijuana; our schools will undoubtedly survive without it! Our
teens are especially at risk if marijuana use is normalized and access
increases. The risks to children and youth far outweigh the relatively
small amount that schools will receive from the Marijuana Fund (around
$50 per student, less than the cost of a textbook).
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A ballot measure that would legalize recreational use of marijuana in
Arizona is receiving mixed reviews among Santa Cruz County residents.
Known as Proposition 205, the initiative would make it legal for
people 21 and older to use and possess up to an ounce of marijuana and
grow up to six plants in their homes.
The proposed plan would also establish a state regulatory department
and would levy a 15 percent tax on sales of the drug.
But with the general election just a week away, there is still a split
between supporters and opponents and many county voters are still on
the fence about making pot legal in Arizona.
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Last week, Northern Arizona Healthcare employees received an email
from their top boss, NAH President and CEO Robert Thames.
In it, Thames waded into one of the more contentious issues on
Arizona's ballot this election: the legalization of recreational marijuana.
The email, which opened with the subject line "ONE NAH, One Obligation
to Health," addressed Proposition 205, which would legalize
recreational marijuana in Arizona and create a system to regulate and
tax the drug.
In his message, Thames emphasized the significance of the ballot
measure to NAH employees as healthcare providers. NAH is the parent
organization for Flagstaff Medical Center, Sedona Medical Center and
Verde Valley Medical Center.
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SIERRA VISTA - If examples from Washington and Colorado are any
indication, should Arizona voters pass Prop 205 this November and
legalize recreational marijuana use for adults, there should be little
to no federal interference with state law, even in areas with a high
number of federal law enforcement agents, such as Cochise County.
Just don't try to drive through a U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint with
your state sanctioned weed, said Vic Brabble, U.S. Customs and Border
Protection spokesman for Arizona.
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Are marijuana lobbyists trying to change our state's name to
"Marizona" with Prop. 205 legalizing recreational marijuana? Prop 205
allows for the untaxed sale of marijuana products with a concentration
of THC of 0.3 percent or less, classified as legal industrial hemp, to
be sold without age restriction. That will apply to some marijuana
candy and other edibles such as the chocolate THC- laced "Boulder Bar"
sold in Colorado to be considered hemp under Prop 205 though it
contains 10 servings of THC.
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Re: the Nov. 2 story "Steller wrong about propositions"
While I normally appreciate and enjoy Tim Steller's column on a
routine basis I fully disagree with his logic regarding his choice to
vote no on Prop 205. Steller's logic is that at some point the
legalization of marijuana will become "commercially" more acceptable
than what is currently proposed on this years ballot. His view is that
once again Arizona voters will have legalization on a future ballot.
While Stellar waits for a more commercially acceptable plan, money
flows into the drug cartels coffers, veterans are denied relief from
their PTSD, police resources are wasted, courts are clogged and
Arizona schools are denied tax revenue they desperately need.
A 'no' vote on Prop 205 retains the ridiculous status quo of
criminalizing the activity of thousands of Arizonans in order to line
the pockets of both the cartels and special interests such as big
Pharma and for profit private prisons.
As Election Day Approaches, campaigns are making their closing
Last week, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenhauer, a Democrat who
represents Portland, made a trip to our desert town to support the
passing of Prop 205.
He spoke in favor of the proposition on the University of Arizona
campus, joined by local representatives such as Rep. Bruce Wheeler and
Rep. Matt Kopec as well as Sunnyside School District Board member
Daniel Hernandez, who is running for a District 2 spot in the state
House of Representatives.
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I strong support the legalization of marijuana but I'm voting no on Prop
205. I'm not a prohibitionist. I think the reefer madness propaganda
campaign against Prop 205 is ridiculous. I'm naturopathic physician that
provides medical marijuana certifications. I believe in medical
marijuana - like many I have seen the miracles of this plant. I believe
in recreational marijuana too - just not this way.
First, props to all the hard work done throughout the state in efforts
to get legalizing marijuana on the ballot. There are many reasons why
I'm voting no THIS time. (I'm intentionally avoiding the legal points
because Im not a lawyer. But its important to remember that minor
infractions can lead easily lead to felonies). I'll boil it down to a
few points against 205 that aren't talked about
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