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Marijuana Law Up For Interpretation Or Just Dramatic Reading

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
There has been a lot of interpretive work going on with Arizona's medical marijuana law. Some of it is legal interpretation, and some is more theater-based.

At the moment, these dramatic readings are stalling full implementation of the voter-approved law.

It is up to voters to decide if the politicians and lawyers are sincere or just giving themselves the air of a dying swan in this political play.

Gov. Brewer says she is taking very seriously a letter from Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, to Health Director Will Humble warning that anyone involved in the purchase or use of marijuana could be prosecuted by the feds, despite the state approval.

The governor says the state law, therefore, puts state employees at risk of arrest if they start facilitating medical marijuana distribution. Humble, represented by state Attorney General Tom Horne, feels the same way, so strongly that he turned away the first application for a dispensary.

With Burke writing such things as, "This compliance with Arizona laws and regulations does not provide a safe harbor, nor immunity from federal prosecution," the reaction of the three state officials sounds logical. It is their interpretation of Burke's intent that is forcing this into court.

But is it real or just performance? Do Brewer and Horne genuinely believe the federal government will be pounding down Humble's door? Or are they exaggerating the Burke letter as an excuse not to put the law they dislike into action?

Is Burke serious about the federal-over-state statements he made in the letter, or was that all just a recitation according to form? Clearly the federal government is not shy about mixing it up with Arizona.

And that is why all of this performance comes into question. The state has been aggressive in defending its laws that push back at the feds, at least laws made by lawmakers. Laws approved directly by voters and unpopular with lawmakers? That is a bit different.

The interpretations on both sides of the medical marijuana implement-don't implement debate leave much to be desired. The voters would be better off with real government action rather than all of these dramatic readings.


NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Camp Verde Bugle, The (AZ)
Copyright: 2011 Western News&Info, Inc.
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Camp Verde Bugle
Website: Camp Verde Bugle - Camp Verde, Arizona
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