State Capitol News
8:50 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Court Orders Governor to Implement Medical Pot Law

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama rejected the governor's contention she has the discretion to delay enactment of parts of the law. Gama said there was no legal basis for that argument, writing "the voters intended the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act be implemented within 120 days. This has not been done."

Attorney Ty Taber who represents those who challenged the governor's action said the ruling orders the Governor to implement the act.  "I just don't think there's any other doubt that's he's saying."

Governor Brewer had blocked the health department from processing applications for marijuana dispensaries while she asked a federal judge to rule whether state employees who handle those requests can be prosecuted for violating federal laws.

That judge threw the case out last month, and Brewer decided last week not to appeal. But even then, the governor said she was not proceeding while Judge Gama was considering not only the legality of her delay but a challenge to health department rules on who can operate a dispensary.

Judge Gama took care of that in his ruling, too, declaring most of those regulations illegal. But even with that question answered, gubernatorial press aide Matthew Benson said Wednesday his boss has not decided whether to finally let the process proceed or to appeal.