PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday that she will implement the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law, nine days after a federal judge granted a request by the American Civil Liberties Union to throw out a lawsuit filed by Brewer seeking to strike it down.
Arizona voters in 2010 passed Proposition 203, which allows seriously ill patients in Arizona to use marijuana as medicine with a doctor’s recommendation. But implementation of the law had been stalled since May, when Brewer filed a lawsuit arguing 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.”
“This is a great and long-overdue day for sick Arizonans who now have legal avenues available to them through which to obtain their vital medicine,” said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project. “Sick patients in Arizona should never have to needlessly suffer while being blocked from accessing the medicine their doctors believe is most effective for them.”
Proposition 203 allows marijuana to be distributed by tightly regulated clinics to patients with state-issued registry cards and exempts from state prosecution not only seriously ill Arizonans but also their caregivers and a limited number of certified, non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries that will serve qualifying patients.