Arizona Republic:  “Thirteen Arizona county attorneys are urging Gov. Jan Brewer to halt the state’s medical-marijuana program, saying state employees will be facilitating federal crimes when they issue licenses to pot dispensaries.  The lawyers signed onto a three-page July 24 letter authored by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, who requests that the governor prevent the state’s issuance of licenses for medical-marijuana dispensaries because the state program is pre-empted by the federal Controlled Substances Act. . . . Polk wrote that she has been told Arizona’s newly appointed U.S. Attorney John Leonardo ‘fully intends to prevent any dispensaries from operating in Arizona by seizing each and every one as it opens and commits violations’ of the federal act.”

Read Yavapai County Attorney Polk’s letter to Brewer and Governor Brewer’s response in which she makes this incredible statement:

“though the Department of Justice has prosecuted a select number of large medical-marijuana operations in California and other states, the federal government’s position remains unclear with regard to the AMMA and participation in this law by Arizona State employees.”
Apparently Governor Brewer forgot she got a February 16, 2012, letter from then U.S. Attorney for Arizona Ann Birmingham Sheel that contained the following warning statements:
compliance with the AMMA and Arizona regulations will not provide a safe harbor or immunity from federal prosecution for anyone involved in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. . . . state employees who conduct activities authorized by the AMMA are not immune from liability under the CSA.”

Governor Brewer appears to be unaware of the reality and scope of federal dispensary attacks.  On July 20, 2012, SF Gate wrote an article entitled “Court rulings bode ill for medicinal pot” that states “approximately 400 dispensaries in California have closed since the four U.S. Attorneys began their coordinated crackdown in September.”  Four hundred shut downs is more than a “select number.”  That number is more than four times the number of dispensary licenses the Arizona Department of Health Services will award.  The 400 California dispensary closures includes dispensaries of all sizes, not just large ones.

Why did Governor Brewer respond to the 13 county attorneys without apparent input from Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne?  Where does Arizona’s top attorney stand with respect to the issues raised by the 13 county attorneys in their letter?