Brewer vs. United States: Arizona Sues Asking Federal Court to Rule on Whether Arizona can Implement Proposition 203

On May 27, 2011, Arizona sued the United States and asks the federal court to “declare the respective rights and duties of the Plaintiffs and the Defendants regarding the validity, enforceability, and implementation of the AMMA [Arizona Medical Marijuana Act]” and to “determine whether strict compliance and participation in the AMMA provides a safe harbor from federal prosecution.”  The defendants in the lawsuit are:

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
  • ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General of the United States of America, in his Official Capacity
  • DENNIS K. BURKE, UnitedStates Attorney for the District of Arizona, in his Official Capacity
  • ARIZONA ASSOCIATION OF DISPENSARY PROFESSIONALS, INC., an Arizona corporation
  • JOSHUA LEVINE
  • PAULA PENNYPACKER
  • DR. NICHOLAS FLORES
  • JANE CHRISTENSEN
  • PAULA POLLOCK
  • SERENITY ARIZONA, INC., an Arizona nonprofit corporation
  • HOLISTIC HEALTH MANAGEMENT, INC., an Arizona nonprofit corporation
  • JEFF SILVA
  • ARIZONA MEDICAL MARIJUANA ASSOCIATION (an unincorporated anonymous group loved by the media)

Why did Arizona name the people and entities as defendants?  I will refer to these people and entities collectively as innocent by standers?  Does the State expect the innocent by standers to hire a lawyer to file an answer and defend the lawsuit on the merits?  Does the State want the innocent by standers to sign a statement consenting to or acknowledging something?  Is the State hoping one or more innocent by standers will not file an answer to the complaint so the State can get a default judgment against one or more innocent by standers?

Read the entire Brewer_vs_United States complaint and the attached exhibits.  The complaint is an excellent summary of developments with respect to states that have legalized medical marijuana and the public positions taken by the U.S. Attorney with respect to enforcement of federal marijuana criminal laws in the 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Read “Arizona U.S. Attorney: Brewer, Horne Twisting Medical Marijuana Memo.”

By |2011-06-05T08:42:27-07:00May 28th, 2011|AZ Marijuana Law Lawsuits, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Brewer vs. United States: Arizona Sues Asking Federal Court to Rule on Whether Arizona can Implement Proposition 203

Arizona U.S. Attorney: Brewer, Horne Twisting Medical Marijuana Memo

East Valley Tribune:  “The top federal prosecutor in Arizona said Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne are distorting the facts on the issue of medical marijuana and risks of federal prosecution.”  This a must read article.  The following text contains only a few of the zingers U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke fired at Governor Brewer and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.  Dennis Burke:

“said that letter never mentioned state workers.  ‘It’s fair to read into my letter what I included and what I didn’t,’’ he said. ‘And if I didn’t include state employees, I think that’s telling in itself.’’  And Burke said there was a simple way of dealing with the question.  ‘You would think that a letter back from Attorney General Horne, as opposed to ‘I’m going to file a lawsuit and have a press conference,’ might have been a better course of action,’’ he said.”

Burke said there appear to be elements of political grandstanding in both the press conference by Brewer and Horne earlier this week as well as the decision to sue.”

Given that Arizona’s U.S. Attorney is on record saying that the Governor and the Arizona Attorney General can get the answer they want to whether state employees will be charged with violating federal marijuana criminal laws without suing, Jan Brewer and Tom Horne should wipe the egg off their faces, dismiss their lawsuit and write a letter to Dennis Burke.  That course of action will be cheaper and quicker than a federal lawsuit that will waste precious Arizona funds, takes months or years to resolve and will almost certainly cause the State of Arizona to be sued because it fails to implement Propostion 203, a duly enacted law of Arizona.

If Governor Brewer does not take the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s advice, she will have to invent another reason to stop the implementation of Arizona’s medical marijuana industry because she won’t be able to say she is worried about state employees being prosecuted.  Dennis Burke has made it clear that state employees involved in implementing and administering Arizona’s medical marijuana laws will not be prosecuted.

By |2015-04-06T18:51:48-07:00May 27th, 2011|AZ Marijuana Law Lawsuits, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Arizona U.S. Attorney: Brewer, Horne Twisting Medical Marijuana Memo