Sticking to his campaign pledges in his recent reelection, Maricopa County prosecuting attorney Bill Montgomery attempted to stick it to the people earlier this month when he renewed his attack on the Arizona medical marijuana industry, this time with a lawsuit designed to destroy the industry.
On Dec. 21, an AZ appeals court struck down Montgomery’s latest maneuver, claiming that issuing zoning permits to dispensary operations forced county administrators to abet in violating federal law. The appeals court decision was unanimous. Montgomery has already announced plans to appeal to the state supreme court in the new year.
Judge Donn Kessler wrote in his opinion that nothing in the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits states from having their own drug laws, and that people who live in states with legalized marijuana laws are immune from being prosecuted under Arizona law. State law does not preclude the federal government from enforcing its laws if it wants.
“Arizona, like all other states, has the power to decriminalize certain acts and exempt certain actors for purposes of state law,” Kessler wrote in his opinion, according to Capitol Media Services.