Article by Maureen Meehan, High Times
Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in 2010 and have been fighting with local officials for a variety of reasons ever since.
The latest skirmish ended well for MMJ patients and their advocates when the state Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Tuesday that local law officials cannot use federal anti-marijuana laws to put the kibosh on zoning for MMJ dispensaries.
While acknowledging federal law makes pot possession and sale a felony, the judges noted that states establish their own laws on the subject and the feds don’t get to intervene.
When Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery tried to argue that federal law trumps Arizona’s duly approved Medical Marijuana Act, he was told by Judge Donn Kessler that his claims had no legal basis.
Judge Kessler also rejected Montgomery’s sly argument that county officials who issue zoning permits for dispensaries would be aiding and abetting the violation of federal law.
The dispensary in question was the White Mountain Health Center, which had been seeking the necessary certification from Maricopa County.