High Court Gives Legal Pass To Medical Marijuana

Supreme Court review specifically on the question of whether federal law trumps what voters here approved. Timmer said the 2010 law is clear: Arizonans who have certain medical conditions and a doctor’s recommendation can obtain an ID card allowing them to possess and use medical marijuana “without fear of arrests, prosecution or penalty in any manner.” The same law, the justice said, says a patient cannot be denied “any right or privilege … by a court” for the patient’s use of the drug. Berch noted the law about barring the use of marijuana contains an exception for drugs as “lawfully administered by a health care practitioner.” And that, she said, means there is a difference between the illicit use of marijuana and the lawful use of the drug, as Arizona law requires a doctor’s recommendation to get an ID card. The court also brushed aside the argument by Doyle Johnstun, the chief criminal deputy Cochise County attorney, that it does not matter what Arizona law says. Johnstun pointed out that defendant Reed-Kaliher, as a condition of probation, was required to “obey all laws.” And that, he argued, also means the Reed-Kaliher can be forced to obey federal lawsthat make it illegal for anyone to use marijuana for any purpose. Berch was not buying it.
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