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State Employees Used As Pawns In Arizona Medical Marijuana Showdown


Jan Brewer marijuana leavesArizona U.S. Attorney indicates dispensaries, state employees would not be at risk

Today, the Arizona Republic covered Gov. Jan Brewer’s outrageous, not-yet-filed lawsuit that calls the state’s voter-enacted medical marijuana law into question. Gov. Brewer alleged a major reason for the suit was fear that state employees could be in jeopardy. This claim was disingenuous given that Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke’s letter hadn’t mentioned state employees, and Brewer didn’t even bother to ask him if they would be at risk.

Apparently, reporter Mary K. Reinhart was more resourceful than Gov. Brewer. She spoke to U.S. Attorney Burke, who said “We have no intention of targeting or going after people who are implementing or who are in compliance with state law. But at the same time, they can’t be under the impression that they have immunity, amnesty or safe haven.” Burke also said they plan to focus drug enforcement on cartels and major trafficking, and that they have no intention to prosecute state employees.

arizona marijuanaThis sounds like, in practice, the Arizona U.S. Attorney plans to abide by the 2009 Ogden memo that advises against targeting those in clear and unambiguous compliance with state laws, and by prior statements by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama.

In practice, as MPP has reminded lawmakers, the federal government has not been targeting those dispensaries that are state-registered, complying with state law, and operating in states with clear regulations and registration requirements. There have been no raids on dispensaries or licensed producers in New Mexico, Colorado, or Maine.

We hope this marks the beginning of the end of the scare tactics from U.S. Attorneys. We also believe that any alleged violation of state law should be up to state – not federal – law enforcement officials and/or courts to consider.

Join in the campaign to ensure the federal government does not interfere with state medical marijuana laws by asking your representative in Congress to support three bills in Congress that would provide legal protection to those complying with state law.


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Johnny Green


  1. Are you aware the DEA just licensed 55 pharmaceutical companies to grow pot? MSN money is running a story (“Could legal pot give Big Pharma a much-needed high?”) that,

    “Just last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration said 55 unnamed companies have been granted licenses to grow cannabis in the United States. Observers say the pharmaceutical companies need the pot farms to cultivate weed so they can produce a generic version of the THC pill Marinol, which is marketed by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (WPI ), and at least one other cannabis-based pill for a wide variety of new uses.

    But to grow pot and put organic THC and CBD in pills, the DEA to would need to move organic THC down from Schedule I to the far less restrictive Schedule III, where synthetic THC Marinol currently resides. That’s exactly what drug companies have requested. And by all indications, their wish is likely to be granted.”

    In other words, if big corporations grow dope with the government and put it in a pill, it’s medicine. But if you grow it at home or at a dispensary and then put it in a vaporizer, it’s a felony. If they suspect you, they break down your door shoot you 22 times and accuse you of being a drug dealer as happened to a Marine veteran in Tucson recently.


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