MJ Lawsuit Overrides People’s Will, Supporters Say
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MJ Lawsuit Overrides People’s Will, Supporters Say
Posted by CN Staff on May 28, 2011 at 06:18:55 PT
By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Source: Sierra Vista Herald
Phoenix -- Backers of medical marijuana charge that a federal lawsuit filed late Friday is designed to let the governor and the attorney general do in court what they could not convince voters to do: keep the use of the drug illegal in Arizona.Richard Keyt, an attorney who helps companies set up dispensaries, said the lawsuit is worded in a way that the judge can reach only one conclusion: the federal Controlled Substances Act trumps the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. And Keyt said states cannot change federal law.
Ryan Hurley, who also represents would-be dispensary owners, said if a federal judge agrees to hear the case — something that is far from a certainty — there is really no way he or she can rule that Arizonans are free to ignore the federal statutes making possession, sale and transportation of marijuana a felony.“The best case scenario we get out of the lawsuit is status quo,” he said. “We’re never going to get a decision that says federal law cannot be enforced in Arizona,” Hurley continued. “That will never happen.”And Paula Pennypacker, one of the individuals whom Attorney General Tom Horne named in the lawsuit as interested in defending the state law, called it an attempt by “the far right” to ignore the will of the voters. “And I’m a Republican,” she added, like Horne and Gov. Jan Brewer who directed the lawsuit to be filed.What makes the litigation significant for the future of medical marijuana is the way Horne phrased the question for the court.He has given the judge two choices: declare that the Arizona law complies with federal law and should be implemented, or rule that it “should be declared pre-empted in whole or in part because of an irreconcilable conflict with federal law.” A finding of the latter would give Brewer the justification to stop the Department of Health Services from implementing the law.That means no more state-issued cards for those who have a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana beyond the approximately 4,000 that have been issued. It also means no state-regulated cultivation sites to grow the drugs or dispensaries to sell them.Brewer already has ordered Will Humble, her health director, not to license either the growers or the sellers while the lawsuit is pending. But the governor is continuing to let state workers issue cards to “qualified patients.” Press aide Matthew Benson said the alternative is to trigger a provision of the law which says the failure of the state to process a completed application within 45 days means it is presumed to have been approved.Horne denied that the wording of the lawsuit is designed to get a pre-determined result of a federal judge ruling that federal law supersedes state statute. But he said it doesn’t matter, even if his legal papers are worded that way. He pointed out the state is suing not only officials at the U.S. Department of Justice but also several groups and individuals who have an interest in preserving the Arizona law as voters approved in November.“They will file cross-claims against each other,” Horne said, pitting the defenders of the law against the federal government. “When they do that, the people who support the initiative will put it in language they think is best designed to have the court declare that we can proceed with the initiative without being arrested by the federal government.”But Horne said that, at the governor’s direction, he will not be defending what voters approved. “The governor decided, and I agree, we should take a neutral position,” he said. Horne said all the state wants is a clear ruling on whether it can proceed to implement the law.That presumes, though, a federal judge will opt to weigh in.“I think that there’s a significant potential that the lawsuit will be dismissed,” said Hurley. He said courts generally do not like to rule on what are essentially academic issues.It would be different, Hurley said, if someone charged with violating the federal law claimed immunity because of the state statute. At that point, he said, a judge would have to rule whether that claim is legitimate.If calls and e-mails to the governor’s office are any indication, Arizonans are decidedly against the decision by Brewer and Horne to go to court: In less than two days since announcing the action, there were 12 message in support and 208 opposed.Horne acknowledged that both he and the governor opposed Proposition 203 which allows those who have a doctor’s recommendation to purchase up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks from a state-regulated dispensary. But he said the decision to force the issue in federal court despite the lack of anyone being prosecuted in Arizona has nothing to do with that.“I also have a very strong record of defending the idea that we should respect the will of the voters,” he said.Horne was a legislator in 1997, the year after voters first approved a law allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana. Prosecutors asked lawmakers to amend the law, adding a provision to allow it to take effect only if the Drug Enforcement Administration decided marijuana had a legitimate medical use.“Even though I opposed the (1996) initiative, I also opposed the conditional enactment effort to thwart it on the grounds that we should respect the will of the voters,” he said. Horne also said the state was pursuing plans to implement the law, at least until earlier this month when Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, sent a letter to Humble outlining the position of his office on the issue of the state law.Burke said federal prosecutors have no interest in spending time going after those who use marijuana in accordance with state laws. But he also said that “even clear and unambiguous compliance with the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does not render possession or distribution of marijuana lawful under federal statute.”Horne said this is a change in stance from a 2009 memo issued by David Ogden, a deputy U.S. attorney general.Burke, however, said there is nothing different about what he wrote earlier this month. In fact, Ogden, in spelling out he was not saying anyone can use state law as a shield against prosecution, wrote, “nor does clear and unambiguous compliance with state law or the absence of one or all of the above factors create a legal defense to a violation of the Controlled Substances Act.”Source: Sierra Vista Herald (AZ)Author: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services Published: May 28, 2011Copyright: 2011 Sierra Vista HeraldContact: svhnews transedge.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #14 posted by museman on May 31, 2011 at 10:04:41 PT
well, since you brought it up... here's the song.It's in the juke box... scroll down the playlist.lyrics here;
Just Say No To Thugs
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on May 31, 2011 at 09:50:26 PT
"Say NO to Thugs!"love it.
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Comment #12 posted by museman on May 30, 2011 at 16:40:48 PT
Just so!
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Comment #11 posted by runruff on May 30, 2011 at 15:33:15 PT
Guys, Guys, Guys, common...
...if voting made a difference it would be illegal.I give you the election af 2000 Bush v 
Gore if you need an example.
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Comment #10 posted by museman on May 30, 2011 at 13:38:50 PT
this has happened before..
"In Germany they first came for the communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me -and by that time no one was left to speak up."Pastor Martin NiemollerWe thought we ousted the fascists, but we just got new faces sitting in the same seats of power, doing the same things -and more. And last election was no exception, regardless of all the wishful thinking that was and still is attached to it.The proof is in the pudding, and the police state is in full regalia, parading itself around like something IT IS NOT.In the last line of one of my least popular songs;"Dead White and Blue" I yell "WAKE UP!"I'm still yelling, but the good news is that people are waking up. I have to believe that Love, Fairness, and all the other worthy aspects and attributes of our Creator and ourselves will be the final result of all our labors, even as I cannot invest one article of faith in any part of the current system -for it serves not those aspects and attributes, but false power, false authority, false value, evil and corruption. It may be all painted over with clever obfuscation to fool the people, but since they obviously have little to no talent for originality they are counting on the same, historical use of brute force that has always worked so well.The consciousness of man is 'evolving' at a rather high rate these days, and those on the front lines of consciousness change can actually see the progress.All this holding on to failed systems only hurts our chances to come out of these times of tribulation with anything left even resembling civilization, or culture above primitivism.If your house was burning down, would you not put out the fire, because it made you warm? Thats the kind of reasoning I am seeing considering our destructive, polluting technologies and 'sciences.'You'd think that all the thousands of years of known human life on this planet, that we might realize we lived, had what we needed (until the GodKings came and assimilated our free, agrarian cultures into their city states) and none of it is what we collectively think we need today. That profound ignorance keeps us fueling the power of the beast, day in and day out.The choices are offered, on the collective table, and this is the bed we will have to lie in, and the one the oppressors, thugs, and false authority will most certainly be obliged to lay down in forever. We've had a long time to get our collective act together, and the time is so nearly up it can be scary to those who have no faith, and even to those who do.What do we want in our New Age? The worst of the last? I don't think so. The internal decisions we make about all this is so much more important than any symbolic token such as 'the vote.' Vote first inside yourself on the higher choices of free will and ethical action, acknowledge the True Authority, and that Truth will be your guide to ultimate freedom. Vote in civil matter as well, but without your resolve and conviction to take our realm out of the clutches of the mindset and demonic spirit that now possesses it, how could one possibly know what or who to vote for or not vote for to achieve that end? But of course if all one is concerned with is their own comfort, they aren't going to be much help in the time ahead anyway, we'll just have to step around them and try not to stumble.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on May 30, 2011 at 12:24:38 PT
museman - here's an example of the truth you speak
 Jefferson Memorial Flash Mob Arrested For Dancing, Protesting Court Ruling (VIDEO).
Posted: 05/30/11 10:56 AM ET.
React Outrageous
Follow  Video , Mary Brooke Oberwetter , Dancers Arrested Jefferson Memorial , Jefferson Memorial , Jefferson Memorial Dancing , Police Arrest Dancers At Jefferson Memorial , U.s. Park Police , Politics News
[Yeah, those police take-down so aid peace and meditation, NOT!]
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Comment #8 posted by museman on May 30, 2011 at 10:39:36 PT
As a veteran
On this Memorial Day, remembering all the young men and women who did not see what has been made of their sacrifices, but who died honorably none-the-less, I cannot, for the sake of their memory, ignore the travesty of war and conquest -all in the name of power and profit- that used their noble intentions for their own political and economic gain.That travesty, a usurpation of all the original liberty and people-empowerment that was promised by the 'forefathers' and supposedly exemplified in the U.S. Constitution, is none other than our government -Of the Rich, by the Rich, and for the Rich-That falsely empowered and embedded collection of elitist -ass-kissers-of-the-rich-and-powerful has written it's history with the blood of our youth, and the suffering of our people.Though we all wore our uniforms with pride -at least before we found out the truth- the symbols we once respected have become soiled and tainted beyond reclamation. The 'uniform' is now a symbol of oppression. A harbinger of fear and destruction that cruises our streets and puts out every light of Love, Sharing, Peace, and Harmony that they run across in their dog-like prowls.The veterans I have known would not have allowed this, had they not been busted, criminalized, and in general forced into a kind of hiding, for the sake of their families.They rose up to stop VietNam, but though that war-that-was-not-a-war ended (or moved, depending on your awareness) the war against those who value freedom over the bondage of bankers, politicians, and the lawyers who made lies of our implied constitutional powers, continued, and continues to this day.The soldiers that survived Iraq -the ones they trained to shoot anything that moves, are now poised and ready to take down any resistance to the New World Order that is in place and established with the false authority of the "Rule of Law" -they are now the cops of amerika.True patriots would be (and are) calling for the end of this travesty known as the Federal Government, and it's enforced influence over the states, counties and townships of this country.There is more liberty for people, just about anywhere else but here, though we are still living off the fat of the land, even as it begins to thin noticeably.A full belly, a comfortable chair, and a screen to watch IS NOT LIBERTY! Slaves often live quite comfortably if they kiss enough ass.Way too many americans believe in the lies that have been spoon fed them through their schools, churches, and the political rigamarole of the lawyer-elect.It seems that the Truth is beginning to arrive in our consciousness, despite the incredible efforts of the rulers, so let us not refuel old BS just for the sake of the honored dead. Our government is wrong, and illegal. It is not ours, maybe never has been. Perhaps its time for the old warriors to step up? Since the young ones have little but false guides to show them the way.Sacrificing ones life for an ideal might be honored in Heaven, but the rulers and leaders are all laughing behind closed doors (oh certainly not where they can be seen!) at the foolishness of the people who threw their lives away for their (the politicians, lawyers, and the rich they serve) comfort and material gratification.Truth is going to come hard for some. I suggest the honest folk stop denying the obvious and start saying NO to thugs!LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on May 30, 2011 at 02:03:08 PT
FoM & All
FoM You've got mail!FoM & Stick & All who wore the uniform to defend the USA from international thugs, vandals & villans:Happy Memorial Day! & Thanks.
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on May 29, 2011 at 14:00:43 PT
Quote from Huffpo reader ...
"In our morally bankrupt capitalist society, the right of the corporatio­­ns to profit from your illness takes precedence over your right as an individual to receive proper treatment."
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 28, 2011 at 16:31:28 PT
On a Good Note
A friend of ours since 1973 that lives in Arizona called today. He went to his pain clinic and the doctor asked him how he was doing. He said if he could smoke a little medical marijuana he would feel much better. The doctor said we can get that completed for you and he now has a medical marijuana card from Arizona. He is so happy.Have a safe and wonderful weekend. Remember our Vets and how proud we are of the Navy Seals that got bin laden. I look forward to Rolling Thunder. All those motorcycles sound so cool to me. God Bless them for what they do.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 28, 2011 at 16:23:41 PT
The Republicans don't want money put into our infrastructure or it could happen very fast. One day they will have to wake up when the cities totally fall apart and there won't be any option. 
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 28, 2011 at 15:48:44 PT
HW I totally agree. So disappointing to see our country sink down into a mire of sleaze. Big Pharma is jerking these politicians around like a puppet on strings. Drug companies pay millions of dollars to put on a little dog & pony show with these various politicians and bureaucrats.I just in the paper recently that Amtrak has plans to install high-speed rail from Boston to NY to Washington - it's going to take 30 years. 30 years!  How many has China installed in the last 5 years? Several. Even Spain has high-speed rail.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 28, 2011 at 12:49:13 PT
NPR: Federal Warnings Hit Medical Pot Boom
Excerpt: The Ogden Memo***What the policy is, exactly, depends on how you interpret what's called "the Ogden memo.""In 2009, the Department of Justice indicated that it would be a low priority to prosecute anyone who was complying with state medical marijuana laws," Jay Rorty of the American Civil Liberties Union explains. He says the 2009 memo from then-Deputy Attorney General David Ogden made advocates think the federal government wouldn't interfere with state medical marijuana stores.U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby from Washington state disagrees with that interpretation. "I think the ACLU takes that statement out of context," he says. According to him, the memo means the federal government won't go after patients who are growing their own marijuana — but retail stores were never part of that exception.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on May 28, 2011 at 07:08:41 PT
Welcome to America!
Where instead of democracy we have this unending barrage of lawsuits in which our rulers and masters will get their way and pull the wool over the eyes of the voter.And this will continue indefinitely! If you are in pain or suffering otherwise, too bad for you! Reefer madness is alive and very well. This situation will not change until congress acts and as I've stated here on Cnews before, they won't act for another couple of decades.
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