The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday told a federal judge that a lawsuit filed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer challenging her own state’s medical marijuana law should be thrown out.
Proposition 203, which allows patients in Arizona to use marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, was passed by a majority of Arizona voters in 2010. But Brewer claims that state employees could be in jeopardy because the state law conflicts with federal laws.
“The State of Arizona has worked to follow the wishes of voters,” Brewer said in May after putting the state’s medical marijuana program on hold and filing a lawsuit against the federal government. “But I won’t stand aside while state employees and average Arizonans acting in good faith are unwittingly put at risk.”
Brewer did not publicly state her opposition to the law, but the ACLU of Arizona said Brewer was seeking a ruling that the Arizona law is preempted by federal law and should be struck down because it is in conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act.
"The governor's lawsuit is a misguided attempt to undermine the will of Arizona voters and deny thousands of sick Arizonans the medicine their doctors believe is most effective for them," said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project.
The U.S. Department of Justice has also asked for the lawsuit to be thrown out. In a legal brief filed in August, the Justice Department said the federal government would not prosecute state employees for implementing medical marijuana programs.
Photo credit: Laurie Avocado