Patients Can’t Sell Medical Pot, Appeals Court Rules

ARIZONA:  In an opinion that impacts several criminal cases around the state, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that authorized medical-marijuana patients cannot sell cannabis to other patients.

The 3-0 ruling by the state’s Division Two appeals court overturns a decision made last July by Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields, who ruled that such sales were legal under the voter-approved, 2010 Medical Marijuana Act.

The ruling resulted in the dismissal of a marijuana-for-sale case involving Jeremy Allen Matlock of Tucson and caught the attention of prosecutors around the state. Marijuana activists and criminal defendants were buoyed by Fields’ ruling, hoping their own cases would be tossed out.

Annual Report Shows Increase In Medical Marijuana Use In State Dec

ARIZONA:  The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) has been in effect for four years, and the annual report by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) shows that more and more people are taking part in the program.

The first annual report presented in 2012 revealed that there were 35,641 active cardholders in the state. This year that number has increased by almost 17,000, with the state currently showing a total of 52,374 cardholders, which includes 51,783 qualifying patients and 591 caregivers. In addition, this year there were 904 dispensary agent cards issued.

The number of minors being prescribed marijuana has also increased. There are currently 92 minors (between the ages of eight months and 18) with medical marijuana cards, up from 18 who requested and qualified for one when the law first went into effect. Last year that number stood at 37.

Of the total qualifying patients, about one-third are female, more than a 10 percent increase over the first year.


Court Rules Arizonans On Probation Can Use Medicinal Marijuana If Eligible

ARIZONA:  State judges cannot bar those placed on probation from using medical marijuana if they are otherwise eligible, the state Court of Appeals ruled Friday. And that even includes those who were convicted for drug offenses.

Appellate judge Peter Eckerstrom said when voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010 they declared that those with a doctor’s recommendation and the required state-issued ID card are not subject to “arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege.” That “clear language,” Eckerstrom said, prohibits a trial judge from barring someone from using medical marijuana consistent with that law.

Eckerstrom did not dispute there are probably public policy concerns about letting someone with a long history of substance abuse, as in this case, continue to use marijuana for whatever reason. But the judge said these public policy debates are for the Legislature and, by extension, for the people through their constitutional power to make their own laws.

The ruling, which sets new precedent in Arizona, involves Keenan Reed-Kaliher, who was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and attempted possession of a narcotic drug for sale.


Judge: Medical-Marijuana Patients Can Sell Pot To Other Patients Because Law Is Vague

ARIZONA:  Arizona’s medical-marijuana law is so vague, the state can’t prosecute patients who sell pot to other patients, a Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled.

The offbeat, July 2 ruling and dismissal of a criminal case by Judge Richard Fields has the potential to open up all sorts of entrepreneurial opportunities for Arizonans to sell marijuana legally — if it survives an appeal.

The case began with the October 8, 2013, indictment of Jeremy Allen Matlock on three felony counts in connection with the sale and growing of marijuana. Matlock’s public defender, Sarah Bullard, filed a motion to dismiss the case based on the premise that Matlock was immune from prosecution.

Bullard argued that Matlock, a registered cardholder who was approved for cultivation at the time of his indictment, never violated the voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act because the law allows patients to sell marijuana to other patients.

Although voters in 2010 approved a system of regulated dispensaries to sell marijuana, part of the Act’s text that is now enshrined in Arizona Revised Statute 36-2811 states that “a registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver is not subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner” for various marijuana-related offenses.


Judge Overturns AZ Zoning Law On Medical Marijuana

ARIZONA: A judge has overturned Maricopa County’s zoning ordinance for medical marijuana dispensaries, ruling that the ordinance appeared to be a “transparent attempt” to keep the businesses out of unincorporated areas of the county. [Read more…]