Bill Montgomery Is Prosecuting a Medical-Pot Patient for One Piece of THC-Infused Candy

Medical-marijuana users were warned. And now Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is carrying out his plan to harass qualified medical users for resin-infused edibles.

Montgomery repeatedly has refused to say whether he is prosecuting patients for possession of marijuana concentrates who otherwise are acting within the boundaries of the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

New Times has learned that his office is moving forward with at least one such case, a felony prosecution of a medical-marijuana patient for possession of a single piece of infused candy.

The patient, a Phoenix resident who asked not to be named out of fear it would affect his employment, provided New Times with a letter from the County Attorney's Office saying it intended to prosecute him and a copy of his valid medical-marijuana card. Court records show he is scheduled to appear in court in mid-November to face one felony "narcotic violation" charge.

As mentioned in New Times' October 10 cover story, "Half Baked," the issue of marijuana "edibles" and extracts was brought into sharp focus this summer because of a warning by the Arizona Department of Health Services about the questionable legal status of concentrates such as hashish, kief, hash oil, and cannabutter.

Montgomery and several other county prosecutors in Arizona theorize that the voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act did not legalize extracts for qualified users to possess or for dispensaries to sell.

Because of the threat of prosecution, Jennifer and Jacob Welton, a Mesa couple, cannot give their 5-year-old epileptic son the medicine he needs — oil infused with a marijuana strain rich in cannabidiol, which doesn't produce psychoactive effects like the better-known component of the plant, THC.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court on behalf of the Weltons asking a judge to declare that extracts are protected under the medical-pot law and to prevent Montgomery from taking legal action based on his theory that extracted resin is an illegal "narcotic."

The debate hinges on the fact that the 2010 law makes "usable marijuana" legal for medical users and dispensaries, and that's defined as "the dried flowers of the marijuana plant and any mixture or preparation thereof."

Yet Arizona statutes also contain a decades-old unscientific definition of something called "cannabis," which is defined as "the resin extracted from any part of the plant . . . and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or its resin."

The piece of soft candy found in the Phoenix man's car on the night of December 20 was infused with resin extracted from a "preparation" of buds. Its active ingredient was THC, the same as in the buds used to make the candy.

As the man explained to New Times, he uses marijuana for back pain but can't smoke because of previous lung surgery. He's had two cases of spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lungs) in the past few years. The condition isn't related to smoking, he says — he's never been a cigarette smoker and previously smoked pot only occasionally. During his last surgery in June 2011, doctors "snipped off a piece of lung" during a procedure known as a mechanical pleurodesis, in which the outside of the lung is attached to the inside of the lung cavity. Chances of another collapse since the surgery are "really low," he says, but as a qualified medical-marijuana user, he'd prefer to ingest the plant.

His back pain? The 30-year-old says he has compressed vertebrae from an old injury. New Times wasn't privy to his medical records, but he did provide a copy of his medical-marijuana card — issued October 31, 2012 and expired November 1, 2013. This covers the time of his December 20 arrest for DUI by a Mesa police officer in Scottsdale.

According to a Mesa police report, the man said he drank one 22-ounce Blue Moon while at now-closed Saddle Ranch Chop House.

The officer pulled him over at 11:30 p.m. for making two wide right turns near the restaurant, then said he smelled pot in the car and liquor on the driver's breath. A blood test showed the medical-marijuana patient had a .056 blood-alcohol content — he ended up paying a fine for impaired driving. The crime lab apparently didn't test for the presence of pot metabolites, the report shows.

During a search of the man's Ford Mustang, the officer found a "marijuana pipe and a piece of cannabis candy in the center console," the report says. The items were seized. Possession of the pipe, ostensibly as paraphernalia for the use of medical-marijuana, was protected by his state-approved patient status. But not the candy.

The man says he bought the Tootsie Roll-like candy at a compassion club. Since then, his public defender has told him that a crime lab determined it contained no "usable marijuana," only the resin of marijuana — what state law defines confusingly as "cannabis."

Deputy County Attorney Sean Kelly sent the man a letter in July informing him that he had two options: potential conviction of a felony, for which he could receive up to 3.75 years in prison or a drug diversion program that would cost him more than $3,000.

Montgomery's office did not respond to a request for comment about the case.

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78 comments
stupidstuka
stupidstuka

Arizona stoners deserve continued prosecution for writing and supporting such a pathetic and ineffective MMJ law that only benefits the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels!

Reap what ye sow, suckers.

.

squash
squash

@_McShyster_ Why should we take advice on marijuana legalization issues from a prohibitionist like you who has absolutely no interest in marijuana EVER becoming legal (medicinally or otherwise), Donkey?

stopabuseofpower
stopabuseofpower

slow day in the office Montgomery, ?

sh*t thought we got rid of one bad apple, Nifong Andrew Thomas and now here come another,

sick *ucks. for sure. . WE are paying for your antics!

stupidstuka
stupidstuka

Clueless stoners and incompetent Marijuana McLawyers who wrote Arizona's mmj law were too stupid to include clear, concise, unambiguous language protecting the rights of patients to possess and use all forms of marijuana ... even after witnessing Colorado's failures at mmj.

Those that are too stupid and stoned to learn from history DESERVE to suffer and fail!

willyfalcoon
willyfalcoon

the sooner we get a jury nullification the better...

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Prosecuting sick people is a new low, even for MontyPug.

Perhaps he needs a refresher in the Army's 7 core values and the warrior ethos...

Time to boot MontyPug out. Now.

OATHKEEPER1958
OATHKEEPER1958

THROW HIS ASS IN JAIL WITH THE REST OF THE DAM CRIMINALS THESE STUPID LIBERALS GOTTA LEARN THE HARD WAY ANYHOW

edgarlongenecker
edgarlongenecker

   Up and, Conning, you say; the opportunistic, lizard at law, prosecutor...  Maybe, now that his modus operandi, has been defined; the explanation, is clear, why, the Arias Bias, concealment, of, all those, reasonable doubts, were never put to the jury; for, such,  concealed, exculpatory evidence,   Forbid, the LSD/LDS corporation, eternal soul saving, blood oath, Mormon blood atonement, sacrificial quasireligious, rite, as, per the revelations of, Brighamist Young, be, exposed to all us, infidels, who just wouldn't understand, how, only the most devout, will, be eligible for,  the blessings, of heart plunge, and, ear to ear, throat slice, blood oath, blood atonement, in, order, to ascend to planet, playboy, with, all those, virgin angels...  Surely, you don't expect, the DA to, antagonize, all those Mormon, voters...   Edgrrr...

Narc_drama_queen
Narc_drama_queen

It Iuch a shame to me that poliicians viilify patients to accomodate their own personal agenda instead of taking violent criminals off of the streets...SMDH

freeman88
freeman88

stand up for freedom and liberty as the founding fathers would have. shoot the DA. claim your rights freedom and liberty or have it taken away in this police state.

stella.james164
stella.james164

 <!--til I saw the bank draft four $4519, I didn't believe ...that...my brother was like they say truly making money part-time at their laptop.. there uncle haz done this for only about eighteen months and a short time ago repaid the debts on their house and bourt Bugatti Veyron. this is where I went........................ Buzz55.ℂom-->

ewthorne
ewthorne

What is just as pathetic is how Monty and Brewer, and I guess the other whacko Republicans in this state, pick and chose which federal laws to follow.  

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Truly shameful and a waste of taxpayers' dollars. When political and media grandstanding means more than common sense and saving taxpayers dollars. 

MCAO Montgomery: Minister of justice or politician?

budsan
budsan

Talk about an overzealous mickey mouse prosecutor, that's Bill Montgomery alright. Hope fully the good people of AZ will vote this wacko bird out of office.

Don Blank
Don Blank

so they can put him in one of their corporate buddies jail

DjAdidas Nick Nuvamsa
DjAdidas Nick Nuvamsa

The guy clearly has nothing better to do that waste peoples time and tax payers money, people like this should have the citys voters aka people step up and prosecute this guy for abusing his power and tax payers money, they need to be held accountable.

Denise Mason
Denise Mason

Remember this when we go to the polls. This guy is wasting tax dollars and time. What is the real purpose here for prosecuting over something so ridiculous?

DNichols
DNichols

Prosecuting this,yet Montgomery granted "Amnesty" through a "Plea Deal" to his personal Pal Racist Minute Man Chris Simcox for Child Molesting placing his finger in his own Childs vagina?!!

Montgomery is Worthless Human Garbage and is no better than Child Molesters!

After this Travesty of Justice against his Pedifile Friend Simcox anything Bill Montgomery does is just a Joke!

pskully57
pskully57

Hes another Andrew Thomas, complete hypocrite/douche, can't wait to vote him out.

Elle Chanel
Elle Chanel

The moronic rednecks will bankrupt this state.

drdarrow
drdarrow

Really? Trying to prosecute based on implying some distinction between the common name and the scientific name of the plant? Because AZ has some obscure, vague, and inaccurate definition written into law from the time when men like Monty coined the spanish sounding "marijuana" so as to imply the it always led to Mexican men rapeing white girls behind the high school. All in the name of economic, social, and racial repression.

I'm thrilled my tax dollars are being spent on this nonsense...

timdlittle
timdlittle

Has anyone started a fund to support this person in their case and start a counter suit against the Maricopa DA office? This needs to be a all in for anyone in Arizona who supports the legalization of marijuana. Using pot smokers to fill prisons for profits is going stop..and it's going to stop really soon.

Hector Joe Mora
Hector Joe Mora

Let`s remember this come election time . Then he and the mummy that is governor can eat s__t and bark at the moom .

_McShyster_
_McShyster_

@squash ... say the clueless stoners who implemented a 1963 (ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED SIXTY THREE !! )) SQUARE MILE exclusion zone against all private grows ... maintaining FELONY cultivation penalties against anyone who gets caught 24.5 miles from the nearest dispensary.

Ignorant Politically Clueless Stoners are their own worst enemy.


Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@stupidstuka 

You are an idiot. The 'stoners' aren't the ones who got it wrong. The writing of the law is not ambiguous, only Monty's interpretation of it is.

Those who have no clue about what they are talking about (you) should learn to shut the hell up rather than open their mouths and prove to the world just how stupid they are.

_McShyster_
_McShyster_

@willyfalcoon ... they used to have "jury nullification" back in the days when no white jury would ever convict a white man for lynching a black victim.


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Oathkeeper, the voters passed this state Constitutional amendment. That means the people have spoken.

The DOJ has refused to prosecute people who possess pot and are in compliance with state laws. In fact, the DOJ has refused to block any more states that pass marijuana laws (weed is still technically illegal under the Controlled Substances Act).

That leaves just MontyPug, a weak and ineffective leader. He has no chance of winning.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@GOATKEEPER, U AGAIN, SATAN'S FAV SON. D ONES THAT SHOULD B IN PRISON R U & THAT CLOWN SHURF....SPECIALLY U & HIM, WHO R A WASTE OF OXIGEN & SPACE, WHICH COULD B OF BETTER USE 4 ONE OF THOSE THAT U CALL "ILLEGALS", THAT DUE 2 D MONEY THAT THEY CONTRIBUTE U & THAT CLOWN CAN SEAT WITH UR STINKY WRINKLED ASSES  AND BITCH WHILE COLLECTING D MONEY. IMO, U R A LEACH, LIVING OFF D TAXPAYER'S DIME. BTW, I HEARD THAT WHEN U WERE A LITTLE GOATKEEPER AND U TRIED 2 COMPITE ON D SPELLING B CONTEST U WERE ASKED 2 SPELL COW, SO  U DID SAY: COW.....C   O   W   E   I   E   I   O....LMFAOROTFF (3:D)K

edgarlongenecker
edgarlongenecker

@freeman88 Ditto, it's time to take control away from lizards at law... The criteria, for this soap opera, is, proof,  that,  the derivative, no matter, how, processed,  of the allowable, quantity, is within the amount, that, can be used, legally, by other mens; as if, any of it, is anybodys' business; when, the gestapo, can be permitted, to, snoop, into, anyones' home, car, or, effects, in 4th amendment violations; pitting, a Federal liberty, against an intrusive, federal and state, violation of laws, by that which is legislated, in violation of superior law... Whether this quantity, allowable, is, shoved in their burrocks, smoked, eaten, or boiled, and, used for hairspray,  matters not, as long as what's legislated, fraudulently, anyway, as to, allowable quantity, cannot be proven, to exceed it...  A class action lawsuit, against such gestapo, intrusion, should, put a screeching halt to, the DA reptillian illiteratis' govern   mental, aspirations... and, protect us call from, lizards at law...   Edgrrr... 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@Don Blank

"THE HOUSE I LIVE IN"  Official Trailer #1 (2012) Sundance Award-winning Documentary by Edward Jarecki, filmmaker - YouTube  
It should be a civic duty for ALL people to watch 4 decades of failed policy, where we are today and where we're headed -- unless the people speak up nothing will change. The "old school" (which AG Horne, MCAO Montgomery represent) has destroyed many families and innocent lives. 
Time for "smart on crime". The taxpayers have been conned and bilked long enough. The elected officials and lawmakers have put their own constituents and the taxpayers at risk for harm, using the taxpayers' $$$'s to do it. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0atL1HSwi8

edgarlongenecker
edgarlongenecker

@Denise Mason    Money, bribery, extortion, embezzlement, is the purpose, of, this, soap opera...     Edgar,,,

edgarlongenecker
edgarlongenecker

@Nora Blkbld               Explain, why, he is not, protecting, the image of,  the Mormon church, for, votes...in the Jodi Arias, travesty of, justice...obstruction of justice..fraudulent conviction, noncase; . when, proof positive is the blood oath, blood atonement, self sacrifice, of Anderson and, Alexander; killings, that, , are exactly, alike; to prove, devoutness.......and, the Alexander self sacrifice, sacred ritual, has been prosecutorially, construed, by, a many days, later, separate crime, of, coverup, to, obscure the eternal soul saving, blood oath, blood atonement, Brighamist Young, admonition, allegedly abandoned, by the LSD, church, corporation; which, if, not, then, why,  the DA coverup; if, not for a 14 million member, voter, windfall; to put another lizard at law, into pubic,  [that's right], office; instead, of, prison... ???...  Edgrrr...

franklipsky
franklipsky

@Elle Pennell 

Mormons are legal aliens from another planet-universe

Proof :who else would wear black pants in the summertime110 degrees in the desert

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@drdarrow It's about finding customers for his private prison corporation cronies. 

"THE HOUSE I LIVE IN"  Official Trailer #1 (2012) Sundance Award-winning Documentary by Edward Jarecki, filmmaker - YouTube  
It should be a civic duty for ALL people to watch 4 decades of failed policy, where we are today and where we're headed -- unless the people speak up nothing will change. The "old school" (which AG Horne, MCAO Montgomery represent) has destroyed many families and innocent lives. 
Time for "smart on crime". The taxpayers have been conned and bilked long enough. The elected officials and lawmakers have put their own constituents and the taxpayers at risk for harm, using the taxpayers' $$$'s to do it. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0atL1HSwi8

edgarlongenecker
edgarlongenecker

@Hector Joe Mora    They'll probably lie and say they don't bark at the moon...   Edgar...

McShyster
McShyster

@Flyer9753 = another clueless stoner.

You ignorant bong-suckers are your own worst enemy.


squash
squash

@Flyer9753DonkeyHotay likes his comments with a sockpuppet all the time... He's one of the resident trolls over at www.westword.com, btw. It's pretty lame...

_McShyster_
_McShyster_

@jetdoc1 ... so you're asserting that Arizona stoners are too slow and stupid to learn from the MISTAKES made by other State MMJ laws, like California and Colorado, which have been around since 1996 and 2000, respectively.

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

@McShyster @Flyer9753 Wow... a couple of "DonkeyHotay" WANNABES!  Colorado hadn't MADE the mistakes necessary for us to LEARN from them, by the time our law was written.  Not saying it's GOOD or BAD law, just that you can't use that as an analogy because it's Apples to Oranges.  At least get your own SCHTICK

 
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