ACLU Asks Federal Judge to Dismiss Governor Brewer's Lawsuit Against Medical Marijuana Act

Governor Jan Brewer is using a supposed threat to state workers as a "pretext" for thwarting the will of voters, say advocates of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in a court action filed today.

The American Civil Liberties Union makes that case in a court motion filed today in the lawsuit launched by Brewer in May against the new law.

In addition to some of the more technical legal arguments, including the idea that the state's Medical Marijuana Act isn't preempted by federal law, the filing notes that Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke contradicted directly Brewer's stated reasons for launching her lawsuit.

The defendants against Brewer's action include: The Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Valley firm Gammage & Burnham; the Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals, represented by Flagstaff attorney Thomas Dean; and several businesses and individuals represented by Scottsdale's Rose Law Group.

The filing quotes from an article by Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services, which was published in the East Valley Tribune and other newspapers, in which Burke states"

It's fair to read into my letter what I included and what I didn't ... And if I didn't include state employees, I think that's telling in itself.

Burke made a similar comment to the Arizona Republic, the ACLU's court filing notes.

The point being: Brewer jumped the gun and made an arbitrary decision to attack the law in federal court.

As New Times discovered last month, the decision to seek a declaratory judgment for or against the voter-approved law was also discussed by state Attorney General Tom Horne during his January meeting with the leader of the group that campaigned against the law.

Click here to read the new motion..

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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