Federal Judge Changes Mind, Lets AG Tom Horne File Long Response in Marijuana Lawsuit

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton let Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne file his extra-long response in Governor Jan Brewer's federal marijuana lawsuit after all.

So much for Horne's quip that the response, made to refute the defendants' motion to dismiss the lawsuit, would get better if it got shorter.

The ruling means that Horne didn't have to change the proposed response he filed with the court on Monday, which came out to 23 pages total and which we published in yesterday's blog post.

Consequently, none of the changes we suggested made it into the official version -- including one change that Horne said he liked.

Horne told us yesterday he intended to insert into the response the following quote by Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke:

"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."

In the quote to local reporter Howie Fischer, Burke was explaining why his May 2 letter -- which reminded the public that marijuana was illegal under federal law despite the state's voter-approved medical marijuana law -- didn't threaten state workers with prosecution for following the state law.

Horne said he thought the quote might actually help his side. Looks like he decided otherwise -- and left it out.

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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.