Gilbert Police Chief Tim Dorn Won't Explain Harsh Stance on Medical Pot Law

Gilbert police are taking a harsher stance on the state's new medical-marijuana law than other Valley police agencies, but Police Chief Tim Dorn can't be troubled to explain his policy.


Dorn's hiding behind his spokesman, Sergeant Bill Balafas, who tells New Times that we won't get an interview -- or any justification for Gilbert PD's policies -- from the chief.


Dorn's apparently the driving force behind his officers' recent decisions to raid the home of a qualifying patient, arrest another patient and bust a pot patient co-op in Tempe.

Meanwhile, other Valley police agencies approach the voter-approved law differently.

The law states clearly that authorities should presume weed is being used medicinally if a valid cardholder possesses less than the statutory maximum of 2.5 ounces.

Phoenix police, for instance, figure that if someone they encounter has a little weed and a valid, state-issued card, the possession is legal. That's how voters intended the law to be interpreted. 

We got into it on the phone today with Balafas, who grew frustrated with our questions about the varying policies among local police.

"We're enforcing the law," he says stiffly.

Another way to look at Gilbert's actions, though, is that Dorn doesn't care about the law.

The new medical-marijuana law, that is.

He certainly seem to care about marijuana prohibition laws. But why does he care so much?

That's another question the taxpayer-funded bureaucrat won't answer


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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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