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

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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


Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.