Governor Brewer Fails to Defend Will of Voters in Attack on Medical Pot; Supports Enforcement of Federal Drugs Laws

Governor Jan Brewer ought to just come out and admit it: She's thwarting the will of voters who approved Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act in November.

Her frontal assault on the law, announced yesterday, is buttressed by her bias against the concept of medical marijuana -- an opinion she made clear before voters narrowly approved Proposition 203. As we reported yesterday, Brewer's about to ask a federal court to make a ruling on the legality of Arizona's medical-pot program, and plans to prevent the state Department of Health Services from issuing permits for pot dispensaries as they were set to do next month.

Few politicians would openly attack voters, though, so naturally Brewer and her enforcer in this scheme to derail the Act, state Attorney General Tom Horne, have chosen their words carefully.

Brewer's written statement yesterday mentions that Arizona "has worked to follow the wishes of voters."

Her spokesman, Matt Benson, tells us today that "she's really at this point trying to take a neutral role."

Neutral? In announcing her plan, Brewer didn't utter a single word in defense of the law or the voters who approved it.

Something else Benson told us during our talk with him this morning suggests there's nothing neutral about what Brewer's doing: "She supports the federal government's enforcing its drug laws."

Tell us if something's wrong with our logic here:

* Brewer supports enforcement of federal laws against marijuana and will deny dispensary permits while waiting for a federal court to tell her what to do.

* Arizona voters support medical marijuana, approved dispensaries in a new law, and don't like to be told what to do by the federal government.

* Therefore, Brewer doesn't support voters.

What happened to state's rights, governor?

She defends SB 1070 every chance she gets and is using taxpayer money to fund a defense of the anti-illegal-immigrant law, which has been partially shot down in federal court.

Brewer points to U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke's letter to Arizona officials earlier this month as a cause for concern. This is patent nonsense, because Burke's letter did little more than reaffirm what Brewer and everyone else already knew: Marijuana is against federal law.

Brewer's not tucking her tail between her legs because of Burke's federal saber-rattling. We have no doubt that if Brewer respected the will of voters on the marijuana issue, she'd have used the letter as another chance to show -- once again -- that she's not scared of the feds. She could have mentioned how if the feds dare arrest Arizona's civil servants for carrying out the will of the people, Arizona would stand ready to vigorously defend their actions.

It seems clear that she's instead using Burke's letter as a pretext for an attack on a new law she hates. No doubt, her political consultants have run the numbers and decided that most of her constituents weren't among the 50 percent-plus who approved Prop 203.

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.