Arizona governor sues over medical marijuana law

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 27, 2011

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Arizona officials led by Gov. Jan Brewer have sued the Justice Dept., seeking to block a state law permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The lawsuit, filed May 27, asks a federal judge to clarify whether compliance with the Arizona law violates federal drug laws.

In a statement, Brewer said she is concerned that state employees and others expected to administer the medical marijuana program will be at risk for federal prosecution. The governor noted that the drug is still a controlled substance and that federal laws against drug usage may preempt state law.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona said it plans to defend the constitutionality of the law in court, on behalf of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Assn.

Arizona voters approved the law in November 2010. Similar to other state laws, the measure allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes with the appropriate license and a doctor's prescription.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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