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Bill Montgomery’s remarks to post-marijuana debate question draw boos

PHOENIX — Remarks made by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery following a debate on marijuana raised eyebrows among attendees.

After an hourlong debate between Montgomery and local attorney Marc Victor on March 23 in Tempe, Arizona, the floor was opened for comments from the gallery.

One attendee, who said he a Vietnam veteran, told Montgomery that he had been “deceived” about the benefits of marijuana, particularly for the older population.

“It’s the best medication on the planet for the elderly,” he said. “We’ve seen results.”

The unidentified attendee said being referred to as a “pothead” offended him.

“I’d like to spend some time with you sometime,” he told Montgomery. “And the name you’re going to call me right now is healthy.

“I’ve been a patient for four years, I’ve got all my prescription drugs. I’ve got the doctor’s report to prove it and I’d like you to join us.”

Montgomery explained his office has said there is a difference between recreational and medicinal from the beginning when the man stated he was a recreational user. Montgomery then raised eyebrows, saying:

“You’re violating the law and I have no respect for you as someone who would try to claim that you served this country and took an oath to uphold the Constitution and defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic because you’re an enemy.”

Montgomery’s reply was met with a round of boos from the gallery. The pair briefly exchanged words after Montgomery’s response, but the audio was not caught by microphones.

Montgomery’s office said he did not take issue with the man being a medicinal marijuana patient, which is legal under state law, but as a recreational user.

Montgomery addressed numerous questions and was visibly irked by a few of them.