ASU student’s attorney petitioning Arizona Supreme Court over medical marijuana

Apr 13, 2015, 5:32 AM | Updated: 5:32 am
...

PHOENIX — After two big rulings on medical marijuana were handed down by the Arizona Supreme Court last week, the justices could soon be hearing yet another case.

An attorney for Arizona State University student Andre Maestas has petitioned the court to hear whether Maestas should be charged with felony marijuana possession for having medical marijuana in his dorm room. The attorney, Tom Dean, said prohibiting the use of medical marijuana on university campuses is a violation of Arizona’s Voter Protection Act.

“The Legislature, a branch of government, has attempted to modify and roll back the protections that the voters approved,” he said.

Arizona voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) in 2010, and the state Legislature later added a provision to the law prohibiting the possession and use of medical marijuana on college campuses.

Dean said that provision is in violation of the Voter Protection Act because it does not further the proposition’s original purpose.

“The legislature may not modify a people’s passed initiative unless two conditions are met,” he said. “One, we hear of a lot from lawmakers, and that is that there’s got to be a supermajority … The second condition, though, is that the modification further the purpose of the initiative that it modifies.”

While the Legislature did in fact have a supermajority on the provision that included universities on the list of prohibited places, Dean said it does not further the original purpose of the AMMA.

He said the original purpose of the AMMA was to protect Arizonans who use medical marijuana from prosecution, while the added provision only makes them more susceptible.

“Rather than protecting patients from criminal or other penalty, this statute now subjected them to criminal and other penalty,” he said.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, however, said adding universities and community colleges does in fact further the act because voters approved prohibiting medical marijuana at places such as primary and secondary schools.

“The same interests in not wanting to have marijuana on a primary or secondary school campus is the same interest in not wanting to have it on a state university campus,” Montgomery said.

Maestas’ case was unsuccessful at the trial and appeals court levels, so Montgomery said he’s confident the Legislature acted appropriately when adding universities to the list of prohibited places.

Dean, however, said he’s confident the Supreme Court will hear the case, because of the broader implications it could have on not only the AMMA, but on Arizona’s Voter Protection Act.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at an event touting a new universal school voucher progra...
Associated Press

Gov. Doug Ducey takes victory lap over Arizona school voucher plan

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and backers of universal school vouchers took a victory lap Tuesday over legislation the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted in June.
18 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)...
KTAR.com

Here’s why a portion of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s new border wall was temporarily knocked over

Within days of announcing action to fill in border wall gaps near Yuma, a portion of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's new barrier was temporarily knocked over Monday morning. Here's the explanation from the governor's office.
18 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)...
Kevin Stone

3-vote margin triggers automatic recount in Maricopa County primary race

One race in the Maricopa County’s recent primary election was so close that it triggered an automatic recount under state law.
18 hours ago
(Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers)...
Associated Press

Battles rage in Arizona courts over 3 voter initiatives

Proponents of three voter initiatives who each turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures last month to qualify them for the November ballot are trying to beat back legal challenges that could prevent them from going before voters.
18 hours ago
Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake said Arizona needs “to have a comprehensive plan” fo...
Kevin Stone

Kari Lake, Arizona’s GOP nominee for governor, calls water supply ‘maybe the top issue’

With Arizona facing reduced access to Colorado River water, GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake said securing the state’s supply is “maybe the top issue."
18 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
KTAR.com

Police arrest man after fatal stabbing over lighter in Mesa

Maricopa County Sheriffs arrested a man in Mesa Sunday after he fatally stabbed another man 50 to 70 times in an altercation.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
ASU student’s attorney petitioning Arizona Supreme Court over medical marijuana