Arizona: Supreme Court Affirms That Lawmakers Cannot Ban Medical Cannabis Access on College Campuses

In a ruling issued today by the Arizona Supreme Court, justices upheld an appellate court decision striking down a 2012 law that sought to forbid medical cannabis access on college campuses.

Lifetime NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, and called the decision a “victory for democracy.”

Justices opined that the 2012 law was unconstitutional because it impermissibly sought to amend the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which voters passed in 2010. State law limits the legislature’s ability to amend, repeal, or supersede voter-initiated laws.

“Because the AMMA sets forth a list of locations where the legislature may impose ‘civil, criminal or other penalties’ when a person possesses or uses marijuana, § 36-2802, and because that list does not include college and university campuses (unlike pre-, primary-, and secondary-school grounds), we assume that the voters did not intend to criminalize AMMA-compliant possession or use of marijuana on public college and university campuses,” the court ruled. It further rejected the state’s claim that a campus-wide ban was necessary in order to preserve universities’ federal funding.

“If the State had prevailed, they could then have tampered with any and all ballot initiatives, past, present, and future,” said Dean. “This is a victory for all Arizona voters and especially for medical marijuana patients.”

The ruling sets aside the felony conviction of defendant Andrew Lee Maestas, who was initially charged and found guilty of the possession of 0.4 grams of marijuana despite his status as a state-registered medical cannabis patient.

The case is Arizona v Maestas, No. CR-17-0193-PR.

9 thoughts

  1. Haha! Eat your fentanyl-laced heart out Insys Therapuetics!
    Democrats; pay attention to this state… retirees will take notice during midterm elections!

  2. Point four grams of marijuana? That’s barely a joint! Felony conviction for that in a legal medical state?! Now there’s your crime, right there: fascist authoritarianism, right here in America! Somebody didn’t get the memo: pot is not a crime anymore, it never really was.

    Marijuana is a thought-crime against fascist authoritarians. And so, let this be a lesson: Truth must be defended! Otherwise, fascists will enslave you, starting with your mind first!

    If you lose Truth, next you lose Freedom.



    Meanwhile, in Texas we’re fighting to keep CBD products on the shelves. And instead of educating our communities about this inocuous disinflammatory (often mislabeled) cannabinoid, the Texas State Department of Health Services wants to take CBD products off she shelves through routine inspections. They only tempoarily backed off due to public comments.
    I first noticed my local pharmacy selling CBD labeled products over the counter next to the register about a month ago. While I don’t trust the quantities of CBD even if they have them on the label, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano explained the complex and confusing situation with federal law, from courts allowing “hemp” labeled products to the FDA trials on CBD to evolving Congressional law. The CBD laws are such a mess it seems as though CBD manufacturers and companies are daring to go to court to settle the dispute.

    Of course, Congress could just do their job and legalize marijuana and make it open source. That would be the smartest thing to do. Unfortunately our Congress is run by Artificial Stupidity Technology. It’s up to us to retech our Congressman.

    1. Amen, Julian, and sorry to hear about CBD! Pete Sessions and good ol’ boyyyyy Ted Poe remain problems too!

      Sundowwwwn you’d better take care, if dey fiiiind you been creepin’ round they backstaaairr

      Old, backwater, anti-mariHUana back country conservative dinosaurs, lol

      GET ON THE GROUND! I smell weed! You goin’ ta jail!

      Sigh….thanks, Julian! Stay strong Texas patients!

      1. Matt,
        I should be careful when I say “we’re” fighting for CBD to stay on the shelves. Texas NORML is fighting for patient access to all whole plant marijuana varieties and strains.
        There are three major players in the restrictive whole plant CBD extract biz under the Texas Compassionate Use Act, and they’re pretty pissed off that other CBD distributors are cashing in around Texas pharmacies who often have no idea what they are selling is illegal. Wait till we legalize mmj in Texas next year. Get angry or get even. If ya can’t beat’m join’m.

  4. Totally agreed with you Dain
    (Marijuana is a thought-crime against fascist authoritarians. And so, let this be a lesson: Truth must be defended! Otherwise, fascists will enslave you, starting with your mind first!

    If you lose Truth, next you lose Freedom.

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