Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has waged a war on the Arizona medical marijuana industry. His latest efforts are to repeal the voter-approved medical marijuana program. However, Montgomery no longer has the support of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
Montgomery will have to go this one alone, according to Phoenix New Times. Montgomery filed a new petition with the Arizona Supreme Court: The White Mountain Health Center v. Maricopa County. Montgomery has been fighting against medical marijuana since 2011.
Former AG Tom Horne helped Montgomery file his petition, and is listed as an additional defendant in the case. Things aren’t looking good for Montgomery though. As recently as December 2016, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled against Maricopa County (and the state) in a vote of 3 – 0.
In a written statement, Ryan Anderson from the AG’s office said, “The attorney general’s office is not participating in the appeal. All inquiries regarding the lawsuit should be directed to the county attorney’s office.”
What happens if/when Montgomery loses yet again? Unfortunately, Maricopa County taxpayers will have to pick up those legal fees. If any awards/sanctions are gained by Montgomery, taxpayers will have to foot that bill too.
Brnovich has never tried or considered trying marijuana (or any other drug). He supports the decision of the Arizona voters. He vowed to “defend what the voters do.” He stated that the AG has an “obligation to defend that.”
Montgomery went as far as to advise the Board of Supervisors against approving zoning for medical marijuana dispensaries. Montgomery said it violated federal law. However, a lawsuit filed by Daryl “Butch” Williams, changed things.
Montgomery was sanctioned $5,000 for attempting to make a “transparent attempt” to “stymie the law.” Following that loss, Montgomery faced another rejection from the Arizona Supreme Court. The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in December that the state and county must pay the $200,000+ in legal fees sustained by White Mountain Medical Center.
Montgomery continues to press the issue as he is adamantly against legalized marijuana in any form. This new petition would put medical marijuana patients in jeopardy of being arrested and tossed in jail due to Arizona’s felony prohibition laws.
The new petition also claims that the Arizona Supreme Court made a mistake. Montgomery has essentially sworn to continue his fight until he’s told he can’t fight it anymore.