Yuma Sun: “A state judge has ordered Gov. Jan Brewer to finally fully implement the 2010 voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act, saying she acted illegally in holding it up. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama rejected the governor’s argument that she has the discretion to delay enactment of parts of the law while she sought a ruling from another court about the liability of state workers under federal drug laws. ‘Defendants cite no authority for this proposition, and the court has found none,’ Gama wrote in his ruling made public Wednesday.”
Arizona Superior Court Nixes Some Stupid Department of Health Services Medical Marijuana Dispensary Requirements
Phoenix New Times: “Arizona needs to start up the 2010 Medical Marijuana Act as voters intended, but without several of the rules designed to restrict dispensary applicants, a judge has ordered. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama ruled on the Compassion First, LLC, lawsuit yesterday . . . .Gama nixed the rules that require dispensary applicants to:
* Have been an Arizona resident for three years
* Have filed personal income taxes in Arizona for the previous three years
* Have never before filed for personal or corporate bankruptcy
* Not be delinquent on child support, taxes, parking tickets, student loans or other unpaid debts to the government.
Those rules are ‘onerous and substantively alter the requirements of the Act,’ Gama wrote in his minute entry. ‘DHS cannot bootstrap substantive regulations of who may apply’…”
The following statements are taken from Judge Gamma’s Minute Entry dated January 17, 2012:
“DHS cannot bootstrap substantive regulations of who may apply onto its mandate that it consider such applications in a manner as to protect against diversion and theft. . . . The Court finds that DHS exceeded its statutory authority in promulgating these challenged regulations, and therefore they are invalid. . . .
IT IS ORDERED declaring the following regulations to be ultra vires and invalid:
R9-17-322(A)(2) (requiring applicant to have been an Arizona resident for three years);
R9-17-302(A)(4) (setting criteria that applicant have never filed personal or corporate bankruptcy);
R9-17-302(A)(1) (setting criteria that applicant has submitted Arizona personal income tax returns for previous three years);
R9-17-302(A)(2) (setting criteria that applicant is current on courtordered child support; is not delinquent in paying taxes, interest or penalties to the government; does not have an unpaid judgment to the government; and is not in default on a government issued student loan).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED directing Defendants to implement the lawful provisions of the AMMA and, if necessary, to promulgate regulations that conform thereto.”
Results of Governor Brewer vs. the People of Arizona & Proposition 203 Lawsuits
People 2 – Brewer 0
Maybe the Gov needs to get a better lawyer.
Phoenix Business Journal: “Dispensary lawsuit presents hurdle for Arizona medical marijuana law. Arizona’s medical marijuana industry received a reprieve when Gov. Jan Brewer announced on Friday she would not continue to challenge the voter-approved medical marijuana law, but another lawsuit has put a kink in the process. A lawsuit filed in July by Compassion First LLC, a dispensary company, against the state and government officials in Arizona Superior Court is the next hurdle. Gerald Gaines, founder of Compassion First said he will not drop the lawsuit.”
The lawsuit is Compassion First, LLC vs. Arizona filed in Arizona Superior Court.
For more on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to drop her lawsuit against the U.S. read “Arizona’s Brewer to Abandon Marijuana Lawsuit, Allow Dispensaries to Open,” “Gov. Brewer won’t refile lawsuit against US over implementation of Ariz. medical marijuana law,” “Brewer lifts hold on medical pot dispensaries process,” “AZ plans to begin issuing licenses for pot dispensaries.”
The following is the text of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s January 13, 2012, press release announcing she instructed the Arizona Department of Health Services to move forward with implementing Arizona’s medical marijuana dispensaries:
“The State of Arizona will not re-file in federal court a lawsuit that sought clarification that State employees would not be subject to federal criminal prosecution simply for implementing the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). Instead, I have directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to begin accepting and processing dispensary applications, and issuing licenses for those facilities once a pending legal challenge to the Department‟s medical marijuana rules is resolved.
“I also have sent a letter to Ann Birmingham Scheel, Acting U.S. Attorney for Arizona, notifying her of the State‟s action at this time and – once again – seeking assurance and clarification as to the federal government’s position regarding State employee participation in the licensing or regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries.
“It is well-known that I did not support passage of Proposition 203, and I remain concerned about potential abuses of the law. But the State’s legal challenge was based on my legitimate concern that state employees may find themselves at risk of federal prosecution for their role in administering dispensary licenses under this law. Last week, to my great disappointment, the U.S. District Court of Arizona dismissed the State‟s lawsuit on procedural grounds and refused to provide clarity on the likely conflict between Proposition 203 and federal drug law.
“Remember how we got to this point. The State of Arizona was fully implementing the provisions of Proposition 203 last spring. That’s when Arizona was among a host of states that received letters from the U.S. Department of Justice threatening potential legal ramifications for any individual participating in a medical marijuana program, even in states where it had been legally approved. Specifically, the Arizona letter – dated May 2, 2011 – warned that growing, distributing and possessing marijuana in any capacity, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of state laws that purport to permit such activities.”
“Would state employees at the Department of Health Services, charged with administering and licensing marijuana dispensaries face federal prosecution? This was the basis for calling a ‘time out’ in order for the State to seek a straightforward answer from the court. With our request for clarification rebuffed on procedural grounds by the federal court, I believe the best course of action now is to complete the implementation of Proposition 203 in accordance with the law.
“Know this: I won‟t hesitate to halt State involvement in the AMMA if I receive indication that State employees face prosecution due to their duties in administering this law.”
For Prospective Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owners
Stay tuned. I will be watching the ADHS for the new dispensary application process and deadlines. If you have not yet formed your nonprofit entity to seek a license to operate an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary, I want to form it for you. Call me at 602-906-4953, ext. 1 if you have questions.
Sobol Files Motion to Enjoin Governor From Using State Funds to Impede Arizona Medical Marijuana Act
The following is the text of Alan Sobol’s January 10, 202 press release:
Allan Sobol the aggressive marketer of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Industry, filed a motion in Maricopa County Superior Court today asking Judge Dean Fink, to impose a preliminary and permanent injunction against Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer and Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Health Department . If granted by the Court the Injunction would enjoin the Governor and Humble from expending any public funds to impede, delay or in any way whatsoever, prevent the full implementation of the of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.(AMMA). Sobol says, “It is an outrageous abuse of the public’s trust, and violation of her constitutional obligations for the Governor to abuse public funds to overturn the will of the voters. This malfeasance must be stopped! Public policy and legal precedent, mandates that the Governors actions be brought into check with the will of the voters. This motion seeks to enjoin the Governor from using public funds to impede, or delay the AMMA.
Filed in May, Brewer’s federal complaint was one of three cases she filed to limit the AMMA. Brewer argued that state officials fear federal prosecution for implementing the law, despite Arizona’s former top federal prosecutor saying publicly the federal government has “no intention of targeting or going after people who are implementing or who are in compliance with state law.” The U.S. Justice Department federal even filed a motion to dismiss the case. Brewer also filed two additional cases in State Superior Court attempting to limit access to patients.
The Arizona Voter Protection Act, enshrined in our state constitution, w as specifically meant to preclude the Gov ernor and her administration from stopping a voter initiativ e, passed by a majority of the voters in Arizona, from going int o effect. While the executive branch seeks to disgu ise its efforts as a civil complaint, if the cou rt granted the requested relief, the effect will be the same: Qualified patients would have been denied their rig ht to obtain voted approved medical marijuana.
In last weeks ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton said there is no genuine threat of imminent federal prosecution of state officials who carry out the law. While the Judge did grant the Governor thirty days in which to amend her compliant, Judge Bolton, nevertheless stated in her Order that she is “unconvinced” that the State could correct the defects in the case. The Judge did focus on the “ripeness issue”, a point driven home by ACLU attorney Ezekiel Edwards.
According to a spokesperson for the Governor, Brewer is intending to refile her case to Stop the Medical Marijuana Act.
The Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals, llc (AADP) represented by attorney Thomas Dean, was the first defendant to challenge the Governors complaint. AADP is Arizona’s largest marijuana trade organization representing the interest of over 10,000 members. AADP believes the Governor’s complaint was disingenuous and frivolous and a concerted scheme with other government officials who conspired to thwart the will of the Arizona voters and intentionally delay, impede, and otherwise prevent the AMMA from being implemented. Allan Sobol, President of AADP, has repeatedly stated, “This is not about marijuana use, this is about government abuse. Whether you are pro or con marijuana you need to be alarmed with the Governors underhanded attempts to over ride the will of the Voters”.
As Governor, Brewer is vested with the supreme executive power of Arizona and is responsible for the faithful execution of all laws, including the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The mask has now come off the Governors face, Sobol says, any guise that the Governors legal efforts were truly intended to protect state employees few out the door when the Federal Court dismissed her case. The administration seeks to destroy any hope of a viable Medical Marijuana program, which reveals its underlying contempt for the will of the people and the rule of law.
Arizona voters in 2010 passed Proposition 203, which allows seriously ill patients in Arizona to use marijuana as medicine with a doctor’s recommendation. The law allows marijuana to be distributed by tightly regulated clinics to patients with state-issued registry cards and exempts from state prosecution not only seriously ill Arizonans but also their caregivers and a limited number of certified, non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries that will serve qualifying patients.
The state has issued approximately 19,000 medical marijuana cards to qualified patients collecting almost 3 million dollars in fees, but has fraudulently failed to provide a way, consistent with the AMMA, for patients to obtain their voter approved medication .
The entire text of Sobol’s Motion can be found at: Seed2success.com/enjoingovernor.html
Attorney Tom Dean can be reached at: 602-635-4990
For additional information or questions please contact:
Allan Sobol, President
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result. Well apparently here we go again.
Phoenix New Times: “Brahm Resnik of Channel 12 News (KPNX-TV) just tweeted that Governor Jan Brewer ‘indicates she will refile lawsuit to block medical marijuana law.’ . . . If Brewer does plan to refile the suit, perhaps she’ll finally take the position that she’s avoided taking since May — that she believes the medical-pot law is illegal and should be struck down. Of course, taking such a stance would only sink her finger deeper into the eye of voters . . . . Brewer and Horne, die-hard opponents of medical marijuana that they are, may have other tricks up their sleeve. They probably figure there’s more than one way to skin the voters.”
You would think that the Gov and her mouth piece would be embarrassed about their recent humiliation in federal court and stop trying to invent a lawsuit they can use as the basis for not enforcing and implementing Arizona’s medical marijuana laws that were approved by the Arizona voters when they passed Proposition 203 in November of 2010. Tom Horne is the top attorney for the State of Arizona. He has a large highly paid staff of attorneys who work for him and they have years of legal experience. Together Mr. Horne and his crackerjack staff researched the law and used all of their considerable legal brain power to draft the complaint and sue the U.S. because – this is where it gets murky – something the federal government has never done (i.e., prosecute state employees who implement medical marijuana laws in states that approved the use of medical marijuana) might happen maybe if perhaps possibly who knows when some time in the future. They didn’t even take a side for or against the lawsuit they filed.
Governor Brewer and Attorney General Horne took their best shot and the federal judge thumbed her nose at them and threw the lawsuit out at the first opportunity in response to a motion to dismiss filed by the ACLU. For non-lawyers a motion to dismiss is where a defendant in a lawsuit says to the judge even if EVERYTHING THE PLAINTIFF SAYS IS TRUE THE PLAINTIFF DOES NOT HAVE A CASE!!! Judge Bolton threw out the lawsuit because she said the State did not have a basis to file the lawsuit. Why didn’t the Attorney General and his attorneys know they were filing a lawsuit that should never have been filed? Perhaps some heads should roll in the AG’s office because if your job is to sue on behalf of Arizona and you are not smart enough to recognize a bogus lawsuit when you see one something is terribly wrong.
Consider the significance of losing the motion to dismiss. Judge Bolton in effect gave Attorney General Horne an F in filing lawsuits. Rather than being embarrassed by their incompetence and apologizing for wasting the State’s time and money and that of the defendants, the co-conspirators in not enforcing Arizona medical marijuana laws (Governor Brewer and Attorney General Horne) apparently will regroup and dream up another reason to not enforce Arizona law. Maybe their goal now is to show the people of Arizona they are not incompetent.
KPHO.com: “A medical marijuana dispensary may be coming to a neighborhood near you. After a federal judge’s ruling yesterday, card carriers said they are one step closer to getting what they want. ‘By the thousands, hundreds of thousands, we see people come in here every day,’ said We Grow Owner, Sunny Singh, ‘We are not a dispensary. We don’t have any marijuana here.’ . . . ‘Any person or business, who is dealing in medical marijuana, is trafficking in marijuana and that’s a class two felony,’ [Maricopa County Attorney Bill] Montgomery said.”
The County Attorney conveniently forgot to mention that he was talking about federal law, not Arizona law which is his job to enforce. He should have said “Any person or business, who is dealing in medical marijuana and compliance with Arizona’s medical marijuana laws is NOT trafficking in marijuana and DOES NOT COMMIT A CRIME UNDER ARIZONA LAW.
Phoenix New Times: “Governor Jan Brewer and her legal counsel will study today’s dismissal of her lawsuit against the medical marijuana law while keeping a ban on dispensaries, a spokesman says. . . . It was a thinly disguised attack on a state law that they didn’t like. It also exposed Brewer as a hypocrite on the issue of states’ rights. Her attack on medical marijuana took place even as she and Horne spent taxpayer dollars defending two state anti-illegal-immigrant laws that the federal government claims are unconstitutional. . . . Brewer’s position, then, assumes a truly silly idea: That Will Humble, director of the state DHS and his underlings will be prosecuted by the feds for following state law. This is a straw-man argument, though, apparently intended as a tactic in Brewer’s fight against the pot law.”
Arizona Governor & Attorney General Wiping Egg off Faces after Federal Judge Throws Out their Manufactured Lawsuit over Medical Marijuana
Arizona Republic: “A federal judge dismissed Arizona’s medical-marijuana lawsuit Wednesday, saying the state couldn’t show workers were at risk of prosecution for following the voter-approved state law. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling removes the obstacle that Gov. Jan Brewer and state health officials said prevented the state from issuing permits for medical-pot dispensaries. Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said the governor would consult with Attorney General Tom Horne before deciding whether to appeal.”
Phoenix New Times: “Governor Brewer’s Lawsuit Against Medical Marijuana Law Dismissed by Federal Judge. . . . In her new ruling, Bolton notes that ‘no credible evidence’ exists that state workers are at imminent risk of prosecution by administering the pot program. . . . We’ll contact the Gov’s office to find out if their mission to thwart the will of voters has a Plan B.”
Tucson Weekly: “Well, it seems Gov. Jan and her crew may have toppled their medical-marijuana man, and they might be out of the game. A federal judge seemingly ripped the state a new one on Dec. 12 in the first oral arguments in the governor’s lawsuit that stalled Arizona’s MMJ program.”
Following Federal Judge’s Advice that She Not Vote Present in Her Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Arizona Governor Brewer Choses to Oppose Voters
Yuma Sun: “Gov. Jan Brewer decided Wednesday to ask a federal judge to overturn a key portion of the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law. The move comes two days after Bolton told attorneys for the state she would throw out Brewer’s original lawsuit which simply asked the judge to decide if state employees can be prosecuted under the federal Controlled Substances Act for processing permits. Bolton said the state has to pick a side: Either federal law trumps last year’s initiative, or the state can implement its law despite federal statutes. . . . Brewer has chosen the former position, even though that’s contrary to what voters mandated.”
Governor Brewer has taken the exact opposite position with respect to Arizona’s Proposition 1070, the anti-illegal immigration law that will be considered by the United States Supreme Court. In the SB 1070 case Governor Brewer is asking the Supreme Court to rule that Arizona can implement its law despite federal statutes. Isn’t it the job of the Governor to enforce the laws of Arizona rather than making a personal choice as to which laws she will enforce?
Arizona Republic: “U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton tore apart the state’s medical-marijuana lawsuit Monday, saying Arizona has to pick a side in the conflict over state and federal law. Bolton stopped short of dismissing the case, saying she would issue a ruling later. But she told Assistant Attorney General Lori Davis she would throw it out unless the state decides whether or not to support its own law. ‘That’s how lawsuits work,’ Bolton said. ‘The plaintiff takes a position’.”
Phoenix New Times: “Governor Jan Brewer’s lawsuit against Arizona’s medical marijuana law took a beating today in federal court, where a judge told the state’s lawyers to pick a side on the issue. . . . Brewer and Horne, however, don’t have the chutzpah to actually argue against the voter-approved law — something that could be politically dangerous. . . . Their lawsuit relies on the creation of 20 fictitious defendants — 10 who believe the new state law violates federal law, and 10 who don’t believe it — to bolster their position that a dispute exists. But Bolton said today that she planned to dismiss all of the fictitious defendants, adding that the tactic cannot ‘persist’ in federal court. Arizona would need to choose which side it’s on before the suit can proceed, Bolton told Lori Davis, an assistant attorney general.”
East Vally Tribune: “A federal judge chided Attorney General Tom Horne Monday, saying he was asking her to do his job: advising state agencies on the law. . . . ‘You don’t come to court and say, ‘Well, this our best advice, you give it a shot,” she told Assistant Attorney General Lori Davis. Davis protested that the state finds itself in ‘an impossible position,’ being told by voters to license dispensaries but fearing that the workers who process the applications can be charged with helping facilitate the distribution of marijuana. She said Bolton should tell the state – and the governor – whether it’s OK to proceed. ‘That’s what the AG is for, Bolton responded. ‘It’s not the courts that give (legal) advice’.”
East Valley Tribune: “Attorneys for would-be marijuana dispensaries asked a state judge Wednesday to order Gov. Jan Brewer to follow the law approved by voters and begin issuing licenses as the statute directs. ‘I don’t care whether she likes it or doesn’t like it,’ Ty Taber told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama. ‘Her sole job and responsibility is to implement that act.’ Assistant Attorney General Lori Davis did not dispute that last year’s voter-approved law requires the state Department of Health Services to license about 125 dispensaries where certified medical marijuana users can obtain the drug. And she conceded that Brewer has, in fact, directed the Department of Health Services not to issue any of those licenses.”
Sedona Red Rock News: “While medical marijuana possession and use was legalized by voters in November 2010, one local woman said she was fired earlier this year simply for being a cardholder. Now she is suing Verde Valley Community Hospice, a company located in Old Town Cottonwood, for wrongful termination and defamation.”
Probation Officer Fired for Statement in Support of Marijuana Legalization, Launches Lawsuit With ACLU’s Help
Phoenix New Times: “Maybe one reason marijuana prohibition is still in effect is this: Law officers face being fired merely for stating publicly their views on legalization. That was the case for Joe Miller, a former Mohave County probation officer whose supervisors terminated him after his name appeared on a letter — with 31 other law officers — in support of the 2010 California ballot proposal that would have made pot as legal as booze and cigarettes. Now Miller is suing for damages in a federal complaint with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.
East Valley Tribune: “The lawyer for one of the state’s medical marijuana clubs accused the governor and state attorney general on Friday of conspiring to undermine the voter-approved initiative making the drug legal for some ill people. ‘We believe that there’s a clear and blatant pattern that has transpired over the last few months,’ said Thomas Dean. He said that directly includes both Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne. ‘There’s plenty of evidence that was done in a way that was conspiratorial, fraudulent,’ Dean told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Dean Fink.”
Azfamily.com: “In what could be a first-of-its-kind case here in Arizona, a nurse is planning to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, claiming she was fired for being a medical-marijuana card holder. Her former employer says that’s not exactly what happened. Esther Shapiro said she was fired two months ago after telling her bosses at the Verde Valley Community Hospital in Cottonwood that she held a medical-marijuana card as a result of Arizona’s recently passed and much-debated medical-marijuana law.”
Pure Medical Marijuana & Wellness Center II Sues Fountain Hills Over Medical Marijuana Dispensary Zoning
Arizona Republic: “A non-profit corporation has filed a lawsuit against Fountain Hills, claiming the town’s medical-marijuana ordinance ‘unreasonably restricts’ potential locations for a dispensary. Pure Medical Marijuana & Wellness Center II filed the civil suit in Maricopa County Superior Court. The town and Town Council are named as defendants. . . . One medical-marijuana dispensary will be allowed within the town”
Query: Are Pure Medical Marijuana & Wellness Center II, Inc., and its attorney unaware that the medical marijuana industry in the United States is dead. See “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries are Dead in the United States.”
Los Angeles Times: “Appellate court voids Long Beach marijuana dispensary law. The panel rules that the city authorized distribution of pot in violation of federal law. The decision could force Los Angeles to rewrite its medical marijuana ordinance. In a decision that could upend the way California cities regulate medical marijuana, a state Court of Appeal has ruled that Long Beach’s ordinance regulating dispensaries violates federal law.”
Read the California Court of Appeals decision in Ryan Pack vs. City of Long Beach.
Nearly a year after being approved by voters, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has proven popular with patients, yet much of the Act remains on rocky legal ground.
Six active lawsuits confirm early predictions that such a significant social policy change would engender substantial court action. What wasn’t known was how patients, caregivers and the business community serving these individuals would respond when the State once again attempted to scuttle the will of the voters.
In January of this year Attorney General Tom Horne offered anti-Prop 203 leader Carolyn Short a gift: he could disembowel significant portions of the Act by pitting Arizona’s new law against the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and last but not least, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, Nixon’s reaction to the social unrest being fomented by the era’s youth - and still the underpinning of Federal law. Once Governor Jan Brewer finally browbeat Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble into being the State’s Plaintiff, Horne petitioned the federal court for a “Declaratory Judgement” stating that the Act did or did not conflict with federal statutue – which of course it does, as it has in every state with a medical marijuana law.
Horne had to know his abuse of the judicial system wouldn’t yield a favorable ruling, but he also knew this: the suit would create confusion and doubt about the Act, weakening public support for a ballot initiative that won by only the slimmest of margins. This would buy opponents time to create a “sky is falling” narrative, dutifully reported by an obedient press: that “medical” marijuana is a sham, a cover for what in actuality is a recreational users program; that dispensaries would attract crime and blight to neighborhoods; that cartels would move in under the guise of being legal dispensaries; and, that medicating patients would cause trouble in the workplace, etc, etc ad nauseum.
This storyline failed during the 2010 election cycle, but could now have the effect sought by opponents. Why? Because due to the Act’s passage and the government’s failure to fully stop its implementation, there are patients legally using marijuana for medicinal purposes, patients and caregivers cultivating crops, and compassion clubs and collectives opening up across the State to provide patients with access to the medicine they voted for – all activities in which just a few wrong steps, misjudgements, foolish or criminal acts might be enough to turn the tide of public opinion towards the opponent’s desired goal – repeal of the Act.
Unsurprisingly, some regretable incidents have occurred. The press, rarely missing an opportunity to cast MMJ in a bad light, reports each incident with just enough objectivity to mask its underlying Reefer Madness bias, confirming the worst fears of opponents while stirring doubt among casual supporters of Prop 203 last November.
So,we have a hostile government (with the Legisature reconvening in January), media outlets continually sensationalizing the subject, and well-connected private citizens whose overriding life goal is re-criminalizing personal behaviors we’ve just determined should be legal.
What is IN our favor is significant, if utilized with direction and purpose. Raw assets include 13,000+ patients and caregivers, whose numbers grow daily; responsible business owners whose fledgling enterprises are starting to bear fruit; a nationwide network of supporting advocates who have been down this same rough road; and, the knowledge that a majority of Arizonans from across the political spectrum support the right of patients to have this medicine if they so choose.
Next: An actionable plan for advocates.
[Note] Although many know me as an insurance agent providing coverage for compassion clubs and grows, in a former life I worked ten years for an elected official. My political experience also includes advising local and state candidates and non-profit lobbying. From these experiences I learned that even underdogs can win – but only if they are in the game.
The following is a list of the six lawsuits now pending in Arizona courts that involve Arizona’s medical marijuana laws enacted as a result of Proposition 203.
1. Arizona vs. United States – U.S. Federal District Court
Plaintiffs: STATE OF ARIZONA; JANICE K. BREWER, Governor of the State of Arizona, in her Official Capacity; WILL HUMBLE, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, in his Official Capacity; ROBERT C. HALLIDAY, Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, in his Official Capacity
Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: THOMAS C. HORNE, Attorney General, Firm Bar No. 14000; Kevin D. Ray, No. 007485; Lori S. Davis, No. 027875; Aubrey Joy Corcoran, No. 025423; Assistant Attorneys General; 1275 West Washington Street; Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2926; Telephone: (602) 542-8309; Facsimile: (602) 542-8308; Email: EducationHealth@azag.gov
Defendants: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General of the United States of America, in his Official Capacity; DENNIS K. BURKE, United States Attorney for the District of Arizona, in his Official Capacity; ARIZONA ASSOCIATION OF DISPENSARY PROFESSIONALS, INC., an Arizona corporation; JOSHUA LEVINE; PAULA PENNYPACKER; DR. NICHOLAS FLORES; JANE CHRISTENSEN; PAULA POLLOCK; SERENITY ARIZONA, INC., an Arizona nonprofit corporation; HOLISTIC HEALTH MANAGEMENT, INC., an Arizona nonprofit corporation; JEFF SILVA; ARIZONA MEDICAL MARIJUANA ASSOCIATION
2. Arizona vs. The 2811 Club, LLC – Arizona Superior Court
Plaintiffs: STATE OF ARIZONA and WILL HUMBLE, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, in his Official Capacity
Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: THOMAS C. HORNE, Attorney General, Firm Bar No. 14000, Michael Tryon (#003109); Evan Hiller (#028214); Assistant Attorneys General Office of Senior Litigation Counsel; Kevin D. Ray (#007485); Lori S. Davis (#027875); Aubrey Joy Corcoran (#025423); Assistant Attorneys General; Education and Health Section; 1275 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2926; Telephone: (602) 542-8328; Facsimile: (602) 364-0700; Email: EducationHealth@azag.gov
Defendants: THE 2811 CLUB, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company; THE ARIZONA COMPASSION ASSOCIATION, INC., a pending Arizona non-profit corporation; MICHAEL R. MILLER, Director of the Arizona Compassion Association, Inc.; YOKI, INC. d/b/a YOKI A MA CLUB, an Arizona non-profit corporation; ARIZONA COMPASSION CLUB, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company
3. Sobol vs. Arizona – Arizona Superior Court
Plaintiff: Alan Sobol
Plaintiff’s attorney: none
Defendants: State of Arizona; Janice K. Brewer, Governor of the State of Arizona; Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services in his official capacity.
4. Elements Therapeutic Dispensary vs. Humble – Arizona Superior Court
Plaintiffs: ELEMENTS THERAPEUTIC DISPENSARY, an Arizona Non-Profit Corporation; ARIZONA DISPENSARY SOLUTIONS, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company; ARIZONA ALTERNATIVE RELIEF CENTERS, INC., an Arizona Non-Profit Corporation dba MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES; PROTECT ARIZONA PATIENTS, INC., an Arizona Non-Profit Corporation; CULTIVATION MANAGEMENT SERVICES, an Arizona Limited Liability Company; HEATHER TORGERSON, a married woman; STEPHEN JOHNSON, a single man; ROBERT LILES, a married man; GREGORY DELUCA; a single man, HEIGHTENED HEALING, LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company; ALAN J. CITRIN, M.D., P.C.
Plaintiffs’ Attorney: David W. Dow; Law Office of David Dow; 3104 E. Camelback Rd., #281; Phoenix, AZ 85016-0001; (602) 550-2951; AZ State Bar#: 007377; ddowhiw I @gmail.com
Defendants: WILL HUMBLE, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, in his Official Capacity; THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, a political subdivision of the State of Arizona
5. Serenity Arizona, Inc. vs. Arizona Department of Health Services – Arizona Superior Court
Plaintiffs: SERENITY ARIZONA, INC., an Arizona nonprofit corporation; and MEDZONA GROUP, INC., an Arizona nonprofit corporation; JANE CHRISTENSEN, a married woman.
Plaintiffs’ Attorney: Ken Frakes, #021776; Ryan Hurley, #02460; ROSE LAW GROUP PC, 6613 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 200, Scottsdale, Arizona 85250, (480) 5o5-3931; (480) 951-6993; Fax: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
Defendants: THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, an agency of the State of Arizona; WILL HUMBLE, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, in his Official Capacity
6. Compassion First, LLC vs. Arizona – Arizona Superior Court
Plaintiffs: COMPASSION FIRST, L.L.C., dba Compassion First, an Arizona limited liability company; SCOTT TIDEMANN, a single man; KIMBERLY REARDON, a single woman, MARK BROOKMAN, a married man; KEITH LOWELL RABIN, a single man and DANIEL MEDINA, a single man.
Plaintiffs’ attorney: AIKEN SCHENK, HAWKINS & RICCIARDI P.C., 4742 North 24 Street, Suite 100, Phoenix, Arizona 85016-4859; Telephone: (602) 248-8203; Facsimile: (602) 248-8840; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; E-Mail: email@example.com; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; E-Mail: jc@ashrlaw .com; J. Tyrrel Taber; Alfred W. Ricciardi; James M. Cool; THE LAW OFFICES OF JEFFREY J. HERNANDEZ 7047 East Greenway Parkway, Suite 140, Scottsdale, Arizona 85254; Telephone: (480) 624-2765; Facsimile: (480) 607-2215; jjhernandez@az-law .net.
Defendants: STATE OF ARIZONA a governmental entity; JANET K. BREWER, Governor of the State of Arizona, in her official capacity; ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES (ADHS), an Arizona administrative agency; and WILLIAM HUMBLE, Director of ADHS, in his official capacity.
Arizona Republic: “As if medical marijuana wasn’t being litigated enough in Arizona, yet another lawsuit takes aim at the rules governing dispensaries. The special action, among six suits involving the state’s fledgling program, claims the rules give unfair advantage to local businesses in violation of federal law and the state and federal constitutions.”
The new lawsuit was filed by Compassion First, LLC, dba Compassion First AZ. Gerald Gaines is the manager of the company.
We’ve predicted that somebody would sue because DHS’s dispenary rules violate the U.S. constitution.
The following is the text of a motion filed by Alan Sobol in his lawsuit against Arizona to establish the legality of his cannabis club.
1. Plaintiff Allan Sobol, pro/per files this brief memorandum as his Motion for Immediate Summary decision or in the alternative Expedited Hearing on his Complaint for Declaratory Judgment. This motion is filed because of the extreme controversy that is effecting the community at large and which demands immediate Court resolution.
2. Summary decision is appropriate because the facts are clear and undisputed that the Plaintiffs 2811 Club business model is not in violation or conflict with any Arizona Laws.
3. Moreover, summary decision is appropriate because of the significant amount of Arizona citizens that are being adversely effected by the on going controversy.
4. On November 2, 2010, Arizona voters were asked to consider whether the State should decriminalize medical marijuana. Proposition 203, an initiative measure identified as the “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act” (“The Act” or “AMMA”), envisioned decriminalizing medical marijuana for use by people with certain chronic and debilitating medical conditions. Qualifying patients would be able to receive up to 2 ½ ounces of marijuana every two weeks from medical marijuana dispensaries or to cultivate their own plants under certain conditions. Proposition 203 provided that its purpose “is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.”
5. Arizona voters passed Proposition 203 in November 2010; the Governor signed it into law on December 14, 2010.
6. The defendants in this Action have been very vocal in their opposition to Prop 203, and apparently are displaying sour grapes over the voters choice.
7. Defendant Brewer, as Governor, is vested with the supreme executive power of Arizona and regardless of her personal beliefs, she is responsible for the faithful execution of all laws, including the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act,
8. Furthermore, The Act requires the Arizona Department of Health Services (“ADHS”) to be responsible for implementing and overseeing the Act.
9. Specifically, the Act provides for the registration and certification by the, ADHS of “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries,” “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agents,” “qualifying patients,” and “designated caregivers.”\
10. On April 14, 2011, the ADHS began accepting applications from persons who sought to be certified as Qualifying Patients and Designated Caregivers. As of August 15, 2011, there were over 8000 Qualifying Patients certified by the ADHS including the plaintiff herein.
11. However, on or about June 1, 2011, in an attempt to thwart the will of the voters and impose her own personal beliefs on the citizens of Arizona, defendant Brewer suspended the dispensary portion of the ACT. This represents a bad faith abuse on the part of the Governors authority.
12. Defendants suspension of the dispensary program effectively denied most qualified patients the ability and right to obtain the medical marijuana authorized under the ACT.
13. The very purpose of the Act was to provide for a qualifying patient, who has a “debilitating medical condition” to obtain an “allowable amount of marijuana” from a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary” and to possess and use the marijuana to treat or alleviate the serious debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the medical condition
14. Denial of relief to these seriously ill patients equates to cruel and unusual punishment , a violation of the Voter Protection Act and a clear abuse of the Governors authority.
15. The majority of qualified patients are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Many are confined to wheel chairs with disfigurements, missing limbs or simply weak and frail resulting from their debilitating conditions. These individuals suffer daily from chronic pain and other ailments that this Act was intended to alleviate. Absent a safe and legal way to acquire their medication these qualified patients are forced into the very risky black market to acquire the medication they so desperately desire. This exposes many qualified patients to the criminal elements including con artist and robbers.
16. Absent a viable dispensary program where a qualified patient could purchase affordable small quantities of medical marijuana as needed, denies these patients the right under the Act to possess and use medical marijuana.
17. The only recourse available to these disfranchised qualified patients is to seek and acquire free quantities of medical marijuana from other qualified patients who are willing to donate their excess marijuana as it may be available.
18. Under the ACT, (36-2811 B-3), “patient to patient” transfers of medical marijuana is specifically permitted provided nothing of value is exchanged.
19. The inherent problem is the fact that under the ACT all qualified patient records maintained by AHDS are confidential. In fact, the ACT makes it a crime for any AHDS employee to release patient information to a third party. Consequently, there is no way, other than high risk internet Craigslist type classified advertising, for a patient looking to acquire free marijuana to locate another donating patient with excess marijuana.
20. In an effort to assist qualified patients, plaintiff Sobol developed a business model concept intended to provide qualified patients with a venue to network. A place they could come to meet other qualified patients. The 2811 Club, LLC, (Named after the provisions of the Act which allow patient to patient transfers ), The 2811 Club, hereinafter referred to as the” CLUB”, is a is a professionally operated, membership only entity.
21. For marketing purposes the business is called a club, However, the Club’s primary function is that of a Educational and Resource center for qualified patients. Through the Club’s affiliation with Plaintiff Sobol’s other business, the Arizona Cannabis University, ( previously known as the Arizona Dispensary University) , the Club offers extensive educational services to qualified patients. The Arizona Cannabis University has been offering classes to the general public since September 2010, and has built a credible reputation for providing one of the most extensive marijuana related curriculums in the country. The University has been repeatedly featured on all local TV and print media and some national news organizations. The University has from time to time offered classes across the state utilizing hotel conference rooms as needed. Additionally, like most Universities, the Arizona Cannabis University comes complete with a private campus. The physical, permanent classroom and campus is located at 17233 N. Holmes Blvd Suite 1615, Phoenix AZ 85053 and features, extensive on-line research services, free wi-fi, an extensive marijuana related book and video library, daily entertainment, a school discount store, pain management demonstrations, political advocacy programs, even spiritual sermons but most importantly, a lounge area for qualified patients to interact and network together. This is a closed campus where only qualified patients who possess a AZDHS medical marijuana card are permitted to enter. The University and Club interact together in a clean, professional and safe environment to provide much needed services to qualified patients. This unique one-of-kind facility provides professional armed security and a state of art surveillance system together with patient verification and tracking to assure full compliance with the ACT.
22. The Facility charges a yearly membership fee of $25.00 to qualified patients. Thereafter, the Club/University charges a usage fee of $75.00 per day which entitles the patient/member to full access of the facility and all it’s services. The Club maintains a policy of fee waivers for individuals with limited income. This fee pays for the overhead, (cost of operations), of the facility including the rent, electric, security, insurance, payrolls, educational services, etc.
23. The word “Club” is merely the vessel that brings qualified patients together. The Club facility is simply a venue for qualified patients to interact with other qualified patients. Contrary to the allegations of the Defendant, the Club does not sell, produce, transport, transfer or distribute Marijuana in any form. The defendants have produced no evidence that suggest otherwise. The Club does allow qualified patient/members, pursuant to ARS 36-2811 B-3, to exchange their own marijuana with other patients. Everyone in the club facility is a qualified patient. These are direct “ patient to patient” transfers that are in no way associated with the Club management or the usage fees charged. The Club has strict written rules that limit marijuana transfers to no more than 2.5 ounces and there can be no exchange of any value. Violation of these rules mean immediate and permanent expulsion from the Club.
24. Additionally, the Club donates space to a private not-for-profit Association; The Arizona Compassion Association, Inc. This association is not a collective. The association is comprised of approximately 50 qualified patients who each, individually, grow their own medical marijuana. This association was formed to advance their mutual beliefs to share knowledge and otherwise network together for the betterment of the industry. This association is protected under the First and Fourteen amendment of the US Constitution.
25. The qualified patients of the association, who are all members of the club, bring very limited amounts of their excess marijuana into the club and transfer it “FREE OF CHARGE/VALUE” to any Club member that request it. These are also direct “patient to patient” transfers as permitted under the ACT and are in no way connected to the operation of the Club, or the fees that are charged. Again, the Defendants have produced no evidence to suggest otherwise. These transfers are not conditioned upon payment of entry to the club. If two qualified patients are enrolled in ASU, or perhaps a local community college, and conducted a patient to patient transfer in the lounge of that school, would the Attorney General threaten to criminally prosecute and close down the School? . In fact, the Act does not limit where such patient to patient transfers can take place. Qualified patients could meet on a street corner, a movie theater, or even a Mcdonalds. These transfers can take place outside of the Clubs facilities, however, our patient/members voluntarily elect to conduct the transfer in the Club while enjoying the Clubs facilities, services and security.
26. The club owners, and the plaintiff have no legal affiliation with the association, other than a simple agreement that provides some donated space and the requirement that the association conduct themselves in a professional business-like manner, in full compliance with Arizona Law. Any perceived benefit the association may receive from the donated space is being realized by the legal entity ( The Association) and not by any individual patient/member. There simply is nothing of value being exchanged directly from the Club to any individual qualified patient.
27. For these reasons the Club is operating within full compliance of the law.
28. Having effectively stopped the Dispensary portion of the law, the defendants are now unjustly taking aim at the only remaining option qualified patients have to obtain their medication.
29. While the defendants have not produced one scintilla of evidence demonstrating any illegal activity at the 2811 Club, the defendants have nevertheless threathen the club owners with criminal arrest and prosecution. This Club/university is being singled out for prosecution because of its marijuana curriculum. The defendants have relied on marketing materials, news reports, hearsay, and speculation. But have not presented this Court with any substantive evidence to support their allegations. In fact, the marketing materials produced by the Defendants supports the argument of the Plaintiff.
30. Moreover, the plaintiff has been completely transparent and forthright in the development and operation of the Club. The Plaintiff has made numerous good faith efforts to explain and demonstrate the operation of the Club to the Defendants. Sobol has invited the defendants to visit the club on at least three separate occasions for a first-hand on-site inspection, the defendants have ignored all such requests. The plaintiff has repeatedly conveyed the following proposition to the defendants; that if defendant can produce a specific Arizona Statute showing that the Club is in violation of the law, Sobol will agree to withdraw his license and close the Club. The defendants have failed to respond to this request The defendants have failed to present any specific Arizona Statute whereby they can support their allegations that the Club has violated any State law. (Ubi jus incertum, ibi jus nullum). The fact is, the Club is a legally registered, fully compliant, and legitimate business operation
31. The defendants have clearly voiced their personal opposition to The Medical Marijuana Act. The defendants, acting in concert with each other, are conspiring to use the power of their office to further their personal beliefs and agenda regarding marijuana, all in dereliction of their official duties. As Governor Brewer is vested with the supreme executive power of Arizona and is responsible for the faithful execution of all laws, including the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Instead, the Governor and Mr. Humble are abusing their authority by threatening and intimating legitimate business owners out of existence in an effort to thwart the will of the Arizona voters.
32. The Club operation is fully compliant with Arizona State Law and the Defendants have produced no evidence to suggest otherwise.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Sobol respectfully requests declaratory relief as follows:
A. Grant Summary Decision in this matter or, in the alternative, Grant an Expedited hearing in this matter.
B. Deny all the Defendant requests.
C. Find in favor of Plaintiff, that Sobol’s specific 2811 club business model is not in violation of any Arizona State Laws.
D. That the Court grant such other and further relief as it deems appropriate and proper.
Dated this 15th day of August, 2011.
ALLAN SOBOL pro per
/s Allan Sobol___________
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I certify that on this 15th day of August 2011. I electronically transmitted a PDF version of this document to the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court, Maricopa County, using Turbo Court ECF System, with a copy also mailed to :
Office of the Arizona Attorney General
Att: Lori Davis
1275 W Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2926
INDEX OF EXHIBITS
- Sobol’s Medical Marijuana card issued by AZDHS
- Arizona Cannabis University media publicity
- 2811 Club Marketing Materials
- Memorandum of Agreement between 2811 Club and Arizona Compassion Association, Inc.
- Communications from 2811 Club to Law Enforcement
- Letter to Attorney General offering to close 2811 Club
- Defendants opposition to Prop 203 and medical marijuana.
Arizona Republic: “White-collar crime has been eradicated in Arizona. There are zero violations of civil rights. Not a single consumer in the entire state is being ripped off. There is no public corruption. No environmental laws are being broken. . . . Otherwise, Attorney General Tom Horne (and Gov. Jan Brewer) couldn’t spend so much time and energy trying to delay, disrupt and demolish Arizona’s medical-marijuana law.”
AZ Journal: “Attorney General Tom Horne is taking aim at cannabis clubs with his civil filing this week asking the courts to shut down four clubs and one individual claiming to be operating under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). In July, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) asked Horne to review the legality of cannabis clubs, which provide venues for medical marijuana patients to share private supplies of marijuana.”
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne Denied Extra-Long Court Filing in Federal Medical Marijuana Lawsuit
Phoenix New Times: “Give me the short version, a federal judge told Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne today in a ruling on the state’s lawsuit against medical marijuana. Yesterday, Horne had asked U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton if he could exceed the 17-page limit for his arguments on why the lawsuit shouldn’t be dismissed. He even included the proposed response in a separate, 23-page filing. (See below) . . . . Skimming through Horne’s proposed response, though, we noticed a couple of things that should actually be added. For instance, in giving the run-down on how Arizona officials ended up suing their own state instead of defending a voter-approve state law, there’s no mention of the January meeting between Horne and the law’s most vocal opponent, Carolyn Short of Keep AZ Drug Free. We also think Horne’s proposed motion should have mentioned that Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke reminded the public, through a reporter, that his May 2 letter to the state about the new law didn’t threaten state workers with prosecution.”
Here is Arizona’s Response in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss
The text of Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s August 8, 2011, press release states:
“PHOENIX (Monday, August 8, 2011) — Attorney General Tom Horne today filed a civil action against four Phoenix-area cannabis clubs and one individual that falsely claim to be operating lawfully under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). The action is for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief and is filed on behalf of the State and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
“The law permits one card holder to give marijuana to another card holder. But is does not permit the activities of these Defendants, who charge fees to members. These private entities and individuals are in no way permitted to legally transfer marijuana to anybody,” Horne said. “The operators of these clubs claim that they are protected under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act when they are not registered as non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries as required under that law. These people are marketing themselves as being able to lawfully transfer marijuana, and that type of deception and blatantly illegal activity must be stopped.”
The filing in Maricopa County Superior Court claims that The 2811 Club, The Arizona Compassion Association, Yoki A Ma’ Club, the Arizona Compassion Club and Michael R. Miller are all private cannabis clubs or owners/operators of clubs that have claimed they are able to lawfully participate in the possession, production, transportation, sale, or transfer of marijuana in accordance with A.R. S. § 36-2801 et. seq., the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. However the Act does not offer legal protection to cannabis clubs, cooperatives or any other person, association or entities that are not registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries. Nor does the act decriminalize the possession, production, transportation, sale, or transfer of marijuana by or through those entities.
This action asks the court to issue a declaratory judgment that each of the Defendants is violating the AMMA and prohibit them from engaging in activities that involve selling, producing, transporting, transferring or possession of marijuana.”
Arizona vs. The 2811 Club Complaint
The Attorney General’s complaint in the matter of State of Arizona vs. The 2811 Club, The Arizona Compassion Association, Yoki A Ma’ Club, the Arizona Compassion Club and Michael R. Miller follows:
Pot Complaint 1
Arizona vs. The 2811 Cannabis Club Motion to Show Cause & Application for Injunction
On August 9, 2011, Alan Sobol sent the following message to the public.
The 2811 Club Welcomes the Court Challenge
Phoenix August 8, 2011. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horn issued a news release yesterday announcing that he filed a complaint for Declaratory Judgement asking the Courts to rule on the legitimacy of Cannabis clubs. What Mr. Horn did not say was that Mr. Sobol, the marketing agent who developed the Cannabis Club business model in question, filed for a Declaratory Judgment weeks ago, also asking the Court to render a decision on whether or not the 2811 Club business model was legal under Arizona State law . Sobol’s Action is still awaiting a response from the Attorney General’s office. The 2811 Club welcomes this Court intervention.
The 2811 Club, LLC opened it’s doors for business on July 4th 2011. This Club was Arizona’s first Cannabis Club. The 2811 Club is an Educational and Resource facility with a campus intended as a venue for qualified patients to learn, share knowledge, exchange medication and network together. “This is a membership only club, you must be a qualified patient and possess a Arizona medical marijuana card issued by the AZDHS to enter” says Sobol.
Once inside, the club provides a safe, clean, well managed facility which includes an array of services designed to meet the needs of Patients including, extensive educational classes, a comprehensive marijuana Library, and on-line research services, pain management services and demonstrations, daily entertainment, specialized discounts on various marijuana related products and services, marijuana testing services, strain consulting, and perhaps most importantly the unique ability to safely network with other qualified patients.
Patient to patient transfers are permitted under the law so long as nothing of value is exchanged. In fact the Club is named after the provision of the law that specifically allows such exchanges: A.R.S 36-2811. Both Horn and Sobol agree, that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does permit qualified patients the right to freely exchange their medication. However, the law does not specify where such exchanges must take place. For example, the law does not require such exchanges to take place in a Dispensary. The 2811 club does not sell or distribute marijuana whatsoever. The club simply provides a safe venue for qualified patients to freely exchange marijuana among themselves, so long as it is done in full compliance with the law. Any membership fees charges are for use of the facility and its extensive services, and not for the sale of marijuana as alleged by Horn.
Additionally, In the good faith and spirit of the law the Club provides free space to a Compassion Association comprised of qualified patients and caregivers who also distribute free samples ( approx 4 grams) of their own individually grown, very high quality, medical grade marijuana. This medication is independently tested ,professionally labeled and packaged. Other then the space it donates, The 2811 Club has no affiliation with this private not-for-profit compassion club. Qualified, credible and highly skilled caregivers who are associated with the Compassion group, make themselves available to qualified patients who wish to register them through the AZDHS program. There is simply no safer way for qualified patients to obtain the medication they voted for.
Moreover, any qualified patient is welcome to visit the club and exchange their medication with other club members. Qualified patients do not have to utilize the 2811 Club to exchange their marijuana, however, they choose to visit this facility because they know that all members of the Club are qualified patients, the facility offers extensive security, provides numerous other services including extensive education and marijuana testing, and it’s simply a great place to meet other qualified patients. In the absence of such a facility, qualified patients would be forced into the streets, or risky Craigslist advertising to attract other patients. Sobol says the club fill a niche, it is the merely the vessel that brings qualified patients together and is absolutely legal. Some patients join the club just to take advantage of the extensive educational services provided by the Arizona Cannabis University, which is included in the membership fees. The club maintains strict membership rules to assure full compliance with the law. The 2811 Club is presently the only safe, dignified and legal way for qualified patients to comply with the law.
We believe Mr. Horn’s Compliant is in Violation of the Arizona Voter Protection Act, is an abuse of his authority, and moreover is further evidence of the bad faith efforts on the part of Arizona government officials to thwart the will of the Arizona Voters. In an apparent attempt to justify a repeal of the Medical marijuana Act in 2013 some of our elected officials are apparently trying to create mayhem in this industry. The Governors actions are merely a self filling prophecy. Mr. Horn’s Civil Action alleges that there is no provision in the law that allows for this type of Cannabis Club. The fact is, there is no provision in the law that specifically precludes it either. The fact is qualified patients can legally meet in practically any venue to exchange their medication. For example, If two qualified patients were to meet at a Movie theater to exchange their medication, would Mr. Horn move to close down all theaters? We believe that government officials have a obligation to uphold the laws of this state. They should be exerting their energies on how to safely implement the Arizona Medical Marijuana law rather than conspiring to to stop it. Properly managed facilities like the 2811 Club can provide qualified patients statewide with an organized, professional and fully compliant network of patient and caregiver exchanges sufficient to meet the needs of this program.
It is outrageous for Mr. Horn to suggest that the 2811 club is some how deceptive. We have been totally transparent in the development and operation of our Club. The 2811 Club has repeatedly invited all law enforcement, including Mr. Horn, to visit our facility. In fact, on August 1, 2011 we sent the Attorney General a request for a meeting to discuss the legal issues concerning Cannabis Clubs. The e-mail stated in part;
“It has always been my intent to operate in full compliance with the law, therefore, if there is some specific legal statute, or compelling and meritorious argument that would preclude such business operations in Arizona then, in that case, I would most definitely withdraw my proprietary licenses and cease all marketing efforts. Absent such specific limitations or regulations, I believe it would be in our mutual interest to meet and review Cannabis Club operations. I look forward to hearing from you.”
There was no response from Mr. Horn!
We adamantly believe that our 2811 club business model is in full compliance with State Laws and we welcome the opportunity to expedite this matter in the Courts.
We again extend an invitation to all law enforcement and government officials to come visit our facility. We have nothing to hide. We take great pride in the fully compliant facility we have developed, and the services it provides to our members.
We thank our members for their continued support, and encourage all those who suffer with the qualifying conditions to apply for a Medical Marijuana Card. We have a Doctor on site who will review your records and, if qualified, write you the required recommendation. In a further effort to demonstrate our true desire to help we are again lowering our price for Doctor Evaluations to $65.00. (The Lowest evaluation price in the State).
Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions, 602-993-5600 or visit our website for more information: the2811club.com.
Allan Sobol, Marketing Director
The 2811 Club, LLC
Attorney General Tom Horne agrees with me. Read my article called “Are Arizona Cannabis Clubs Legal Under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws?” The following is the text of an August 8, 2011, blog post by Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble.
“A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post expressing serious concerns about the legality of so-called cannabis clubs that have been popping up recently. It appeared to me that the clubs are distributing marijuana to customers in a way that’s inconsistent with the provisions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act- and the persons involved could be conducting illegal marijuana transactions… which is why we asked the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for review and analysis.
“The Arizona Attorney General has completed their analysis of “cannabis clubs” and have concluded that the clubs and the folks working in them aren’t allowed to legally transfer marijuana. The Attorney General filed a civil action in Maricopa County Superior Court today against four Valley cannabis clubs. Today’s action asks for a “declaratory judgment and injunctive relief” meaning that we’re asking the court to stop the cannabis clubs from operating and claiming that they’re able to operate under the protection of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
Phoenix New Times: “Tom Horne, State Attorney General, Asks Court to Shut Down Cannabis Clubs; Says He’s Taking “Softer Approach” by Not Ordering Arrests” – Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne asked a court today to shut down cannabis clubs, claiming they’re ‘blatantly illegal’ under Arizona’s medical marijuana law. The motion, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, names four clubs and an individual: ‘The 2811 Club, The Arizona Compassion Association, Yoki A Ma’ Club, the Arizona Compassion Club and Michael R. Miller.’ Horne wants a judge’s ruling that the clubs aren’t legal and an injunction to stop them from the ‘selling, producing, transporting, transferring or possession of marijuana’. . . . We asked Horne if he was just passing the buck on this decision. If he’s so sure the clubs are acting illegally, why not just have the clubs raided and their staffs arrested?
‘I’m taking a softer approach,’ Horne tells us.”
Phoenix New Times: “Al Sobol, Pot Club Manager, “Happy” to Have Court Decide on Clubs’ Legality” – “Al Sobol, a prominent medical marijuana marketer, says he’s “happy” that state Attorney General Tom Horne seeks to have a court review the legality of cannabis clubs. Sobol is the manager of the 2811 Club, LLC, one of the businesses named in the legal actions filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court today by state Attorney General Tom Horne.”
East Valley Tribune: “Horne asks judge to shut down Arizona’s ‘marijuana clubs’” – “Calling them illegal drug dealers, Attorney General Tom Horne asked a judge on Monday to shut down the ‘marijuana clubs” that are opening up around the state. In legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, Horne said the medical marijuana law that voters approved last November has no provision for the kind of clubs where members, after paying a fee, can get access to free drugs. More to the point, he said the exceptions in the law that club owners say permit what they do does not exist.”
Examiner.com: “Despite Colorado’s precedent, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wants to know if state employees may be exposed to prosecution for drug offenses by working to license medical marijuana. Until she finds out, Arizona’s medical marijuana program is on hold. Meanwhile untaxed, unregulated collectives are being formed. This has evoked a response from US Attorney Scott Risner who filed a motion asking the federal judge to dismiss the case saying,
“Their complaint presents no actual controversy, instead asking this Court for an advisory opinion as to a hypothetical dispute in which Plaintiffs [State of Arizona] themselves pick no side but rather resort to a purported disagreement among various fictional Defendants [State Employees].”