By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez The Republic | azcentral.com Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:32 PM
The top lawyers for the state and county, strong opponents of Arizona’s medical-marijuana laws, will argue in court today that federal drug laws pre-empt the voter-approved law.
Attorneys arguing on behalf of White Mountain Health Center of Sun City, meanwhile, charge that state law does not require anyone to violate federal laws by issuing permits for medical-marijuana activities since the state has decriminalized those acts. In their lawsuit, they also allege that Maricopa County illegally rejected the center’s registration certificate, which is among the state requirements to become a medical-marijuana dispensary applicant.
At stake is the future of medical marijuana in Arizona, one of 17 states to approve the drug to treat certain medical conditions. If government lawyers prevail, they would shut down the legal growing of marijuana and ensure that dispensaries do not open — making it impossible for patients to legally obtain pot.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon will hear arguments at 3 p.m.
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