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WIRE: Arizona court strikes medical marijuana campus ban

Phoenix, AZ — An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 law amending the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) to prohibit the use of medical cannabis on college campuses is unconstitutional.

Lifetime NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, and NORML Legal Committee attorney Tom Holtz filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of NORML.

“By enacting A.R.S. § 15-108(A), the Legislature modified the AMMA to re-criminalize cardholders’ marijuana possession on college and university campuses,” the Court opined. “The statute does not further the purposes of the AMMA; to the contrary, it eliminates some of its protections.”

The Court argued that campuses and universities possess the authority to enact their own individual policies restricting medical cannabis use, but that lawmakers cannot do so.

The decision overturned a medical-marijuana cardholder’s 2015 felony conviction for the possession of a small quantity of cannabis while attending Arizona State University.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has not yet publicly stated whether they intend to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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