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Federal judge grants ACLU motion to dismiss Arizona medical marijuana challenge

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] on Wednesday granted an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] motion to dismiss a lawsuit [order, PDF] challenging Arizona's voter approved medical marijuana law, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act [text, PDF]. The challenge [text], filed by Governor Jan Brewer, argued the law makes state officials vulnerable to federal prosecution for implementing the law. The court ruled, however, that there was no legitimate threat of prosecution for officials who simply enforce the law and dismissed the complaint based on a motion filed by the ACLU, the US Justice Department and other individuals for lack of ripeness.

The act was challenged by Gov. Brewer in May after being passed as Proposition 203 [JURIST reports] in November 2010. The act legalizes the possession of up to two-and-a-half ounces of medical marijuana and up to 12 cannabis plants. The medical marijuana is only allowed for individuals with any of a set list of medical conditions including cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and AIDS who have gotten a recommendation from their physician and have registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services. Arizona is the fifteenth state to legalize medical marijuana.

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