On Sept. 12, 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to a case challenging state medical cannabis laws.
The case is the result of a 2012 incident where Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery advised the county Board of Supervisor’s to deny zoning approval to White Mountain Health, a medical cannabis dispensary.
Citing federal law, Montgomery claims that the county is under no obligation to honor the 2010 Medical Marijuana Act, which was approved by a majority of Arizona voters.
According to the Phoenix New-Times, Montgomery hoped that by denying White Mountain Health’s permit, the dispensary would sue the county, which they did. This in turn would allow Montgomery to use the case as a legal bulwark against implementing state medical cannabis laws.
However, Montgomery’s plan backfired when Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon ruled in favor of White Mountain Health. Assisted by the ACLU, White Mountain Health was able to defeat subsequent appeal attempts, culminating in the high court’s refusal to hear Montgomery’s appeal.
“We are hopeful that this is the end of a long and tortured story, but we’ll find out,” said White Mountain Health Attorney Steve White, as quoted by the Phoenix New-Times. “The resources expended on the taxpayer’s dime between the county and the state and the eventual attorneys’ fees [to be recovered by White Mountain and the ACLU] probably approaches $1 million.”
At this time it is unclear whether Montgomery plans on filing an appeal with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.