Arizona Supreme Court to Hear Case on College Medical Marijuana Ban

Arizona Supreme Court to Hear Case on College Medical Marijuana Ban

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The Arizona Supreme Court is set to hear arguments for a case challenging the legality of a 2012 law that enacted a medical marijuana ban on college campuses.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the case concerns a 2014 incident where Arizona State University student, and medical marijuana patient, Andre Maestas was arrested for obstructing traffic.

Upon searching Maestas’ wallet, campus police found a valid medical marijuana card and asked Maestas if he had marijuana in his dorm room.

After admitting to having medical marijuana in his dorm room, campus police were able to obtain a search warrant and Maestas was arrested for possessing 0.4 grams of marijuana, which is well below the legal limit of 2.5 ounces for medical marijuana patients.

Maestas has argued that his drug conviction should be thrown out because the 2012 law that bans medical marijuana on college campuses violates the Voter Protection Act, which bars lawmakers from repealing or dramatically altering voter approved laws.

Under the 2010 medical marijuana measure, several areas where medical marijuana use is not permitted are outlined, but college campuses are not among them.

By passing a law that narrows the scope of permitted medical marijuana use, Maestas and his lawyers argue that lawmakers have effectively enacted a partial repeal of the 2010 legalization law, which they do not have the authority to do.

Although it is unclear how the justices will rule, a lower appeals court previously cleared Maestas of the conviction, leading state Attorney General Mark Brnovich to seek review by the high court.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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