Monday, June 11, 2018

Arizona's campus cannabis ban struck down by state Supreme Court

A Libertarian on the Bench - Hit & Run : - Damon Root:

June 4, 2018 - "In the recent case of Arizona v. Maestas, ... [at] issue was the 2014 arrest of an Arizona State University student named Andre Lee Juwaun Maestas. Under the terms of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), a voter initiative passed in 2010, Maestas was a valid medical marijuana cardholder. That meant that he was legally allowed to possess 2.5 ounces of 'usable marijuana.' Yet Maestas was arrested after university police found 0.014 ounces of marijuana in his dorm room.....

"They arrested him because in 2012 the state legislature amended the AMMA to forbid all medical marijuana use and possession on state college and university campuses....

"Per the Arizona Constitution, the state legislature may only amend a voter initiative if 'the amending legislation furthers the purposes of such measure.' The question before the Arizona Supreme Court in the Maestas case was whether the 2012 criminalization law was at odds with that provision from the state Constitution.

"The Arizona Supreme Court held that it was. 'Criminalizing AMMA-compliant marijuana possession or use on public college or university campuses plainly does not further the AMMA's primary purpose,' the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in Arizona v. Maestas. 'We hold [the 2012 law] unconstitutional as applied to the student/cardholder in this case'....

"According to the state of Arizona, the judiciary owed total deference to the lawmakers here. In the state's view, the legislature alone enjoys the power to establish and maintain "a general and uniform public school system.' Criminalizing marijuana use on public campuses, the state insisted, should be immune from judicial review because it is a non-justiciable 'political question'."

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