Medical Marijuana: Arizona's Dispensary Lottery Results in Legal Confusion

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Well, we really don't know what to make of all this...

As we have been attentively tracking any and all U.S. drug policy developments, a common motif is the legal confusion surrounding medical marijuana.

In California, for example, some municipalities have held back on clearly defining dispensary policies, as they are not sure about the relationship between federal statute -- which bars bud -- and state statute -- which welcomes weed. Officials in other cities, such as Oakland, have banded behind dispensaries, outright criticizing federal crackdowns as harmful to patients.

In Colorado, on the other hand, much of the state is vehemently pro-prescription pot and plan on protesting Barack Obama's anti-drug policies when he makes a campaign stop in the swing state.

Things get really weird, though, when we talk about Arizona.

Remember that the state's health officials planned on holding a lottery to dole out dispensary permits for prescription pot?

The contest did take place yesterday, awarding 97 licenses in a "four-hour, bingo-style drawing," according to the Arizona Republic.

However, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne believes that the dispensaries break federal drug laws.

And Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery promised to prosecute any and all pot shops.

All of this, of course, comes after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Horne tried to put the kibosh on kush with a federal law suit last year.

However, the judge junked their lawsuit, and a lower-court judge also determined that the dispensary process must continue.

And so the U.S. cannabis circus continues -- nobody really knows WTF is up, and it's unclear whether that will be resolved anytime soon.

Regardless, we'll keep you posted with any updates.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.


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