The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that a state law banning medical cannabis on college campuses violates the state Constitution, meaning that arrests of medical marijuana patients on campus grounds are illegal.
In the case of Arizona vs Maestas, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of the appellant, meaning that arrests of medical marijuana patients for cannabis possession on campus grounds are in violation of the State Constitution.
The history between Andre Maestas and the police in Arizona is a short one. He was arrested in 2014 on a charge of obstructing traffic after university police found him sitting in the middle of the street intersection.
After searching his wallet, the officers conducting the arrest found a state-issued medical marijuana card, and after being asked about it Maestas admitted to having about 0.4 grams of cannabis in his college dorm.
The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act gave users with certain medical conditions permission to obtain up to 2 and a half ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks or 5 ounces per month.
In 2012 Arizona lawmakers have added a clause in order to expand prohibited zones to college campuses and make violations a felony, which exactly is why Andre Lee Maestas had to fight his case in court.
Maestas was originally charged with a felony under the 2012 law, but the prosecutors reduced this to a misdemeanor, which he was later found guilty of and had to pay a $1000 fine.
After this ruling came, Maestas appealed.
“This is an affirmation of their constitutional rights to pass a voter initiative,” Maestas’s lawyer said. “And the Legislature cannot modify or repeal it.”
The policy at the Arizona State University is that anyone in possession of illegal drugs is subject to disciplinary hearings, and/or administrative sanctions.
The school also reserves the right to refer violations to federal prosecutors if they feel so inclined. Seeing how ASU is a big part of the federal funding program, it is easy to see why they might do so in some cases.
This court ruling is a huge victory for medical marijuana patients in Arizona.
With the state’s medical program currently numbering around 160,000 members, it is easy to see how things might have gone south for a lot of people if the court was to rule the other way around.
Those 160,000 people, whether they are students or not, are now no longer worried if a campus cop might sneak up behind and write them up and arrest them, or in any other way endanger just because cannabis is implied in that situation.