Mar 262014

By Linda Kor
A ruling by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge last Friday paves the way for the state’s medical marijuana patients to use extracts of the plant to obtain relief from chronic ailments and for dispensaries to provide extracts without fear of prosecution by the state.
In an extensive ruling, Judge Katherine Cooper rejected the view of state Health Director Will Humble and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery that the 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) allows patients only to smoke or otherwise consume pieces of the actual plant. Cooper said nothing in the initiative backs that contention.
The ruling stems from a case involving a five-year-old Mesa boy who suffers from severe seizures and other complications that are dramatically reduced by the use of medical marijuana. The complaint submitted by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the family states that the boy needs to use extract from marijuana in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the side effects of the medicine.
In their complaint before the court, the family stated that Montgomery advised Phoenix police that marijuana extracts are considered a narcotic drug and they will prosecute as such.
In making her ruling, Cooper stated that she found no evidence to support Montgomery’s claim there is a prohibition in the AMMA against concentrating the chemicals in the marijuana flower, adding that it makes no sense to limit patients to one form of the drug.