Large-scale marijuana growers and dispensaries in Arizona could be prosecuted under federal law – even if they comply with new regulations governing the state’s fledgling medical marijuana industry. In a letter to state health officials, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis K. Burke said his office would not devote resources to prosecuting medical marijuana patients but left the door open to “vigorously prosecute individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacture, distribution and marketing activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.” It is important to note, however, that Burke did not mention state employees in the letter. In a similar letter last month, Burke’s counterparts in Washington State specifically warned state officials there that government employees could be prosecuted if they licensed marijuana dispensaries in that state. Burke’s letter has led to calls by opponents for the state to halt implementation of the voter-approved medical marijuana law. However, most involved say they think it will just change the size and scope of the new marijuana businesses, curbing large operations.
Read Burke’s letter here.