In a ruling with wide impact on the Arizona medical-marijuana program, Zander Welton and his family have won their battle to provide extracts to the boy for his seizures.
The East Valley family sued on October 29 in Maricopa County Superior Court, receiving legal help from the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, after threats of possible felony prosecution by County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Judge Katherine Cooper sets Montgomery straight in a ruling filed on Friday, telling him and the state plaintiffs that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Law “authorizes qualifying patients to use extracts, including CBD oil, prepared from the marijuana plant.”
Montgomery, a conservative politician who’s taken a hard line on marijuana issues, never threatened the Weltons directly, but warned that anyone caught with marijuana extracts, such as oils, might face felony prosecution whether or not they were qualified patients under the voter-approved 2010 Medical Marijuana Act. In recent weeks, though, he dropped one such criminal case against a patient and lost the narcotics argument in another.
Judge Katherine Cooper’s ruling suggests Montgomery may have reading comprehension problems. She points out, as Phoenix New Times noted in an October 10 feature article on the subject, that the 2010 law plainly states that marijuana “and any mixture or preparation thereof” is legal for qualified users.
The Weltons claim in their civil lawsuit that their then-5-year-old son’s seizures and overall quality of life had been improved considerably because of extracts of marijuana. They sought a declaration from the court about the meaning of the text of the medical-marijuana law, not wanting to be thrown in prison for giving Zander his medicine. The boy had responded best to oil made from cannabis that was richer in the chemical compound cannabidiol or (CBD) than THC, the compound known to produce marijuana’s psychoactive effects.
The Phoenix New Times has the rest of this story over at their Valley Fever blog.