State AG: Legislature must enact Medical Marijuana Amendment, federal prosecution of lawmakers unlikely | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

State AG: Legislature must enact Medical Marijuana Amendment, federal prosecution of lawmakers unlikely

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 12:00 PM

RUTLEDGE: Legislature is obligated to enact the Medical Marijuana Amendment
  • RUTLEDGE: Legislature is obligated to enact the Medical Marijuana Amendment
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge yesterday released an opinion stating that state lawmakers are indeed obligated to follow the terms of the medical marijuana amendment, a change to the state constitution approved by voters last November. Asked whether enacting the amendment would violate the laws of the United States, she declined to opine on federal law but stated that federal prosecution for setting up the marijuana regulatory system was unlikely in practice.

The opinion came in a response to state Rep. Doug House, who had two questions. House's first question:

Are members of the Legislature obligated, under the terms of the Marijuana Amendment, to take certain actions that would facilitate the manufacture and delivery of cannabis in violation of the laws of the United States?
Rutledge responded unequivocally that the legislature must enact the law. Creating the regulatory regime — and appropriating the sales tax revenues and other revenues derived — "appear to be mandatory under the plain terms of the Amendment," she wrote.

House's second question:

Would voting to pass laws and regulations to carry out the purposes of the Marijuana Amendment, or the execution of such laws and regulations by the executive, constitute a violation of such laws of the United States? 
"The resolution of this question depends upon the interpretation and application of federal law, which are matters falling outside the scope of an opinion from this office," Rutledge responded.

The marijuana amendment is not itself a shield from federal criminal prosecution, Rutledge wrote, but it was unlikely that any state government official or employee would be prosecuted for following state law (she added that such a prosecution would likely fail). "[A]s a practical matter, I suspect that those actually possessing and distributing marijuana are the ones more likely to face the prospect of federal prosecution, as opposed to either state lawmakers who must enact laws in accordance with the AMMA or executive-branch officials who must enforce the Amendment," she wrote.

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    Lawyers facing federal court sanctions for forum shopping a class action insurance case have brought in new legal guns from out of state to fight potential sanctions.
    • May 26, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation