doug ducey

Arizona: Medical Marijuana Patients File Lawsuit Against State

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two registered medical marijuana patients have filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona with the goal of reducing the annual registration fee for patients. Yolanda Daniels and Lisa Becker both claim the state is hoarding the funds and failing to reduce fees as the 2010 law that legalized medical marijuana required.

The lawsuit claims that the state's Department of Health's account balance was $11.5 million at the end of 2015. The Department collected $2.6 million more than is necessary to run the program from caregivers, patients, and dispensaries, according to attorney Sean Berberian.

“In a time when medication is more expensive than ever, the state should be helping to make it cheaper for Arizonans,” says Berberian. “The state is deliberately squatting on the excess fund instead of refunding it to patients or using it in furtherance of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, such as to help patients.”

Berbarian says that former-Governor Jan Brewer “influenced the setting of the initial patient and caregiver card prices to keep many qualifying patients from accessing legal medication.” He notes that current Governor Doug Ducey remains opposed to medical cannabis.

Arizona: Governor Vetoes 'Secret Police' Bill; Civil Rights Advocates Rejoice

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday vetoed SB 1445, a bill that would have required law enforcement agencies to conceal police officers’ identities for months following their involvement in violent or deadly incidents.

“Governor Ducey has lived up to his promise to hear the concerns of the community regarding SB 1445, and we want to both thank the Governor and praise him for his openness in directly accepting public feedback concerning this misguided and harmful piece of legislation," said ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler. "We also want to thank the members of the Gov. Ducey’s staff who, last week, graciously accepted the ACLU’s letter opposing SB 1445, signed by more than three-dozen community leaders and local, statewide and national organizations, along with a petition calling for the veto of SB 1445 signed by over 2,500 concerned Arizonans and others from around the country."

“We are grateful that Gov. Ducey considered the dangerous ramifications of this bill, for both law enforcement and the public," Soler said. "This proposal would have taken Arizona in the wrong direction, by exacerbating distrust between communities and the public safety officers responsible for protecting them, while at the same time eroding the transparency that is critical to our democracy."

Arizona: Community To Rally Tuesday Against Secret Police Bill

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Petition with more than 2,400 signatures demanding veto to be delivered to Gov. Ducey

Community groups will be rallying outside Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office Tuesday afternoon to speak out against SB 1445, a proposal that would require law enforcement agencies to conceal police officers’ identities for months following their involvement in violent or deadly incidents.

During the rally, a petition with more than 2,400 signatures will be delivered to Gov. Ducey’s office demanding he veto this legislation if it reaches his desk.

This bill is unnecessary, takes discretion away from local officials, promotes mistrust of the police and threatens Arizona’s proud tradition of open government, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. Furthermore, police officers’ extraordinary powers are much more likely to be abused when their use is concealed from the public.

WHAT: Speakers will encourage Gov. Ducey to veto this dangerous legislation if it reaches his desk and address the harm this law would inflict on communities of color, people with mental illness and their families, immigrants, and LGBT people, among others. A representative of the family of Michelle Cusseaux, who was killed by a Phoenix Police officer last summer, and representatives of the community group Justice for Rumain Brisbon, who was fatally shot by a Phoenix Police officer in December, are scheduled to speak.

Arizona: Community Leaders To Speak Out Against 'Secret Police' Bill

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Community leaders in Arizona on Wednesday morning will speak out against Senate Bill 1445, a proposal being considered by the Arizona Legislature that would conceal police officers’ identities following their involvement in violent or deadly incidents.

SB 1445 threatens to further erode trust between law enforcement and communities by undermining the public's ability to hold officers and agencies accountable for abusive behavior. Current law properly balances the public’s right to know with officer privacy.

The stakes are high. If this bill becomes law in Arizona, it will send a harmful message to cities and states across the country that it's appropriate to keep officers' identities secret.

That’s why community leaders are banding together to stop this bill from becoming law.

WHO: Community leaders, including Pastor Warren Stewart, Jr., Rev. Reginald Walton and Phoenix Human Relations Commission Chair Brendan Mahoney

WHAT: Speakers will address the harms of SB 1445 and announce a campaign to encourage Gov. Doug Ducey to veto this dangerous legislation if it reaches his desk.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Bolin Memorial Park, just east of the Arizona Capitol Complex (1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007).

Graphic: Albany NY a.k.a. Smalbany

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