Arizona judge rejects effort to lower fees for medical marijuana users

A judge has rebuffed efforts by medical marijuana users to force the state to reduce the fees it charges patients.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry said she does not dispute that the Department of Health Services is collecting more from medical marijuana users than it needs to administer the program.

In fact, documents obtained by Capitol Media Services show that this fiscal year, which began in June, the agency has taken in more than $19.9 million in fees. By contrast, expenses in the same period total less than $7.8 million.

And the balance in the fund, which rolls over from year to year, now exceeds $31 million.

But Gentry said the only thing spelled out in the 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is that the health department must collect sufficient fees to cover the costs of the program. There is nothing in the law that prohibits...

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