UPDATE: Yolanda Daniels & Lisa Becker v. Arizona Department of Health Services
This past Thursday, April 6th, Judge Jo Lynn Gentry of the Maricopa County Superior Court heard oral arguments in the case of Yolanda Daniels and Lisa Becker against the Arizona Department of Health Services, DHS Director Dr. Cara M. Christ, and Governor Doug Ducey, which we’ve been covering since its filing. The proceedings on Thursday involved a motion to dismiss the case brought by the defendants.
The defendants base their argument to dismiss on the precedent of Kromko vs. Arizona Board of Regents (2007), which found that there was no standard in the Arizona Constitution by which a court could rule that the Board of Regents’ tuition fees were set illegally high.
The plaintiffs, represented by Steve White and Jeff Matura, argue that because the standard by which DHS’s patient card fees can be judged lies within a legal statute (the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act [A.R.S. 36-2803]) rather than the Arizona Constitution, Kromko is inapplicable to the matter at hand. Additionally, the plaintiffs argue that in addition to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act’s requirement that patient card fees be “sufficient to implement and administer” the state’s medical marijuana program, there is also a constitutional obligation that state agencies’ fees “bear some reasonable relation to the service to be performed on the payer’s behalf,” as dictated by Jachimek v. State of Arizona (2003). Therefore, Yolanda and Lisa’s claims against DHS, Dr. Christ, and Governor Ducey are legitimate, as DHS’s patient card fees currently raise far more money than is needed to operate Arizona’s medical marijuana program.
The judge’s ruling on the motion to dismiss will likely be announced in the next thirty days, and we’ll provide you with that information as soon as the decision is made available.
Once again, we thank you for your patience as the legal process of settling this matter moves slowly along, and for your compassionate support of Yolanda and Lisa’s case and its implications for all Arizona medical cannabis patients.