Sheriff Joe will not return pot to card-holding patients at his jails

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PHOENIX – Sheriff Joe Arpaio is putting his foot down when it comes to returning marijuana to medical marijuana card holders when they are released from his jails.

On Wednesday the sheriff made a policy decision, saying those arrested by Maricopa County deputies for a criminal violation who are also medical marijuana patients will not be given their product back upon their release.

Arpaio says marijuana is contraband and that is why he decided not to store the drugs for other police agencies when someone is arrested.

The sheriff says he is aware of rulings in other states that may later make it a requirement for his officers to return medical marijuana to card-carrying patients but will not allow that until a local judge issues an order.

“Some courts in other states have ruled that defendants are entitled to a return of their controlled substances per the Medical Marijuana Act but until my hand is forced, they won’t be getting it back from my deputies,” Sheriff Joe said. “Possession of marijuana is still a federal felony as far I am aware and my deputies aren’t going to violate federal law.”