County attorney calls on Trump to end marijuana 'charade'

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Enforcement of federal law of marijuana could come up in the Trump administration. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Enforcement of federal law of marijuana could come up in the Trump administration. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
County Attorney Bill Montgomery wants a crack down on both recreational and medical marijuana. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) County Attorney Bill Montgomery wants a crack down on both recreational and medical marijuana. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
JP Holyoak doesn't believe the federal government will change the way it handles marijuana. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) JP Holyoak doesn't believe the federal government will change the way it handles marijuana. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

After campaigning to defeat the full legalization of marijuana this year, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery now wants the incoming Donald Trump administration to crack down on dispensaries legally selling the drug -- including those selling it for medicinal use. 

"We ought to end the charade, and this next administration has an opportunity to do that," the county lawman said Wednesday during a press conference. 

So far, 28 states across the country have some form of legalized marijuana even though it remains illegal under federal law.

Arizona voters legalized medical marijuana six years ago.

For the past eight years, the Obama administration has taken a hands-off approach, choosing not to enforce federal marijuana laws in weed-friendly states. 

But Montgomery says the federal government has an obligation crack down on these businesses.

"I think the next attorney general of the United States can issue an order through a letter giving people 90 days to turn their inventory over to local law enforcement for destruction," he said. 

[YouTube: Montgomery's full remarks on medical marijuana]

Trump's decision to pick Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next U.S. Attorney General has stoked some fears among those working in the legal marijuana business. 

The Republican from Alabama is known as a fierce opponent of marijuana. 

So far, he has not signaled how he plans to deal with pot, but one local dispensary owner believes the Trump administration will leave it alone. 

"There's always a concern with any political change, but the reality is we now have 28 states that have marijuana laws in violation of federal laws. More than half the country's population lives in a state that (has) some form of legalization," said JP Holyoak. 

Holyoak, who led the campaign (Proposition 205) to legalize marijuana, also believes Arizona would be a low priority in Trump decided to enforce federal marijuana laws. 

"The lowest priority would be medical (marijuana) states," he said. "Right now, there are eight states that have full adult use. If (the Trump administration) has a priority list, I would think those states would be first on the list." 

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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